View all Posts

What to look out for when buying a used EV

There are many ways that technology has transformed car ownership, and one of the biggest is the rise of the EV. Electric cars have quickly become more accepted as a viable option for UK drivers. And this means that more EVs are now on the second-hand market. But is it worth buying one? And if you do, what should you keep an eye out for?

Is a used EV right for you?

It can’t be denied that there are lots of reasons to look into buying a second hand EV, including lower prices, reasonable mileage and excellent running costs. For example, it’s pretty easy to pick up a Renault Fluence saloon for around £3000 and a Nissan Leaf for under £6000. With more emphasis being placed on pollution from traditional engines, and the need to keep an eye on emissions, EVs have plenty going for them. You won’t get hit hard by tax and you’ll be able to drive in low emission zones. If you’re looking to splash out a bit then you could land a BMW i3 from about £14,000 and the crème de la crème of EVs, the Tesla Model S can be yours for a blistering £46,000. So, is it worth getting a second-hand vehicle that will cost you a tiny amount when compared to traditional fossil fuelled cars? Well, maybe. But there are things to look out for too.

Don’t forget the battery costs

For starters, will you be able to get where you want to go? Your journeys will always have to match the kind of EV you’re looking at buying. Your main consideration has therefore got to be the economics of the battery. BMW’s i models include the cost of the battery within the main cost of the car, but others might come with a battery lease deal. The monthly costs will depend on your yearly mileage. The most common EV on the road at the moment is the Nissan Leaf, which falls into the monthly lease in terms of battery costs. And guess what? Leasing a battery is not that cheap. If you limit your journeys to 6000 miles a year and commit to a three-year lease for your Renault Zoe battery, you’ll be hit with a cost of £59 a month. A Leaf will cost you at least £70 a month for a limit of 7,500 miles a year, which is a hefty cost when you’ll most likely be paying a monthly costs for the car itself. You’ll also have to stump up for a domestic wallbox charger, which costs from around £270 to £350 depending on the kWh. With all these charges, it might seem like it’s not a great idea, but there are good points too. If you charge overnight on a normal dual domestic tariff then you’re looking at as little as 2p per mile to refuel, and maintenance costs are typically about 75 per cent lower than with a fossil fuel car. If you buy a car with a battery in it already then you’ll ditch the monthly costs, which is a plus. But, it’s not easy to replace, which is not a plus. Although EV batteries do tend to last a long time, when it does deteriorate it could cost more than a new car just to replace it.

Early days for the used EV market

It’s early days for the EV second hand car market, as they simply haven’t been around long enough yet. Owners are still using them and most of the cars still have a way to go, but if you want zero emissions and a lower carbon footprint, then a second hand EV could be for you. Don’t forget a test drive as well – it’s just as important as it is when buying a used conventional car.

Big Motoring World

Big Motoring World

is the UK’s largest independent seller of second hand BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars. We supply a broad range of cars at affordable prices. Big Motoring World puts customer satisfaction at the heart of everything we do. Our friendly customer service team can help you find the perfect car and we supply flexible finance packages. With our team of professional technicians, you can access great aftercare services such as repairs and MOTs when you come to Big Motoring World.