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Finance Industry Opinion

Is it financially viable to buy a used electric car


Is it financially viable to buy a used electric car


"Its encouraging to see more used car buyers snapping up low-emission vehicles as supply grows"
Mike Hawes



Electric vehicles have been gaining popularity over the past five years, and with sales reaching record highs in 2018, the market is expected to continue its growth. New registrations of plug-in cars increased from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 227,000 by the end of August 2019. In the UK, the government’s plans to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 has led to a surge in electric car buyers – but should you opt for new or used? Motorparks Grange, who offer the fully electric Jaguar I-Pace, take a closer look.

The used car market 

The used car market in the UK suffered a slight loss last year, dropping by 2.1%. However, one riser in the industry was the sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars. This market share recorded a rise of 27%. SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said of the development:

“It’s encouraging to see more used car buyers snapping up low-emission vehicles as supply grows – but those sales remain low as an overall proportion of the market. We still need the right policies and incentives from government to give new car buyers confidence to choose the cleanest petrol, diesel and electric models that best suit their needs, so that even more drivers can benefit from this exciting technology as it filters down to the used market in the coming years.”

New vs used

Decreased value is one of the main reasons for buying used. If money is tight, then a used car ticks all the boxes. New cars are still popular, and rightly so thanks to the constant updates in technology and safety measures, but with approximately 20% of a new car’s value being immediately lost when you drive it away, it’s led to almost three used cars being sold to every new vehicle in the UK.

Nowadays, factory warranties are even longer than before, meaning that the appeal of buying a used car can be enhanced by their longevity. Also, all the gadgets the you often pay extra for when buying new may well already be in a used vehicle and this too will come at a fraction of the cost compared to buying it new.

You can also drive a used car straight away after buying, too. This certainly isn’t the case when it comes to new cars, with your car needing to be specifically ordered and, depending on your choice of extras, this could take several months. With a used car there is no waiting period. Simply pay your money and drive on by.

Buying insurance for a new car is typically more expensive. This is because there is obviously a lot more equity at risk if you’re involved in a crash. Therefore, you may find that you don’t have to fork out as much on your policy if you choose a used car.

Making a positive impact

According to a recent survey, more than 75% of drivers in the UK would purchase a used electric car rather than a new one. It’s thought that we are becoming a lot more trusting of a battery’s longevity than we previously were. Many of the reasons for going down this route are the same as buying new, including the positive impact these vehicles have on the environment compared to petrol and diesel cars. The main stumbling block for the quarter that baulked at purchasing a second-hand EV was due to the price.

Thanks to new technology advances, experts claim that a battery pack used in an electric car won’t need to be replaced for between 10 and 20 years and can cover around 150,000 miles. Experts say that manufacturers have now proven themselves and this sector, giving prospective buyers more confidence in buying a used vehicle.

Another obvious benefit (whether you’re buying new or used) is zero emissions. With a rise in new electric vehicle sales, we will undoubtedly also see an increase in used sales in the run-up to the ban on new petrol and diesel models. As their use becomes more widespread, it will completely revolutionise the automotive industry.

With a rise in new electric vehicle sales, we will undoubtedly also see an increase in used sales in the run-up to the ban on new petrol and diesel models.

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