Everything you need to know about buying a used EV

Electric vehicle charging on a public charger.
Electric vehicle charging on a public charger. Photo credit Getty Images

Even with motor companies like Ford and Tesla reducing the prices for some of their electric vehicle models and the federal government offering tax credits, buying an electric vehicle can be expensive.

With many looking to jump into the electric vehicle market, AAA has released a guide to help drivers know what to look for when buying a used electric vehicle.

According to a survey from AAA, 25% of consumers interested in buying an electric vehicle would do so by purchasing a used model.

Adrienne Woodland, a spokesperson for AAA, shared in a press release that the Used EV Buyer’s Guide looks to help answer simple questions that can arise when shopping.

“Making the switch to an electric vehicle may seem overwhelming and consumers have a lot of questions. That’s why AAA developed a Used EV Buyer's Guide, which aims to answer those questions and cover essential topics related to buying an EV,” Woodland said. “Whether they’re looking to buy new or used, this guide can help consumers buy an EV with confidence.”

The guide gives consumers several options to remember when shopping, including looking at the basic background of the electric vehicle; driving ranges and charging times; comparisons between used electric and gas-powered vehicles; repair and maintenance costs; and more.

Used cars saw a massive jump in price throughout the pandemic, with supply chain issues and chip shortages making cars hard to come by.

But now, prices are returning to somewhat normal, dropping by 8.8% in January 2023 compared to January 2022, according to a report cited by NerdWallet.

Electric vehicles are no stranger to seeing the difference in prices. For example, AAA reports that a used 2017 Tesla Model S 75 sells for $50,000 while a new version of the car had an original MSRP of $70,000.

The price difference is also present for electric vehicles from other motor companies. AAA reported that a 2017 Nissan LEAF S with an original MSRP of about $30,000 could now be found used for less than $15,000.

On top of lower prices, AAA says those who buy used electric vehicles will receive tax credits of up to $4,000.

AAA says lower prices for used electric vehicles are consistent with the market and that “buyers can expect to spend thousands less on a used EV than on a new one.”

The only trouble the guide says consumers may run into is availability, as electric vehicles still have some catching up to do, with most used cars being gas-powered.

“EVs are still relatively new to the market, so car buyers may find that used EVs consist primarily of compact sedans and crossovers,” the guide says.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images