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6 tips to buy a second hand electric car

We analyse the used electric vehicle market and give you a few tips to buy a second-hand electric car.

Chema Bermejo
Dec 14, 2022
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Electric vehicle sales continue to grow and this is benefitting the used vehicle market, since more and more low-mileage electric cars are becoming available. 

This is the perfect time to switch to an electric vehicle and benefit from the grants of the Plan Moves III. If you're short on a budget, don't want to risk buying a new electric car or simply want to give a used car a second life, whatever the reason and circumstances, keep on reading if you wish to switch to a used electric vehicle.

Used electric vehicles, like new

The upward trend in the sale of electric vehicles is also increasing the supply of used vehicles, meaning that more and more low-mileage and almost brand new vehicles are becoming available.

website to buy second hand EVs

The price is also attractive when compared to that of a new car, although, as in the case of used internal-combustion-engine vehicles, the average cost of an electric car is very high, currently around 34,000 euros. This is mainly due to the problems manufacturers are facing to meet the demand for new cars, forcing them to provide very long delivery times, leaving used cars as a very interesting option for those who wish to purchase an electric vehicle without having to wait for so long.

If you are interested in buying a used electric car, keep in mind that...

You must take into account a series of important aspects before buying a used electric car to choose the best option.

1.     Check the overall condition of the car

Used electric cars are usually in very good shape, since they are designed with less moving parts, thus reducing the level of wear, in particular, in the case of cars registered 1 to 3 years ago. Older electric cars are also usually in good shape, since they do not have a combustion engine, which is the main element that must be in good condition in a used car, so the level of wear of other elements, such as the transmission, shock absorbers or brakes, is usually less if the electric vehicle has been serviced properly and regularly.

In any case, and even though electric cars are low-maintenance vehicles, you must bear in mind that the elements mentioned above must be inspected during the regular intervals.

However, there is a vital element that must be checked and inspected carefully, even if the car is in very good condition: the battery.

2.     The electric car's battery: the heart of the car

Without a doubt, the most important element of an electric car is the battery. In the case of used electric cars, if its essential to check its condition, since replacement batteries are very expensive and the ones installed in a used electric car may have deteriorated over time, especially if it has not been used as expected, either because of the driving style of the previous owner or because it has been charged quite a few times.

Clearly, you can't check the condition of an electric car battery at a glance. Therefore, you need experts to check its condition before you buy the vehicle (an official dealer can check this for you and tell you about the battery's condition). The condition will tell you whether the battery needs to be repaired or replaced soon, which may also help you discuss the price, since the cost of replacing or repairing a battery may greatly increase the final price of the car.

Keep in mind that currently manufactured batteries guarantee a service life in optimum conditions of 10 years, but the first electric vehicles were launched in 2010, such as Nissan Leaf, so you might probably need to change the battery soon.

If possible, before you buy an electric vehicle, check the battery range by driving the vehicle and seeing how much range you have left after a few kilometres, comparing this with the actual range figures (WLTP, which is the most realistic figure) indicated by the manufacturer for this vehicle.

3.     Have a charging station at home

Wallbox charging point in a building flat

In addition to the checks on the used electric vehicle you wish to buy, we also recommend installing a private charging station to ensure that your car is always charged and ready, giving you the peace of mind of not having to worry whether your car is charged or not and so you can use it every day, in particular, if you are travelling over short distances (urban environments). Ideally, you should install a charging station at your private or community garage. Electromaps will help you choose the best charging station.

4.     The range of an electric vehicle

Clearly, the range of electric vehicles plays a very important role in your decision to buy one. Some models have a range of only 150 kilometres but recently launched models have a range of up to 500 km.

Keeping this in mind, you must choose the electric vehicle according to the range you need. However, if you are travelling over short distances, you will not have any issues with this. However, if you need an all-round car, which includes long trips, you should buy a car that guarantees a range of at least 300 kilometres.

check EV range
Picture by @Emilio_JFRey

5.     Request a vehicle history report before you buy a used electric car

Another aspect that you must take into account when buying a second hand car is that you must check whether there is an administrative or statutory fine or seizure on the car.

6.     There are less grants for the purchase of second-hand electric cars

When you choose to buy an use electric car, you must bear in mind that you will not be entitled to receive the same type of grants offered to buyers of new electric vehicles, so you must compare the difference in price between both options.

It is also very important to take into account the huge amount of fuel you save when assessing the price of an electric car, since the difference may be offset within a very short period of time when you compare the price per kilowatt/hour with that of fuel (petrol or diesel oil), even if electric vehicles are much more expensive than internal-combustion-engine vehicles.

Don't forget to visit Electromaps map to check out the latest charging station information, and enjoy your trip !

download Electromaps app for EV users

Chema Bermejo
Dec 14, 2022
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