Buying A Used Electric Car: A Brief Overview

Nissan Leaf Electric car central London

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

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Guest Contributor: Creditplus, An e-zoomed Partner

2020 Is Primed To Be The Year When Electric Cars Not Only Continue To See Significant Growth In The New Market But Become A Serious Contender For Many When Looking At A Used Car!

For starters, manufacturers from across the globe – some for the first time – will release new models aimed at electrifying their customer base. In the small electric car market, the Honda e, Vauxhall Corsa-e, MINI Electric and Peugeot e-208 are all set to sell well on release. Meanwhile, prestige car buyers petulantly await delivery of the Porsche Taycan and BMW iX3.

As previously noted, crossover SUV’s are one of the fastest growing segments within internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, so expect other manufacturers to follow suit when BMW’s iX3 and Tesla’s Model Y join the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona in the midsize market.

But back to the used market, where early adopters taking four- or five-year finance deals are returning their vehicles and, hopefully, driving away another EV.

BMW i3 Hatch 5Dr Electric 42.2kWh 170 EU6
The All-Electric BMWi3

Back in 2015, the choice of EV’s was limited by today’s standard but those models have aged incredibly well and have proven that battery degradation was less of an issue than first thought.

Before taking a look at the EV’s entering the used market, it’s worth taking stock of your requirements and available amenities as electric vehicles are certainly a different proposition to buying a petrol or diesel car.  

Estimating your annual mileage is a good first step if you’re looking at a lease or PCP finance agreement – as both have mileage limits which affect the monthly price – but it’s also important to look at your journey’s in more detail. Do you cover 20 miles a day during the week, but have to drive 150 miles at the weekend to visit family and friends? Will your commute deplete your battery, and if so, is there suitable charging infrastructure at the office? If charging overnight at home is enough to keep the battery full, then do you have a driveway close to a mains plug – and if 12 hours is too long to wait for a long battery, what is the cost of installing and running a chargepoint? Once you know what your requirements for the car are, you can begin eliminating options.

Renault Zoe electric car
The All-Electric Renault Zoe

The Renault Zoe is one of the most talked about EV’s in the used car market. Examples can be found less than five years old for under £10,000. However, Zoe’s of this era have a leased EV battery resulting in a monthly fee of around £100, but this does guarantee the battery under Renault’s extensive warranty. Other electric cars in that price range include the well-regarded Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul.

First released in 2013, but still one of the most futurist-looking motors on the market, the BMW i3 is now available from £12,000. And any article on electric cars must also address the EV behemoth, Tesla, whose first mass-production car, the Model S, is now available used from around £30,000. For those in the market for a smart saloon, this is now a worthy challenger.

All in all, EV’s are now more accessible to the masses than ever before, and with this year’s releases attending to the growing demand expect to see even more choice in the used market at ever-affordable prices.

It would be amiss to not mention that when comparing electric to petrol or diesel, the sticker price, or monthly repayments, are only one part of the running cost. EV’s generally have zero road tax, have lower maintenance costs due to less moving parts, and are exempt from the growing list of ultra-low emission zones and, of course, should be less to ‘fill up’. However, insurance costs can be higher than ICE alternatives so use a price comparison site once you’ve shortlisted some models.

Drivers looking to make the hop over to electric this year should find that choice is on their side – and companies such as Creditplus are on hand with knowledgeable consultants to placate any questions.

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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