How safe is it to buy second-hand electric cars? 5 things to check before buying!

Volkswagen ID.3

The desire to live more sustainably and have a more environmentally friendly lifestyle includes switching to greener modes of transport (and not in their paintwork!) Like conventional cars, there are now plenty of different models to choose from when shopping for an electric car. However, as they’re all pretty new, they can be pretty pricey too! For those wanting to switch to an electric vehicle but also wanting to save their pennies. Opting for second-hand electric cars really isn’t a bad idea!

You may ask yourself  whether it’s safe or not to purchase second-hand electric cars – in short, yes it is! That being said, there are things you should look out for when shopping around. 

Just like when buying a petrol or diesel car, there are certain things you should check over before sealing the deal. We’re going to run you through our five top things to check before buying second-hand electric cars!

1. Check the battery

When looking to purchase second-hand electric cars, you should check the condition of its battery. An electric car’s battery condition can depend on a number of factors, including how it’s been driven and how often.

Just like the battery life of your phone, laptop or computer when the battery has been significantly used, eventually the battery will degrade over time. However, it is currently predicted that an electric car’s battery will last anywhere between 10 – 20 years before they need to be replaced.

This is pretty great to hear as it means that even in second-hand electric cars the battery shouldn’t be too old. Thinking back to when the first BMW i3 was released in 2013, even the earliest model wouldn’t be 10 years old.

Prior to purchasing a second-hand electric car, you can ask any electric car dealership for a report on the vehicle’s battery health. This way you’re aware of the whole picture, even though it’s likely to come back gleaming

2. Ask about history of battery replacement

While we’re on the topic of the vehicle’s battery, you should ask whether it has had a battery replacement at any point. If so, the seller should be able to provide you with all the relevant documentation for this. 

This is a huge plus for anyone looking to buy second-hand electric cars. As we said, an electric car’s battery can last anywhere between 10 – 20 years. The more recently the battery has been replaced, the less likely it is to need replacing again soon. Meaning the less likely it is you’ll have to spend out on one!

3. Possibility of software updates

Similarly to other electronic devices, electric cars regularly receive new updates from their manufacturers. These can be anything from improvements to the infotainment, navigation systems or upgrades in the performance of the vehicle itself.

This is one of the great things about buying an electric vehicle! It’s always changing and updating to keep up with modern technology. While all electric vehicles need to be updated, how often they need to be will vary between different manufacturers and car models.

In order to keep up with the pack, it’s important for an electric vehicle to be updated. Not only does it provide the driver with advanced, ever-changing technology, but it also impacts the performance and efficiency of the vehicle.

Car manufacturers usually fit their newest vehicle lines with the most up to date technology, however when looking to purchase second-hand electric cars it’s important to check everything is up to date.

4. Check the cars safety rating

Arguably the most important area of a second-hand electric cars history is it’s previous safety rating. The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), a non-profit organisation which provides safety assessments annually, monitors now new vehicles.

Vehicles are scored using a star system which rates how safe the vehicle is overall. On top of this, vehicles are rated on their modern safety technology. Including how well it protects adults, child passengers and vulnerable road users.

This year, the Polestar 2 and the Volkswagen ID.3 came out on top! Both score five stars in their overall safety, which means they provide ‘excellent performance in crash protection.’

They both also scored the highest in regards to their child passenger safety equipment.

When looking to buy a second-hand electric vehicle, it might be worth having a look through Euro NCAP’s previous rating. While owning an electric car is fun and great for the environment, it also needs to be safe, stable and reliable.

The safety of any vehicle is something that we should never compromise as the risk of accidents is always there. Electric vehicles should give you the same sense of security a conventional car does.

5. Driving range history

A second-hand electric car’s driving range is an important factor to research before you make the decision to purchase. An electric vehicles range can be impacted by lots of different factors.

Did you know that how fast you drive in an electric car can potentially reduce its range? Driving at high speeds of 65mph or more can reduce the cars efficiency and therefore cut miles off. The reason for this is simple; the faster you drive, the more electricity you will be using. The more electricity you use the quicker the battery will degrade.  While this isn’t a huge issue, it’s something you should be aware of so you can plan your journeys. 

Buying second-hand electric cars at EV Sales

Electric cars are the future of motoring and transportation, however buyers can be quickly priced out of the competitive market. More and more car owners are trying to be responsible and make purchases that have a positive impact on the planet. But they also have to buy within their budget. EV Sales are here to help!

EV Sales are a specialist second-hand electric vehicle dealership based in Kent. Is your first time buying an electric vehicle? Then it can be a great idea to buy a second-hand one to test the waters!

All of our second -hand electric cars come with a one month warranty and MOT. Plus, all buyers can enjoy a seven day money back guarantee! At the moment, we have a range of different electric vehicles for sale, including:

  • Tesla Model S
  • BMW i3
  • Renault ZOE
  • Peugeot e-Expert

You can have a look at all of our available electric vehicles, here. Otherwise, you can give our EV Sales team a call on 01634 914 063!

* All information correct as of 20/09/2021.