Buying A Used EV? Great! But Read This First!

Jul 2, 2021
car loans
By Staff writer

Used cars tend to be a good investment whenever you find yourself in need of a replacement vehicle. Provided, of course, that you know how to shop for one in NZ. Of course, the best practices you employ for most used cars for sale will also apply when looking for a secondhand electric vehicle, or best known as EV, for short.

Because even when a lot of high-tech EVs with the newest in battery technology are making their way in the markets, it might be a while before they can reach price parity with other vehicles. As such, even when it comes to buying EVs, most people might be looking into the secondhand market.

Of course, buying a used car for sale carries some amount of risk compared to buying brand new. Especially when it comes to EVs. Fortunately, most of the best practices and considerations you need to keep in mind are the same across the board.

Start with the general tips about EV

Always start with general inspection and tips, as you would with any other vehicle. Is the EV in good condition? Has there been any notable parts replacements and maintenance done to the vehicle in the past? Does it have all the bits and features that you want? Try not to look at just the price alone and don’t cheap out. You can be thrifty but make sure you aren’t compromising on the important aspects of your vehicle.

Many people suggest also having two budgets for your used car purchase: One for the initial purchase, with the second budget acting as a backup in order to make the car truly roadworthy. After all, you never know which parts could fail on you first. You may need to replace your A/C compressor, or perhaps even other parts not readily seen on the surface.

Check the tyres, see if the tyres have been replaced or at least match with each other. That at least shows the previous owner made the effort to get the right tyres for the car. You can also ask for the service record since this can provide you the crucial information you’ll need. Most importantly, always test-drive the actual vehicle in order to get a feel for how it handles.

With those general guidelines and tips for buying used cars for sale out of the way, we can now look into the factors that apply for EVs.

Batteries and Battery Life

While you always check the mileage on the car prior to buying it, this goes double for buying an EV because of the batteries. While the electric motors themselves may be fine, even with high mileage, the batteries could be losing some of their internal battery life.

Think of it like the batteries in our phone. Back when it was brand new, we may have been able to get over a day of use before needing to plug it back in. Fast-forward a few years later, and you’ll be lucky to get 12 hours prior to charging. This is just the reality when it comes to traditional lithium-ion batteries. They wear out, whether it's on a phone or an EV, especially when you use fast chargers.

When buying a used EV, you will want to get a battery health check done. In fact, you’ll want to do this even when you’ve bought the car brand new. Understanding battery health can help build confidence in your own vehicle’s capabilities. Manufacturers also pay close attention to battery degradation considering the warranty policies they need to establish for consumer confidence in their products.

Knowing this can help you determine how much distance the car can cover per charge. When you get a used EV, try to find one that has more range that what you’ll need today, in order to ensure that you have enough to use for the future.

Think about the car's resale value

Of course, not everyone buys an EV with the intention of selling it later down the road. However, if you intend to sell the car and get a brand new model later on, you may want to consider resale value as well. As of today, most EVs are holding their value well, thanks to the fact that they still have some level of novelty to them. There aren’t any current incentives for most EVs to decrease the price just yet.

In addition to that, the perceived value for EVs will go up as soon as demand also goes back. At least, EVs shouldn’t depreciate in value as fast as diesel or gasoline types once new emission standards and taxes are put into place. 

According to Steven Greenwood, owner and operator Drive EV, specialist EV importer and retailer based in Taupo, prices have been relatively steady in the six years that he has been dealing with the vehicles.

“The cars get older but the values seem to stay in a similar price bracket. I think the main factor around this is people can save a lot of money driving an EV as a daily commuter, so this keeps prices firm.”

“As the latest in technology hits the market, new car prices increase with the distance per charge, so it doesn’t seem to have an effect on older vehicles.”

Of course, resale value will still depend on the condition of your vehicle. You can’t exactly expect to sell a beat-up vehicle with over 160,000 km on the mileage close to the original price, at least compared to a cleaner model released in the same year. So if you’re planning to sell your used EV later, you’d still want to make the effort to take care of your vehicle.

Line up your Financing

Whether you’re looking to purchase a used car for sale from a dealer or a private seller, it’s best to line up your finances beforehand. You may have a specific model in mind but it’s better to keep your options open. Try to do all your research at home first, in order to make you less susceptible to going on impulse once you see the vehicles in person.

Financing can help you understand the upper limit of your price range, making negotiations easier. Also, even if you’re buying a used car, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be paying the full price. You can still pay via loans with varying interest rates based on the model you’re buying and your provider.

Take note that most financing rates are higher for used cars than new cars. After all, should you default on your loan, leading to your car being repossessed, your lender will be able to get a better resale value with a new car than a used one.

The one thing to keep in mind here is to shop around across different lenders. Most lenders offer a pre-approval process, allowing you to have your funds on hand, before even choosing your car. This makes it easier to choose a model within the budget range you managed to acquire.

Fortunately, this process is now made easier. Gone are the times where you have to browse through so many different websites and policies, taking you hours. glimp simplifies the process by making you fill up our comparison page with the necessary details and sorting all the deals based on your preference. 

Keep all these things in mind and you should be on track to getting the best deal on your used EV. Plan, shop around, inspect, compare, and of course, enjoy your new, sustainable ride!

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