How To Shop Smart For Used EVs

How To Shop Smart For Used EVs

EV models as used cars were a lot more expensive in 2022. If you’re looking for a used EV now, you’ll probably be paying half as much. Whether you’re thinking about a Tesla, a Nissan, or a Ford, this is the year to get a used EV. Electric vehicles now cost roughly the same as gas-powered used cars, plus they’re more affordable to fuel and maintain.

EV Discounts More Common Now

Buying used cars in the last few years has been a frustrating mix of low supply and high prices. However, the increasing amount of EV discounts is a bright spot in the process for those who are considering going electric. According to a report from CarMax, monthly searches for EV models have been going up in the last few years. The biggest spike came in early 2022 when gas prices rose sharply.

Consumer interest remains high two years later as prices for used EV models have gone down sharply compared to gas cars. Data from Cox Automotive reveals that the average price of a used EV has gone down by nearly half from 2022. On average, you can expect to pay around $33,645 for a used EV, which is only slightly more than the average price for gas-powered used cars.
If you’re thinking about buying a used EV, there are a few things to consider as shopping for one is a little different from shopping for gas-powered used cars.

Saving Money with Electric

It’s no secret that a new EV typically costs more than a new gas car on average. However, in the long run, EVs usually save money on fuel and maintenance. The average EV owner spends 60% less than their gas counterparts for fuel and maintenance costs. With the life of a vehicle set around 200,000 miles, EV owners can expect to save between $6,000 and $12,000 on the costs listed above.

In other words, you can expect to recoup the higher initial cost of an EV over time. That’s especially good news when the prices of used EVs have come down to be almost on par with gas vehicles. Currently, the most popular used EV is the Tesla Model 3. Other popular models include the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model Y.

SUVs and sedans are the most common types of gas vehicles that buyers are trading in to buy an EV. Interest in new EVs trended down by the end of 2023, so experts expect 2024 to be rife with discounts and incentives to attract more EV buyers.

What To Consider When Buying a Used EV

The first thing to know is that mileage on a used EV is less important than battery health. Instead of just checking the mileage on a used EV, it’s important to ask for a health report on the battery. EV makers have to provide battery warranty coverage for a minimum of eight years or 100,000 miles according to federal law.

Compared to a new EV, the tax credit rules are different for used models. The used car needs to cost $25,000 or less and the maximum credit is $4,000 depending on the buyer’s adjusted gross income. In most cases, buyers can use the tax credit immediately by transferring it to the dealer, or they can claim it on their tax return.

As a whole, EV prices have fluctuated greatly in the last few years, which is partly why used EVs are a good deal right now. They lose value faster than gas cars and prices are expected to drop even further this year.


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