Should You Buy a Used Electric Car? Here are the Pros & Cons

Fuel costs are steadily on the rise, leading to a higher demand for vehicles with low emissions. As a result, there has been a great deal of increased interest in electric cars, which have come a long way since their inception. Today, electric vehicles are in common use and readily available for purchase. However, they can be pretty expensive, especially if you want to snag one with premium features. The higher cost of electric vehicles is one of the primary reasons why buying pre-owned electric cars is becoming a more appealing option for car buyers looking to make the more environmentally-conscious choice.

But before you shake on a deal, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of buying a used electric car. Of course, the benefits are significant, but there are some drawbacks to consider as well. Let’s explore the pros and cons of buying a pre-owned electric car in more depth.

Pros of Buying a Used Electric Vehicle

Less Expensive

People love buying pre-owned items because of the lower price tag. However, comparatively, electric cars are more expensive than standard gasoline vehicles, particularly if you’re looking for one with good features and a decent range.

Electric cars tend to depreciate quickly in their early years. Therefore, you can land a well-maintained, pre-owned electric vehicle at a highly discounted price. This allows you to access the perks of electric mobility without breaking the bank!

Pre-Existing Carpool Exemption Stickers

In most areas, electric vehicles are eligible for exemption from carpool lane restrictions. When you buy a used electric car, it’s likely that the previous owner has already gone through then approval process, so you don’t have to go through the application process yourself. You can find out if your secondhand EV already has a carpool exemption by looking for the sticker. Generally, these stickers last a few years and are valid even if the car changes owners, which can help you save money.

Likely To Have Issues Addressed Already

Like all electric products, electric cars periodically experience problems related to software and performance. Many have even been recalled to replace faulty parts. When you buy a used EV, its software has most likely been updated to rule out bugs and has undergone the required recalls for defective parts.

Reduces Environmental Impact

When you buy a used electric vehicle, you’re playing a pivotal role in contributing to sustainability. We all know that producing new cars, including electric ones, requires the extraction of raw materials. Not to mention an energy-intensive manufacturing process, which has a significant environmental impact! When you buy a pre-owned vehicle, you’re reducing the demand for producing a new car and extending the lifespan of an existing one. In doing so, you’re reducing carbon emissions and wastage, contributing in whatever small capacity, to preserving the environment.

An Established Charging Infrastructure

Looking for the availability of charging infrastructure is one of the primary issues with owning an electric car. But thanks to the rising popularity of electric vehicles, the charging infrastructure is expanding, too. When you purchase an EV, you can take advantage of an already well-established charging infrastructure. As a result, it is more accessible and convenient for you to charge your car anywhere you go!

Cons of Buying a Used Electric Vehicle

Wear & Tear

When you buy a used electric car, you’re also inheriting someone else’s wear and tear. While electric vehicles don’t require the same level of maintenance as standard gasoline cars, they have wear and tear like any car. Before you finalize the purchase of a used car, ensure you thoroughly check the overall condition and factor any maintenance costs into your budget.

Expiration of Warranty

Electric cars come with an extended warranty, some of which can be transferred to a new owner upon sale. However, the warranty period may have expired when you buy a used electric car. Therefore, you may end up having to pay for replacement or repairs from your own pocket if you run into any issues!

Battery Health

Batteries on electric vehicles are exceptionally important – they are what these vehicles run on! Battery quality can differ based on the charge cycles and duration, so you must ensure you’re not getting one with a weak battery when buying a pre-owned EV. It helps to get a professional estimate of the car’s battery health before you make any deal. At the same time, you should also check with the manufacturer to ensure that the battery is still covered under warranty.

Advancement of Technology

Given the popularity of electric cars, newer models with significant tech and feature enhancements are rolled out every couple of years. When buying a used electric vehicle, you may have to forgo taking advantage of the array of advanced features that you would find in a modern design. While this isn’t instantly a deal breaker, it’s worth considering before making the choice of new versus secondhand.

Diminished Resale Value

Since people prefer buying used vehicles, the market is inflated, but an electric car usually depreciates much faster than its gasoline counterparts. A good reason for this is the federal tax credit. While there has been an improvement in electric vehicle depreciation over the past couple of years, gas-powered cars still retain their value better than electric vehicles.

Final Thoughts

There is no denying that buying and owning an electric car is a very different experience. As discussed in this article, there are benefits and drawbacks that you should carefully consider. Even though there is a learning curve to using an electric vehicle, it is short-lived, and you won’t notice any inconvenience to your driving abilities. Besides, you won’t be spending money on gas; with the correct setup, you won’t spend money on charging, either!

Just like with any other vehicle, remember to test drive the electric car before you buy it. Pay careful attention to vibrations or unusual sounds and thoroughly check the car’s accessories and equipment. Ideally, you should test drive a new model of that particular used electric car you’re hoping to buy and compare it so you can clearly understand any issues the vehicle may have.

Buying a pre-owned electric car can allow you to reap a lot of value out of the vehicle, and over time, we expect the resale value to catch up to the pace of gas-powered cars slowly but surely!