The electric vehicle (EV) market is a new exciting frontier in the industry, which is undergoing a process of dynamic transformation. The internal combustion engines (ICE) are still preeminent on global highways, but are now struggling to keep the pace with the emerging technologies. Yet, new EV models cost an arm and a leg because you pay a price premium for the features petroleum-fueled vehicles lack. Hence, mitigating the impact on the budget is a top priority for many drivers. One of the ways to pull this off is by opting for second hand cars.
The financial outlook
When considering a used EV, one must be prepared to tread carefully. The brand, appearance and performance are of the utmost importance, although they may fade away in the presence of budgetary concerns. Namely, those who buy second hand are interested mainly in reaping financial benefits. Well, the state of affairs in this department is far from simple and market currents are not necessarily favorable. Even seasoned dealers are baffled when they have to determine the optimal buying price, as there is no telling when a new customer will come along.
So, let us start with the drawbacks of acquiring a used vehicle first. Buyers who are in the market for a brand new electric car can rely on various tax incentives. Depending on the legislation, federal and state income tax credits may save you thousands of dollars. Alas, these enticing stimuli are not available to drivers seeking to purchase second-hand. This is not a problem if you manage to find a vehicle with the price tag that has gone low enough. Otherwise, you could be overpaying your pre-owned vehicle.
The real value
When accessing the financial side of the investment, many people neglect the resale value. This does not come as a surprise, since there is no crystal ball for predicting EV market price. As a rule of thumb, hybrids offer a nice resale value, retaining 44.7% of it over the course of three years, provided that the battery technology remains in good shape. Some other EVs, however, lose much of their value, and they come to this low point quicker than hybrid diesel cars.
The depreciation of this scale is a grave problem for electric car owners, and some of them are forced to sell their beloved vehicles for one fourth of the original prize. The truth is that dealers act as “pricing pioneers”, and they get away with low offers for used cars because the second hand market is still in its infancy. Now, this volatile situation is also a good opportunity to find affordable cars, so get into local market research, and utilize a plethora of online resources.
There are some technical issues tied to electric cars that are immaterial when buying conventional vehicles. First off, you may be required to replace the battery and faced with a hefty repair bill. This is usually not one of the prime concerns, as batteries are capable of lasting a decade or more. Warranties most often cover the same time period, meaning that you should be able to take advantage of them in case the battery fails prematurely. Also, the evidence suggests that lack of use is actually the biggest problem associated with batteries. It can result in bricking— the point at which the battery no longer accepts electrical charge.
Another aspect you cannot afford to overlook is tyres. They connect the driver with the road, enabling smooth driving in all conditions. The unavoidable wear and tear undermines the performance, as well as safety and pleasure during driving. Thus, keep close eyes on all items on the buyer’s checklist if you want to steer clear of maneuvering issues, difficult braking and winter or bad driving habits. If you do not possess a deeper understanding of how the car works, then bring along a trusted expert or a learned friend.
Next, it is time to turn your attention to other components that affect reliability, comfort, ease of driving, etc. Some EV can run for 100,000 miles without any malfunctions, proving to be more reliable than ICE products. This is the result of their inner workings and fewer moving parts. The lifespan of brakes, suspension and steering is usually on par with petroleum counterparts, and their replacement is quite affordable. Finally, note that fuel savings should enable you to make up for potential financial losses in the long run.
Electric powers that be
Early EV adopters still pay a truckload of money, but in due time, they will become devoted advocates, harbingers of the new age in the automotive industry. The motoring landscape of the future will be much cleaner and more electrified and we expect to see EV growing in importance. For now, you need to factor in the tax savings and hope that the battery and the motor have years of life left in them. That way you should be able to stay on the safe side of the road and enjoy your time behind the wheel like never before.
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