5 Things to Know Before Buying a Used Electric Vehicle

5 Things to Know Before Buying a Used Electric Vehicle

Buying used cars can save drivers money, but it requires extra leg work. Here’s what every buyer needs to know before purchasing a used electric vehicle.

Make the Most of Switching to EV Technology

Buying a used EV is a great way to save money. Recent models still have plenty of battery life left for a good range but cost significantly less than their brand-new counterparts. However, not all used cars are equal, and EVs are no exception.
Some considerations for choosing the right pre-owned EV are the same as those for buying other used cars. Here, we’ll focus on five things to know before buying a used electric vehicle in particular.

1. The Battery Can Be a Bargaining Chip

EV batteries degrade over time, but that doesn’t have to be a deciding factor. It’s relatively easy to tell how much juice a battery has left. Ask the dealer for a comprehensive battery health report, but don’t rule out any EV with less than 90% battery life.
Remember, most drivers add fewer than 50 miles to their odometers daily. An EV with three-quarters of its original range can still get the job done, and buyers can use this as a bargaining chip when negotiating the purchase price.

2. EVs Charge at Different Rates

First-time EV owners may not know this, but EVs charge at different rates. Larger battery packs typically mean more range but also require more time to charge.

As with battery life, this can also be a bargaining chip for those who plan to charge their cars at home. Just keep in mind that it can cause complications at public charging stations.

3. EV Warranties Don’t Always Transfer

Every mainstream automaker includes extended warranty coverage for its battery packs compared to the rest of the vehicle. They typically run for around eight years or 100,000 miles, and most are transferable to new owners.

While it’s likely that used cars will still have battery warranty coverage, don’t assume that’s the case. Contact the automaker’s customer service department. The car’s VIN is all it takes to determine if a vehicle is still under warranty and whether it’s transferable.

4. Charging Devices Can Be Expensive

Charging devices can be expensive, so it’s essential to make sure the seller includes a Level 1 charging cord with the sale. If it’s been misplaced or left at home when a vehicle was traded in at a dealership, that could cause problems.

It’s also important to note that Level 2 chargers rarely accompany used EVs. Most sellers keep them to use with their new cars.

5. Every EV Driver’s Needs Are Different

No two EVs are the same, and neither are their drivers. First-time EV buyers planning to purchase used cars should take the time to consider their priorities. How much range will the driver need? If it’s not much, that opens up possibilities for cheaper EVs.
Drivers should also consider where they plan to charge their vehicles and how long they plan to keep them. Slow-charging cars and those with older battery packs that may only have a few years left of warranty coverage also tend to be more affordable.

Lastly, remember to consider the factors that impact all used cars. Before signing on the dotted line, ask for a vehicle history and maintenance report.


This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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