Electric vehicles (EVs) have come a long way since their inception, and the market for used electric cars is expanding rapidly. Buying a used electric car can be an excellent way to get into the EV market at a more affordable price. Not only are used electric cars cheaper to purchase than new ones, but they also come with a lot of advantages.
Buying a used electric car is a more sustainable choice for the environment because it extends the lifespan of the vehicle, reducing the need for new car production. Car manufacturing is a resource-intensive process that consumes large amounts of energy and materials, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. By purchasing a used electric car, you are essentially recycling a vehicle and preventing it from ending up in a landfill prematurely. Additionally, electric cars produce zero emissions, so by driving a used electric car, you are reducing your carbon footprint and helping to combat climate change.
As the used EV market is still relatively new, consumers may have questions about whether buying a used EV would be right for them. In this article, we will address some of the most frequently asked questions from consumers considering a used EV, including:
- Can I buy a used EV?
- What are the benefits of buying a used EV?
- What considerations do I need to make before buying a used EV?
- What are some of the best used EVs on the market today?
- Where can I buy a used EV?
Can I buy a used EV?
Yes, electric vehicles (EVs) can certainly be purchased used. In fact, the used EV market is expanding rapidly as more people become interested in electric cars.
In the first quarter of 2023, sales of used Electric Vehicles actually increased by 32% in the U.S. Buying a used EV can be a more affordable way to enter the electric car market, so many consumers are reaping the many benefits that come with owning an electric vehicle, such as reduced emissions, lower operating costs, and advanced technology features. We’ll explore the benefits and more in the next section of this article.
What are the benefits of buying a used EV?
- Cost Savings. One of the most significant advantages of buying a used electric car is the cost savings. Used electric cars are generally less expensive than new ones, and you can often find great deals on models that are only a few years old. Additionally, since electric cars have fewer mechanical components than traditional gasoline-powered cars, they require less maintenance and can be less expensive to repair in the long run.
- Reduced Emissions. Electric cars produce zero emissions, making them much more environmentally friendly than traditional gasoline-powered cars. By purchasing a used electric car, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner environment. Additionally, the federal and some provincial governments in Canada offer incentives for purchasing an electric car, further reducing the cost of ownership. Click here to learn whether your province offers EV incentives.
- Advanced Technology. Electric cars come with a host of advanced technological features that are designed to enhance your driving experience. For example, many electric cars come equipped with touchscreen infotainment systems, advanced safety features, and adaptive cruise control. By purchasing a used electric car, you can enjoy these advanced features at a lower cost than buying a new electric car.
- Lower Operating Costs. Electric cars have lower operating costs than gasoline-powered cars. While electricity costs vary depending on your location, in general, charging an electric car is less expensive than filling up a gas tank.
- Longer Lifespan. Electric cars typically have a longer lifespan than gasoline-powered cars. This is because electric cars have fewer moving parts and less wear and tear on the vehicle. Additionally, electric cars often come with longer warranties than traditional cars, providing peace of mind to the owner. Use BC Hydro’s comparison calculator to see the difference between owning an EV versus a gas-powered car.
What are some considerations to make before purchasing a used EV?
Buying a used electric car can be a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. However, it's important to consider a few key factors before making a purchase.
- Battery life is a crucial consideration, as it can affect the car's overall performance and the frequency of battery replacements. When it comes to electric cars, the battery is one of the most crucial components. Batteries degrade over time and use, which can affect the car's range and performance. While the range of the battery will depend on many factors, eventually it will need to be replaced, which can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. Be sure to check into the age, odometer level, and battery life of the vehicle before purchasing a used EV.
- Checking the maintenance history can also give you an idea of how well the car has been taken care of and whether it has experienced any significant issues in the past. Check out GuardTree’s FREE self-inspection checklist to take with you when viewing a used car for purchase.
- Take into account the car's driving range, as it can vary widely depending on the age and model of the vehicle. Consider how this would fit into your daily driving schedule.
- Make sure to research the availability of charging stations in your area and any potential costs associated with installing a home charging station.
By keeping these considerations in mind, you can ensure that you make a well-informed decision when purchasing a used electric car.
What are some of the best used EVs on the market today?
When it comes to choosing the right used EV for you, you’ll need to consider a few factors like your personal budget, your lifestyle, and your average driving habits. Here are some of the most popular and reliable used EVs on the market now:1. Nissan Leaf
Image source: Nissan Canada
The Leaf offers excellent range, a spacious interior, and a smooth and quiet ride. Its electric motor produces 107 horsepower and has a range of up to 172 kilometres on a single charge. The Leaf also features a modern and attractive design, with a variety of advanced safety and driver assistance features.
Image source: Chevy
The Bolt offers impressive range, with a single charge providing up to 417 kilometres of range. The Bolt also offers a spacious interior and a smooth and responsive driving experience. Its electric motor produces 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, making it a fun car to drive.
Image source: Tesla
The Tesla Model S is an excellent option for those looking for a more premium and luxurious electric car. While the Model S is more expensive than other options on this list, it still offers excellent value as a used electric car. The Model S has a range of up to 647 kilometres on a single charge, making it one of the longest-range electric vehicles on the market. The Model S also features a spacious and luxurious interior, with a variety of advanced technology and safety features.
Image source: Motor Trend
The Hyundai Kona is a great used electric car for several reasons. Firstly, it has an impressive range of up to 415 kilometres on a single charge, which is more than many other electric cars on the market. Additionally, it has a fast-charging capability that can charge the battery up to 80% in just 54 minutes. has a stylish and modern design, with a spacious interior and plenty of advanced safety features. The Kona is also one of the larger cars on this list, qualifying as a hatchback or small SUV, making it a practical choice, with a decent amount of cargo space and a comfortable ride. Overall, the Hyundai Kona offers great value for money and is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a reliable and practical used electric car.
5. BMW i3
Image source: BMW Blog
The BMW i3 is a unique and futuristic-looking electric car that offers a lot of value as a used vehicle. The i3 features a lightweight design and a range of up to 183 kilometres on a single charge. The i3's electric motor produces 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, providing a sporty and responsive driving experience. The i3 also features a modern and innovative interior, with a variety of advanced technology and safety features.
Image source: CAA South Central Ontario
The Volkswagen e-Golf is an excellent option for those looking for a reliable and practical electric car. The e-Golf has a range of up to 201 kilometres on a single charge, making it a great option for daily commutes and errands. The e-Golf also features a spacious and comfortable interior, with a variety of advanced safety and driver assistance features.
There are many great used electric vehicles on the market today, and buying a used electric car can be an excellent way to get into the EV market at a more affordable price. The Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model S, Hyundai Kona Electric, BMW i3, and Volkswagen e-Golf are just a few of the best used electric vehicles available right now, offering a range of features, performance, and value to suit multiple budgets or lifestyles.
Where can I buy a used EV?
There are several options available when it comes to buying a used electric car:
- Privately buying a used EV. One of the best places to start is by checking online marketplaces such as eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. These platforms connect buyers directly with sellers, providing a convenient way to browse available options and communicate with sellers. You may also want to check online used car websites like AutoTRADER, CarGurus, or Kijiji Autos.
- Buying a used EV at a dealership. Additionally, many traditional car dealerships now offer used electric cars for sale, and some even specialize in electric vehicles exclusively. Another option is to purchase a certified pre-owned electric car from a manufacturer, which provides the assurance that the vehicle has been thoroughly inspected and comes with a warranty.
It's important to do your research and compare prices, as the prices of used electric cars can vary widely depending on the make and model, age, and condition of the vehicle. Regardless of where you choose to buy a used electric car, be sure to inspect the vehicle thoroughly and take it for a test drive before making a purchase.
Read more: 8 tips for buying a used EV that’s right for you
Protect the environment and your wallet. Consider an extended warranty for your used EV.
Earth Day is an annual global event that takes place on April 22nd to raise awareness and promote action towards environmental protection. One way to contribute to this movement is by purchasing a used electric car, which is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation option compared to traditional gasoline-powered cars.
However, buying a used electric car is not free from risk, as potential repairs and maintenance costs will arise, like with any vehicle. To mitigate the financial risk involved with these repairs, consider purchasing an extended warranty on your used electric car. An extended warranty can provide peace of mind and financial protection against unforeseen repairs and maintenance issues.
GuardTree’s used car warranty covers some popular EV makes and models and covers EV-components. For more information, visit GuardTree’s website and check out the pricing plans available.
- 8 tips for buying a used EV that’s right for you
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Disclaimer: This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute mechanical or other professional advice as it relates to your vehicle. Each person must consult a qualified professional with respect to matters referenced in this post. GuardTree Inc. assumes no liability whatsoever for actions taken (or not taken) in reliance upon the information contained herein.