Buying A Used EV
So you have been trawling through the classifieds of DoneDeal. You are ready to make the switch to an electric vehicle but the price jump to a new model is a still a bit much. Are second hand EV’s a good buy and more importantly what should you be looking out for? Let us help. Buying a used electric vehicle (EV) can be a smart and environmentally friendly choice. However, there are several important factors to consider to ensure you make a well-informed decision. Here's a few pointers to help you in the process.
How much are you prepared to spend?
It all starts here really. Only you can decide how much you're willing to spend on a used EV, including the purchase price, road tax, charging, insurance, and potential maintenance costs. Keep in mind that while used EVs can be more affordable upfront, their long-term operating costs are generally lower than those of conventional combustion powered vehicles.
Do your research!
Like with any major purchase its all about doing the research. Have a look at different EV models available in the used market. Consider factors like range, charging capabilities, features, reliability, and user reviews. Some popular used EV models might include the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai IONIQ, Tesla Model 3, KIA Niro, or perhaps the BMW i3. Many of these vehicles you will find reviews for on this blog or by visiting the DoneDeal YouTube channel.
Is the battery still good?
Naturally the battery is a critical component of an EV. Research the battery health and degradation of the specific model you're interested in. EV batteries degrade over time, affecting the vehicle's range. Some manufacturers offer warranties for battery health, so be sure to check if the warranty is transferable to the new owner. It might be work ringing a authorised dealer to find out if they can do a health check. Usually the lower the mileage the better the battery life will be.
Always seek a Vehicle History Report
Just like purchasing any vehicle it is worth obtaining a vehicle history report using the vehicle identification number (VIN). This report will provide information about the car's ownership history, accidents, and other important details that can impact its value and condition. Our partner is Greenlight and you can enter the registration of the car in question right here.
Inspect the car prior to purchase
It is important to physically inspect the EV just as you would with any used vehicle. Look for signs of wear and tear, including the interior, exterior, tyres, and brakes. Consider having a qualified mechanic inspect the car, especially if you're not familiar with purchasing used vehicles.
Check your local charging infrastructure
Again this comes down to research and checking the availability of charging stations in your area and along your regular routes. Check if the used EV you're interested in is compatible with the charging networks you plan to use. Some EVs might have faster charging capabilities than others.
Be sure to take a test drive
Schedule a test drive to experience the EV's performance, handling, and comfort. Pay attention to the acceleration, braking, steering, and overall driving experience. Listen for noises of concern and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Run the numbers on ownership costs
Consider ongoing ownership costs, including electricity costs for charging, insurance premiums, maintenance, and potential repairs. Generally, EVs have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance than internal combustion engine vehicles but they still need tyres, brakes, wipers and minor consumables.
Vehicle and battery warranty
Check if the used EV is still covered under the manufacturer's warranty, and if the warranty is transferrable to the new owner. Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned programs for used EVs, which can provide additional peace of mind. Many warranties will differ from that on the car itself. You might find the battery has up to 8 years warranty while the vehicle itself might only have 3.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
If you're satisfied with the condition and information about the used EV, negotiate the price with the seller. Be prepared to haggle a bit, as there's often room for negotiation in used car transactions. Once you agree on a price, complete the necessary paperwork, transfer the ownership, and make the payment. It’s always nice to leave a deal feeling you got the most out of it.
We hope you found these tips useful. Once you take possession of your secondhand EV be sure to familiarise yourself with the owner's manual and any specific maintenance recommendations for the EV model you purchased. Buying a used EV can be a rewarding experience, but it's important to do thorough research and due diligence to ensure you're getting a reliable and suitable vehicle for your needs. From all at DoneDeal, happy hunting!