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Buying a used electric car – you should pay attention to this!

At a time when the reduction of CO2 emissions and the transition to renewable energies play an increasingly important role, the electric car is becoming more and more important. While buying a new electric car is an attractive option for many, buying a used electric car can be an even more cost-effective alternative. But what should you consider when buying a used electric car? Buying a used electric car is not the same as buying a used internal combustion engine car. If you are not familiar with used cars, you at least know someone who you can take with you to the inspection and test drive, and who knows what to look out for. This is completely different with electric cars. Since a used market is just developing, hardly anyone really knows what to look out for!

achtung-beim-gebrauchten-elektroauto

Topic Overview

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There are specific aspects to consider in order to make a wise decision. In this in-depth guide, we highlight the six key points to consider when buying a used EV: battery life and condition, charging infrastructure and charging times, mileage and service history, comfort and features, vehicle type and range, and price and total cost of ownership.

Buying a used electric car – you should pay attention to this!

At a time when the reduction of CO2 emissions and the transition to renewable energies play an increasingly important role, the electric car is becoming more and more important. While buying a new electric car is an attractive option for many, buying a used electric car can be an even more cost-effective alternative. But what should you consider when buying a used electric car? Buying a used electric car is not the same as buying a used internal combustion engine car. If you are not familiar with used cars, you at least know someone who you can take with you to the inspection and test drive, and who knows what to look out for. This is completely different with electric cars. Since a used market is just developing, hardly anyone really knows what to look out for!

achtung-beim-gebrauchten-elektroauto

Topic Overview

Anzeige

There are specific aspects to consider in order to make a wise decision. In this in-depth guide, we highlight the six key points to consider when buying a used EV: battery life and condition, charging infrastructure and charging times, mileage and service history, comfort and features, vehicle type and range, and price and total cost of ownership.

Battery life and condition

Battery life and condition

The heart of every electric car is the battery!

And at the same time, the battery is also the most expensive element. An important factor to consider when looking for a used electric car is battery life and its condition. Ask the seller about the current range of the car and see if that matches the specifications given by the manufacturer. Make sure the battery condition is fully charged when viewing to allow for an accurate assessment.

Battery wear is normal, especially on older models. However, you should make sure that the battery still has enough range for your needs. Some manufacturers, such as Nissan, provide detailed battery health information that can be viewed via the car’s infotainment system.

Another thing to watch out for is the battery warranty. Many car manufacturers offer a long warranty on the battery, sometimes up to eight years. Check if this guarantee is transferrable and if it is still valid. You should definitely pay the greatest attention to the battery.

The heart of every electric car is the battery!

And at the same time, the battery is also the most expensive element. An important factor to consider when looking for a used electric car is battery life and its condition. Ask the seller about the current range of the car and see if that matches the specifications given by the manufacturer. Make sure the battery condition is fully charged when viewing to allow for an accurate assessment.

Battery wear is normal, especially on older models. However, you should make sure that the battery still has enough range for your needs. Some manufacturers, such as Nissan, provide detailed battery health information that can be viewed via the car’s infotainment system.

Another thing to watch out for is the battery warranty. Many car manufacturers offer a long warranty on the battery, sometimes up to eight years. Check if this guarantee is transferrable and if it is still valid. You should definitely pay the greatest attention to the battery.

Charging infrastructure and charging times

Charging infrastructure and charging times

Another important factor to consider when buying a used electric car is charging infrastructure and technology.

  • If the vehicle can also be charged quickly (DC direct current), it can be used again for a longer distance in a relatively short time.
  • On the other hand, if it can only charge normally with alternating current (AC), it will take a few hours or all night
  • Are there enough charging options in your area, such as public charging stations, supermarkets or possibly a private charging option at home? (As a tenant in an apartment building, this can be critical)

Also inquire about the charging cable. Some older models may come with a charging cable that is too slow by today’s standards. Check if an upgrade is possible.

Don’t believe everything…

Don’t blindly rely on electric vehicle range manufacturers. In practice, the actual range is often lower and depends on the capacity of the usable battery (in kWh) and the energy consumption. So cheating is just as common here as with the consumption data for combustion engines! Various factors play a role in range, including your driving style, outside temperatures and weather conditions, and the use of equipment such as heating or air conditioning.

In certain situations and depending on the conditions of use, for example, a specified range of 200 kilometers can shrink to an extreme 100 kilometers in winter. Also, keep in mind that range decreases over battery life. What you certainly know from batteries in smartphones or tablets, namely that the battery can hardly last or is no longer fully charged, also applies to e-cars!

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Have the battery checked

The battery is the most valuable and at the same time most wear-prone element in an electric vehicle. Wear increases with use and the number of charging cycles. Therefore, it is important for the seller to provide an accurate assessment of battery health, also known as “State of Health” (SOH). Regular inspections and checks in an authorized workshop enable the battery condition to be closely monitored. If the seller can provide the inspection records along with the service booklet, that is a sign of confidence. If such documents are missing, you should be careful.

Another important factor to consider when buying a used electric car is charging infrastructure and technology.

  • If the vehicle can also be charged quickly (DC direct current), it can be used again for a longer distance in a relatively short time.
  • On the other hand, if it can only charge normally with alternating current (AC), it will take a few hours or all night
  • Are there enough charging options in your area, such as public charging stations, supermarkets or possibly a private charging option at home? (As a tenant in an apartment building, this can be critical)

Also inquire about the charging cable. Some older models may come with a charging cable that is too slow by today’s standards. Check if an upgrade is possible.

Don’t believe everything…

Don’t blindly rely on electric vehicle range manufacturers. In practice, the actual range is often lower and depends on the capacity of the usable battery (in kWh) and the energy consumption. So cheating is just as common here as with the consumption data for combustion engines! Various factors play a role in range, including your driving style, outside temperatures and weather conditions, and the use of equipment such as heating or air conditioning.

In certain situations and depending on the conditions of use, for example, a specified range of 200 kilometers can shrink to an extreme 100 kilometers in winter. Also, keep in mind that range decreases over battery life. What you certainly know from batteries in smartphones or tablets, namely that the battery can hardly last or is no longer fully charged, also applies to e-cars!

cshow
Ads

Have the battery checked

The battery is the most valuable and at the same time most wear-prone element in an electric vehicle. Wear increases with use and the number of charging cycles. Therefore, it is important for the seller to provide an accurate assessment of battery health, also known as “State of Health” (SOH). Regular inspections and checks in an authorized workshop enable the battery condition to be closely monitored. If the seller can provide the inspection records along with the service booklet, that is a sign of confidence. If such documents are missing, you should be careful.

Mileage and maintenance history

Mileage and maintenance history

Although electric cars generally require less maintenance than their internal combustion engine counterparts, it’s still important to check the vehicle’s maintenance history. Make sure that all necessary maintenance work has been carried out and whether there have been any problems with important components such as the electric motor or the vehicle electronics.

Mileage is less critical for electric cars than for vehicles with internal combustion engines because there are fewer parts that are subject to wear and tear. Nevertheless, a high mileage can indicate a greater load on the battery.

Although electric cars generally require less maintenance than their internal combustion engine counterparts, it’s still important to check the vehicle’s maintenance history. Make sure that all necessary maintenance work has been carried out and whether there have been any problems with important components such as the electric motor or the vehicle electronics.

Mileage is less critical for electric cars than for vehicles with internal combustion engines because there are fewer parts that are subject to wear and tear. Nevertheless, a high mileage can indicate a greater load on the battery.

Comfort and equipment

Comfort and equipment

One of the things we value most about our cars is comfort. Being able to make long journeys enjoyable can make all the difference, especially with an electric car where the experience is different than a traditional car. That is why it is important to pay attention to the comfort and equipment of the vehicle when you buy a used electric car.

  • Start with the basics. Are the seats comfortable and do they offer adequate support, especially on longer journeys? How about the noise isolation? Quiet driving is one of the key features of electric cars, and a well-insulated vehicle can make the journey even more comfortable.
  • Then look at the equipment. Electric cars are often equipped with the latest technologies. Infotainment systems, navigation systems, reversing cameras, driving assistants – all of these can help improve and simplify your driving experience. Verify that all of these systems are working properly, as repairs can be expensive.
  • Also think about air conditioning. While good air conditioning is important for comfort, it can also have a significant impact on an electric car’s driving range. Make sure the air conditioning is working efficiently and not draining the battery.

Choosing an electric car that meets your comfort and equipment needs is not just a matter of comfort and enjoyment, it can also have a direct impact on the vehicle’s performance and range. It is therefore important to pay special attention to these aspects when buying a used electric car.

One of the things we value most about our cars is comfort. Being able to make long journeys enjoyable can make all the difference, especially with an electric car where the experience is different than a traditional car. That is why it is important to pay attention to the comfort and equipment of the vehicle when you buy a used electric car.

  • Start with the basics. Are the seats comfortable and do they offer adequate support, especially on longer journeys? How about the noise isolation? Quiet driving is one of the key features of electric cars, and a well-insulated vehicle can make the journey even more comfortable.
  • Then look at the equipment. Electric cars are often equipped with the latest technologies. Infotainment systems, navigation systems, reversing cameras, driving assistants – all of these can help improve and simplify your driving experience. Verify that all of these systems are working properly, as repairs can be expensive.
  • Also think about air conditioning. While good air conditioning is important for comfort, it can also have a significant impact on an electric car’s driving range. Make sure the air conditioning is working efficiently and not draining the battery.

Choosing an electric car that meets your comfort and equipment needs is not just a matter of comfort and enjoyment, it can also have a direct impact on the vehicle’s performance and range. It is therefore important to pay special attention to these aspects when buying a used electric car.

Vehicle type and range

Vehicle type and range

Electric cars come in many different vehicle types and engine configurations, from compact city cars to SUVs. Consider which type of vehicle best suits your needs.

  • If you drive mostly around town, a smaller car with less range might be sufficient.
  • However, if you need to travel longer distances or have a family, you may need a larger car with more range.

The range of an electric car depends on many factors, including battery size, vehicle type, driving style and weather conditions. It is important to choose a car that offers sufficient range for your everyday needs. Here you should think pragmatically, because the more power, the bigger and more expensive the battery is usually!

Electric cars come in many different vehicle types and engine configurations, from compact city cars to SUVs. Consider which type of vehicle best suits your needs.

  • If you drive mostly around town, a smaller car with less range might be sufficient.
  • However, if you need to travel longer distances or have a family, you may need a larger car with more range.

The range of an electric car depends on many factors, including battery size, vehicle type, driving style and weather conditions. It is important to choose a car that offers sufficient range for your everyday needs. Here you should think pragmatically, because the more power, the bigger and more expensive the battery is usually!

Price and total cost of ownership

Price and total cost of ownership

One of the most important factors driving buyers to switch from conventional combustion vehicles to electric cars is cost-effectiveness. While the purchase price of an electric car can still be higher than that of a conventional vehicle, the picture is very different when the total cost of ownership is taken into account.

Purchase price

If you look at the market for electric cars, you quickly realize that the entry prices for these vehicles are usually higher than those for comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines. This is mainly due to the cost of the battery technology. The good news, however, is that battery prices continue to fall, which should lead to cheaper electric cars in the future.

Maintenance and repairs

When it comes to maintenance and repairs, electric cars clearly score higher than their combustion counterparts. They have fewer moving parts, making them less prone to wear and tear. There are no expensive oil changes, no timing belts to replace and no exhaust systems to rust. This can result in significant savings and is an aspect that is often overlooked when just looking at the purchase price of a car.

Energy costs

Electric cars are also ahead when it comes to energy costs. The cost per kilometer of electricity is significantly lower than the cost of petrol or diesel. Charging at home during the night hours, when electricity prices are often lower, can provide further savings. There are also public charging stations in many places that offer free or discounted charging.

Grants and subsidies

Not to be forgotten are the diverse state support programs and subsidies that make buying and operating an electric car more attractive. These vary from region to region and can have a significant impact on overall costs. For example, in many countries there is a purchase premium for electric cars, tax breaks and discounted parking fees.

Summary

Although the purchase price of an electric car can still be higher, the lower running costs clearly speak for themselves. When you factor in the cost of maintenance and repairs, energy, and the potential savings from incentive programs and subsidies, an electric car can be significantly cheaper over the lifetime than a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle. It is therefore worth looking beyond the purchase price and considering all aspects of a vehicle’s cost.

Purchasing a used electric car can be an economical and environmentally friendly decision. But it also requires some rethinking. The technology is no longer new, but the used market is. And just like when buying a combustion engine, you can easily be ripped off by dubious sellers.

  • By considering various aspects such as battery life and condition, charging infrastructure and charging times, mileage and maintenance history, comfort and equipment, vehicle type and range, as well as price and total cost of ownership, one can ensure that one receives a vehicle that meets the individual requirements and the lifestyle.

It’s important to take the time to do research and thorough viewing. Buying a used electric car requires a different approach than buying a traditional car, but with the right preparation, the benefits – lower running costs, reduced emissions and a comfortable, quiet drive – can be significant.

One of the most important factors driving buyers to switch from conventional combustion vehicles to electric cars is cost-effectiveness. While the purchase price of an electric car can still be higher than that of a conventional vehicle, the picture is very different when the total cost of ownership is taken into account.

Purchase price

If you look at the market for electric cars, you quickly realize that the entry prices for these vehicles are usually higher than those for comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines. This is mainly due to the cost of the battery technology. The good news, however, is that battery prices continue to fall, which should lead to cheaper electric cars in the future.

Maintenance and repairs

When it comes to maintenance and repairs, electric cars clearly score higher than their combustion counterparts. They have fewer moving parts, making them less prone to wear and tear. There are no expensive oil changes, no timing belts to replace and no exhaust systems to rust. This can result in significant savings and is an aspect that is often overlooked when just looking at the purchase price of a car.

Energy costs

Electric cars are also ahead when it comes to energy costs. The cost per kilometer of electricity is significantly lower than the cost of petrol or diesel. Charging at home during the night hours, when electricity prices are often lower, can provide further savings. There are also public charging stations in many places that offer free or discounted charging.

Grants and subsidies

Not to be forgotten are the diverse state support programs and subsidies that make buying and operating an electric car more attractive. These vary from region to region and can have a significant impact on overall costs. For example, in many countries there is a purchase premium for electric cars, tax breaks and discounted parking fees.

Summary

Although the purchase price of an electric car can still be higher, the lower running costs clearly speak for themselves. When you factor in the cost of maintenance and repairs, energy, and the potential savings from incentive programs and subsidies, an electric car can be significantly cheaper over the lifetime than a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle. It is therefore worth looking beyond the purchase price and considering all aspects of a vehicle’s cost.

Purchasing a used electric car can be an economical and environmentally friendly decision. But it also requires some rethinking. The technology is no longer new, but the used market is. And just like when buying a combustion engine, you can easily be ripped off by dubious sellers.

  • By considering various aspects such as battery life and condition, charging infrastructure and charging times, mileage and maintenance history, comfort and equipment, vehicle type and range, as well as price and total cost of ownership, one can ensure that one receives a vehicle that meets the individual requirements and the lifestyle.

It’s important to take the time to do research and thorough viewing. Buying a used electric car requires a different approach than buying a traditional car, but with the right preparation, the benefits – lower running costs, reduced emissions and a comfortable, quiet drive – can be significant.

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About the Author:

Michael W. Suhr
Michael W. SuhrDipl. Betriebswirt | Webdesign- und Beratung | Office Training
After 20 years in logistics, I turned my hobby, which has accompanied me since the mid-1980s, into a profession, and have been working as a freelancer in web design, web consulting and Microsoft Office since the beginning of 2015. On the side, I write articles for more digital competence in my blog as far as time allows.

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Michael W. Suhr
Michael W. SuhrDipl. Betriebswirt | Webdesign- und Beratung | Office Training
After 20 years in logistics, I turned my hobby, which has accompanied me since the mid-1980s, into a profession, and have been working as a freelancer in web design, web consulting and Microsoft Office since the beginning of 2015. On the side, I write articles for more digital competence in my blog as far as time allows.

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