Friday, September 24

Buying a used electric car: why it’s interesting


With the advent of the electric car, the second-hand market is changing and seeing its ranks fill more and more electrified models. But is it really interesting to turn to a used electric vehicle?

The Renault Zoé is currently the best-selling electric car in France.

The Renault Zoé is currently the best-selling electric car in France.

The range of electric cars is growing every year, under the impetus of the legislator, who continues to crack down on manufacturers’ targets for reducing polluting emissions. If, for two or three years the number of new electric cars has multiplied on the market, it is also the moment for certain models, more or less old, to come to fill the market of the second hand. And we’ll see it, there are several advantages to switching to a second or third hand 100% electric vehicle.

What is the market share of electric vehicles today?

The new electric car market is doing well in France since, in October 2020, 10,004 registrations were recorded over the period, capturing 5.84% of market share. The Renault Zoé is still in the lead with 2,507 units sold.

A Renault Zoe that we find once again logically at the top of used electric car sales. In 2019, it also represented more than one in two electric cars sold second-hand in France. According to data fromHave-France, 19,652 used electric private vehicles were sold in France compared to 12,681 in 2018, an increase of 55%.

As stated above, the star is the Zoe with 11,944 units sold, followed by the Nissan Leaf with 635 first generation models and 658 second generation versions, for a total of 1,293 units. In third place, we find the BMW i3 with 381 100% electric models and 802 equipped with a range extender, a total of 1183. Next come the Peugeot iOn (864 units) and the Tesla Model S (696 vehicles). sold) which completes this Top 5.

Tesla Model S Performance

Despite rather elitist prices, the Tesla Model S is very successful on the used market.

What are the main used electric models?

As an extension of the used electric vehicle market share, the main models are obviously the ones that sell the most. The Renault Zoe will therefore be the most common model, quite simply because it is also the best-selling new electric vehicle in France.

For other models, it is still a bit early to find them, like the Peugeot e-208 and e-2008 duo, which came out less than a year ago. At a pinch, you can find a low-mileage executive vehicle, but at a price close to new. On the car sales sites, you can find mainly Zoe and Nissan Leaf, but some models like BMW i3 and other Tesla Model S can be found relatively easily.

Quite the opposite of the other star of the market, the Tesla Model 3. On the Tesla site for example, in the used section, we find many Model S almost all below the 100,000 km mark and at prices which fluctuate between 45,000 and 55,000 euros on average. However, at the time of this writing, no used Model 3 is offered. The brand explains that the demand for used this type of product is extremely tight and the car is often sold before the advertisement is even displayed.

The few Tesla Model 3 available on some ad sites are often displayed at prices very close to new.

The few Tesla Model 3 available on some ad sites are often displayed at prices very close to new.

What are the advantages of a used electric car?

The main advantage is obviously the price. It is not uncommon to find Renault Zoé aged about three years – under 30,000 kilometers – and displayed at around 10,000 euros. The rare Peugeot e-208s found on advertising sites are displayed around 3000 euros below the price of the new model, ecological bonus deducted, that is to say around 28,000 euros for a top-of-the-range model in finishing “GT Line”. It is also possible to opt for financing solutions, as for new cars, for a used electric model.

The other advantage, if you get out of a thermal car, it is obviously the cost of energy, electricity is cheaper than gasoline. Overall, travel 100 kilometers with an electric car, recharging at your home, shouldn’t cost you more than two euros, while for the same distance, it will take around eight euros for a diesel car and ten euros for a gasoline.

An electric car insurance can also be more advantageous, insurers favoring this type of motorization because of the limited risks. Why ? Quite simply because an electric vehicle generally performs short trips and is less powerful than a conventional vehicle. This therefore limits the risk of accidents.

The electric car is also simpler in design than a thermal car. As a result, maintenance costs can be greatly reduced at certain levels. Do not hesitate to consult our special file on this subject to familiarize yourself with the maintenance of an electric car.

The question of the battery and recharging

When buying an electric car, this is often the big question. The battery is the one that determines, with your driving, how far you can go on a single charge. You should pay attention to the battery before purchasing a used model. If we tell you that a five-year-old Renault Zoe with 100,000 kilometers on the clock displays the same level of autonomy as when it first started, there is surely a wolf.

However, as is the case with the Renault Zoe taken as an example, there is the possibility of renting the battery, thus brushing aside fears related to the condition of the battery. It is difficult to really know the state of the battery of a used vehicle, even if there is now more or less reliable software to check the general condition of the battery.

Regarding charging, most of the time, as for users of new electric vehicles, you will charge your car at home or at the office. When selling the vehicle, the seller will necessarily provide you with one or more charging cables to power your car. If not, you can always purchase these cables from the supplier or manufacturer.

Today, most cars use the CHAdeMO or Combo CCS standards, so you won’t necessarily have to worry about recharging your car at the various terminals. Also ask yourself what are the powers of the charging points at your disposal, in order to allow you to charge your car more or less quickly. At least if your use requires fast charging.

Today, almost all electric cars sold in Europe have the same standard in terms of charging socket.

Today, almost all electric cars sold in Europe have the same standard in terms of charging socket.

The various purchasing aids

This was not the case a few months ago, but it is now official in France, used electric cars are also entitled to their ecological bonus. So of course, it does not reach 7000 euros as a new electric model, but the used electric car still has the right to a small ecological bonus of 1000 euros, without conditions of resources, as formalized by the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, mid-October 2020.

They are also concerned by the Conversion bonus. To find out what all the bonuses are offered in France for a car or an electric vehicle in a more general way, do not hesitate to consult our dedicated article.

Where to buy a used electric car?

As for a classic thermal car, used electric cars are easily found in dealerships. Some models are even labeled, which gives them an additional guarantee. Other online shopping platforms also offer used cars, often at lower prices than in dealerships, but the possibility of seeing it a little before or trying it out is low. And when buying an electric car for the first time, it can seem relatively normal to try it.

Finally, buying from an individual is not to be neglected, on the contrary. If some have been vaccinated from the purchase of a thermal car from an individual due to hidden problems and lack of warranty, the electric car will not necessarily escape this scourge, but it will be less concerned, in particular, again once, thanks to its technical “simplicity”.

On the other hand, individuals who sell their electric car often have excellent product knowledge and will be able to give you a complete overview of the advantages and disadvantages, all with great precision. Do not hesitate to browse the various forums concerning a particular electric car, the community of owners of electric models is often very active on the internet and feedback is numerous.


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