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Going Green: Buying a used Electric Vehicle

Fuel prices may be going through the roof, but it is not all bad news for people looking to invest in an electric vehicle. As the electric vehicle market continues to thrive, we are seeing – for the first time – great quality used electrical vehicles coming up for sale. While we may have a good idea of what constitutes a good prospect for diesel and petrol vehicles, lack of knowledge means that it is harder to apply those standards to electric ones. Here’s what you need to know to get you started on your search for the right EV.

Price

New EVs coming onto the market and an ageing population of original EVs mean that although EVs are still considerably more expensive than fuel cars, the price is gradually coming down. It is possible, therefore, to find a used electric vehicle for well under £6-7k.

Battery range and size

Your battery range will determine how far you can drive before running out of charge. The days of range under 100 miles are long gone, with most good EVs getting around 200 miles on full charge and Teslas clocking up 300 miles. Be realistic about how far you are likely to want to drive; the average car journey is less than 25 miles, so although a 300-mile range is great for gloating to friends, it is not necessarily the be-all and end-all.

TIP: When looking at electric vehicles make sure that the price includes the battery – some are extra.

Mileage

The debate of age over mileage is a much-loved topic for car aficionados. The fact is that, with all cars, it is not just about how many miles have been driven but what type of miles (driving in the city or on country lanes takes a much greater toll than motorway driving). Likewise, it is not just the age of the vehicle that matters, but how well it has been looked after; whether it has been regularly serviced and how it has been stored. In general, just as diesel cars tend to maintain condition with higher mileage, electric vehicles are even better again. So if you see an EV with mileage that may be eye-watering for a petrol or diesel car, don’t dismiss it; it is probably a better prospect than you think. It may just mean that you need to replace your battery sooner rather than later.

Versatility

With electricity prices leaping too, there is no way to guarantee cheap travel. However, hybrid vehicles offer the best of both worlds; the option to run on electricity with a fuel back up should you need it. Although there are more and more charging points around, this versatility may be something that you are willing to pay for. At this point, anecdotal evidence and advice is probably the most reliable; speak to your local mechanic and car dealerships to ascertain their recommendations on when, and how, to invest in electric.

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