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10 KEY QUESTIONS WHEN YOU'RE BUYING A USED ELECTRIC CAR

It is obvious to anyone that the rising adoption of the electric vehicle is a trend not likely to wane any time soon. The EV is looking more like the future of personal transportation every day. While there are pros and cons to the proliferation of EVs, choosing to purchase one is a personal decision that everyone has to figure out for themselves ... for now. 


There is also much disinformation and bad advice going around for any used car. But for those who have already decided that obtaining an EV is right for them, there is a lot to consider. With manufacturers introducing new electric models every year, the options have become broad and varied, offering nearly everyone some model that will work for them. However, EVs are still expensive. Until the technology catches up and significantly lowers the cost, a used electric car is an option.

Since Tesla and others paved the way for broad acceptance of EVs and developed new technologies to make it possible to have an electric car capable enough for everyday use, the used market is good. The Nissan Leaf has been around for more than a decade and Hyundai/Kia and others have been selling EVs for several years now. Most people know what to look for in gas-powered cars, but may need help choosing a used EV. So, for anyone considering the purchase of a used electric car, here are 10 key questions to ask before buying a used one.


While electric cars have a fraction of the moving parts of conventional cars, they are not maintenance-free. There are still parts that can wear and break and need proper attention when things go a bit sideways. Air conditioning, door trim, and power windows are among the things that can commonly break. Furthermore, an EV may not need oil changes, but may need brake service and will definitely need tires at some point


Just like with an internal combustion car, an EV with a thorough maintenance record is more desirable than one without. It can inform you if something that is a common problem has already been addressed or if the previous owner put things off. Furthermore, if the records include invoices from service jobs, you can also get a fair idea of what trips to the shop may cost with a particular model. This is just good general advice for any car. Find one with a good record of its history.


The latest battery technology has significantly advanced over the last few decades. While an impressive amount of range can be derived from these batteries, longevity is equally impressive. However, batteries can degrade over time and problems can arise to cause significant malfunctions. Furthermore, replacement batteries are very expensive and costly to replace. The good news is that generous warranties cover most of them.


New electric vehicle manufacturers, according to Green Cars, offer warranties on the battery pack from eight to 10 years and for mileage of 100,000 or more. Some of them only cover a complete failure of the battery pack while others, such as Tesla and Nissan, cover batteries with reduced capacity. However, batteries generally will only be covered after degrading a certain percentage. Batteries with more than 70% capacity usually will not qualify. The best thing to do is research the policy of the manufacturer and verify using the VIN if any warranty coverage remains.


In deciding to purchase any car, its purpose will be paramount to making the right decision. A subcompact should obviously be the wrong choice for a family just as much as a sports car is ill-suited for doing the work of a plumber. The vast majority of car buyers need something to commute to work with that can also carry a family and haul a bit of cargo. Fortunately, EVs are increasingly coming in varied configurations to handle the needs of a broad range of consumers. Therefore, you need to assess your needs first


Electric cars are more expensive to insure. Money Geek says this is because of a few things. Parts can be expensive and hard to obtain, and factory repair manuals often require replacing components instead of repairing them. Electric car parts are covered with sensors that are often more prone to damage than other parts. Due to a combination of these costly reasons for higher insurance, electric cars are also more prone to being totaled by an insurance adjuster. Insurance rates for Tesla are particularly high, but the increase affects EVs of any stripe, with additional costs over gasoline-powered cars ranging from about 9% for a Mach-E Mustang to a shocking 41% for the Volvo XC40 Recharge. 

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