Used Electric Cars Becoming More Popular as Prices Hit Rock Bottom
The value of electric cars has been plummeting over the last 12 to 18 months, making them more attractive to buyers compared to second-hand petrol and diesel models. This is Money has been monitoring the falling prices of electric vehicles (EVs), revealing that some models have lost between 30% and 50% of their value in just one year. However, businesses tracking the second-hand market are now saying that used EV prices have bottomed out and are unlikely to drop much further.
Cap Hpi, a company that analyzes the used vehicle market, reported that the value of all fuel types decreased by an average of £420 ($580) from August to September. Petrol and diesel cars saw a decrease of 2%, while EVs only slipped by 1%. This represents the smallest month-to-month reduction in EV values for a year, indicating a potentially significant turning point for second-hand electric cars.
Derren Martin, Cap Hpi’s head of valuations, noted that different EV models are moving in different directions, making it difficult to predict their value trajectories. However, he pointed out that small and medium-sized EVs are experiencing the highest increase in demand. For example, the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf have seen a 2% increase in prices compared to August.
Auto Trader, a leading online marketplace, also reported that used EVs are selling faster than petrol and diesel models. Its Retail Price Index, based on 800,000 daily used car adverts, showed that second-hand EV prices fell for 13 consecutive months until September. The average value now stands at £32,142 ($44,243), a 22.1% decrease compared to the previous year. EVs were the fastest-selling fuel type in September, taking just 27 days to find a buyer.
Auto Trader’s data also revealed that EV advert views have remained resilient, possibly due to the recent rise in oil prices that have driven up petrol and diesel costs. Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insight, expressed optimism about the used EV market, stating that the ongoing de-fleeting of previously sold EVs and the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate will increase the number of electric cars available in the used market. However, he emphasized that the government needs to do more to encourage drivers to switch to EVs.
With EV prices now at rock bottom, Cap Hpi believes they are more attractive due to their affordability compared to internal combustion engine equivalents. For example, a one-year-old Audi E-tron EV with 10,000 miles on the clock can be purchased for £42,500 ($58,544), which is £7,500 ($10,333) less than a one-year-old Audi Q7 petrol with the same mileage.
Cap Hpi pointed out that some used EV models offer an affordable alternative to their petrol or diesel counterparts. The Hyundai Kona Electric, for instance, costs £17,050 ($23,489), which is £4,600 ($6,336) cheaper than the petrol-hybrid version. Other examples include the Vauxhall Mokka-E and Citroen E-C4, which are priced significantly lower than their petrol alternatives.
When buying a used EV, there are several tips to consider. Firstly, buyers should aim to purchase the latest model they can afford, as electric car technology advances rapidly. Secondly, it is important to check the battery’s health, as an EV with a poor battery can result in costly repairs. Thirdly, buyers should ensure that the necessary charging cables are included with the vehicle. Fourthly, it is advisable to review the car’s service history and seek evidence that the electric parts have been inspected by a certified technician. Finally, buyers should be cautious of the size and cost of the car’s tires, as larger tires can reduce the vehicle’s range and can be more expensive to replace.
In conclusion, the continuing drop in prices of used EVs has made them more appealing to buyers, leading to increased demand and faster selling times. With government policies promoting the switch to electric vehicles and ongoing advancements in EV technology, the second-hand market for electric cars is poised for further growth and development.