For many drivers, buying a used electric car is like a leap into the unknown. Although the popularity of electric cars has grown in the last decade, many people have no idea what criteria to evaluate a used electric car. Learn how to safely buy a used electric car in this guide from carVertical’s automotive experts.
Are electric cars worth it?
As gas prices rise, buying an electric car can save you money in the long run. Although electricity is not free, estimates show that electric car owners will be able to save up to $1,000 a year. However, the prices of new electric cars are still higher than the prices of conventional cars, which suggests that buying a used vehicle could be an attractive option.
On the plus side, used EVs are often in better condition than traditional vehicles because they have fewer moving parts. There can be nothing worse than buying a used car and investing a significant amount of money in repairing it.
However, older electric cars have a major drawback – their battery performance. This means that the distance covered decreases over time. As technology improves, new electric cars are able to cover longer distances than their predecessors. This means that those who choose a used car may have to charge it more often.
How long does an electric car battery last?
Whether it is a gasoline-powered car or an electric car, the battery wears out over time and this factor cannot be controlled. Changes in temperature, repeated charging and high mileage are factors that reduce battery performance.
Most car manufacturers guarantee a battery life of eight years or 160,000 km. If the vehicle is older or with higher mileage, there is a good chance that the battery performance will not be as good as a new car.
Battery performance also depends on climate conditions. The lithium-ion batteries you’ll find in electric vehicles don’t perform well in hot weather. A used vehicle from the south of Spain might have a reduced battery capacity, while a car from the Netherlands or Germany might offer much better battery performance.
Before closing a deal with the seller, auto experts recommend checking the performance of the electric car’s battery. Replacing a vehicle battery is expensive, so it’s best to make sure it’s not worn out.
Local charging infrastructure should be considered before purchasing an electric car. Homeowners can charge their electric cars in the garage or driveway, but those who live in apartments have fewer options.
Most cities don’t yet have proper charging infrastructure, so finding a station can sometimes be a major headache. Filling up the fuel tank takes only a few minutes, whereas charging an electric car can take up to half a day.
Drivers who live or work far from charging stations may have to spend a lot of time waiting for the car to charge. Some companies already offer portable chargers for those who can’t charge their electric cars at home. But they only charge batteries up to a certain level, and these chargers aren’t a viable option right now.
The importance of a vehicle history check
Every car is different. Two identical vehicles of the same model manufactured in the same year can be in very different condition. Driving style, accidents and mileage are factors that buyers should consider.
Not all drivers are honest and want to reveal all the secrets of their car. If the vehicle has been involved in an accident, its value decreases. Most people do not want to invest in a car that has been in a serious accident because it may not be safe to drive and may reveal mechanical problems in the future.
Several companies, such as carVertical, offer an easy way to research the history of cars before you buy them. By entering a car’s VIN number, potential buyers can check whether the car has been involved in accidents, make sure that its mileage is correct, check whether the car has been stolen, and review its registration history. Checking the car’s VIN number allows buyers to negotiate a better price.
What else should you consider when buying a used electric car?
Brakes. While the electric car is not picking up speed, it uses regenerative braking to slow the vehicle down. This reduces the use of brakes. However, if the brakes are worn, it may mean that the car has been used heavily and should be carefully inspected.
Software updates. Electric vehicles, like any other system, receive regular software updates. Developers eliminate known bugs and introduce new features that improve the performance of electric cars. However, people tend to delay installing updates, so EVs with old software versions are quite common. This may indicate that the owner has not taken proper care of the electric car, and it may cause you problems in the future.
Car maintenance. Not all mechanics are trained in electric vehicles, so finding a reliable auto repair shop can be difficult. Electric car experts recommend contacting official dealers, as they use original parts and can guarantee their work. Before buying a used electric car, drivers are advised to check that all repairs have been carried out at a reliable car repair shop.
Lack of choice. There are thousands of different petrol and diesel car models available, but the electric car market is quite different. As manufacturers turn to electric vehicles, the situation is gradually improving, so the number of available models continues to increase. However, the market for used electric cars is much more limited, so finding a 5-10 year old SUV or family car may not be such an easy task.
Purchase of the first electric car
As with any used vehicle purchase, there are some factors to consider before purchasing an electric car. If the history of the electric car is “clean” and the battery performance is good, it can be safely bought. Although many drivers are still skeptical about buying used electric vehicles, there is no reason to worry.
It is definitely recommended to entrust a mechanic to perform a thorough inspection of the electric car before purchase. If no problems are found, it’s time to get used to quiet driving and free parking.
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