Buying a Used Electric Car
Overall, buying a used electric vehicle (EV) seems to be a great bargain—if you can stand the constraints that come with the car type. How will the pros and cons stack up for you?
Shopping for a Used Electric Vehicle
The same rules apply for buying a used electric vehicle as they do for any used vehicle. Be sure to do your homework before you head to a dealer or other seller.
Consider these tips:
- Determine your budget and plan your financing.
- Research the sales price of used electric vehicles.
- Research the different EV models.
- Get a vehicle history report.
- Have a mechanic inspect any potential cars before you make your purchase.
Benefits of a Used Electric Vehicle
The main selling point these days for used electric vehicles is their price. You can get a great deal on a used EV without it having an enormous amount of mileage or years on the model.
Electric vehicles are still so relatively new that the actual value of a used model isn't really known. The risk of not knowing whether your used electric vehicle will last 2 years or 10 comes in the form of a big price reduction.
Additionally, the frequent maintenance costs a traditional car or truck needs (think oil changes, filter changes, etc.) do not exist on electric vehicles since there is no combustion engine to maintain.
Downsides to a Used EV
While the low price of used electric vehicles can be tempting, you should also consider some of the cons of buying a used EV.
No Tax Incentives
Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks of buying a used electric vehicle is that there are no federal income tax incentives on used EV's.
While you will not face the same maintenance costs associated with standard vehicles, you will have to deal with the battery in your electric vehicle. Installing a new battery when the old one no longer works can be very expensive.
EV's are generally small, compact or subcompact cars. Luxury models excepted, there is a constraint on how much you can put in the car, as well as the safety risks and benefits a small car provides.
The momentum of growth in the electric vehicle market, especially in certain states like California, is so great that many of the risks associated with buying an EV are likely to taper off. It stands to reason that more public electric outlets will be built, the depreciation of EV's will adjust as the market understand them better, and the industry will continue to improve the battery life.
If you think an electric vehicle may be the right car for your needs, buying a used electric vehicle is a great way to enter the market.