Closeup of dark blue 2016 Chevy Volt charging plug

Top 5 Reasons You Should Buy a Used Electric Car


When you decide to buy a used car, truck, or SUV, you suddenly have a huge world of options to explore and delve into as you try to find your ride for the next few years (or decades). One of the options you might not immediately consider are electric cars if you’re looking for used cars in Albany, NY, which is certainly something you wouldn’t have found a decade or so ago. But if you haven’t considered an electric car, then it’s time you start because there are some serious benefits that you’re not taking advantage of by ignoring this market.

Now I know the newest and most impressive electric cars hitting the roads this year might look cooler or offer better performance – but that’s usually true of any type of new vehicle. Don’t worry about the newest and flashiest; there are some real benefits for going with a used electric car over something brand new. So do the environment a favor (just think of everything it’s done for you) and take a look at the used electric cars on the market and see if something speaks to you. Plus, spoiler alert: you’re going to save a lot of money!

Reason #1: The (Low) Price

Finding a good value and making your money stretch are usually big reasons to buy any used or pre-owned vehicle, but when it comes to electric cars, this is even more noticeable. Technology is improving the batteries of electric cars on a yearly basis, which means that older models are less desirable than those coming out right now. Couple that with the fact new models are becoming less expensive in general, and are often cheaper than they seem thanks to tax incentives and similar programs, and you begin to see how older electric cars become worth far less than they originally sold for.

Even a model that is only a few years old can sell for 50% or even 75% less than what it originally cost the previous owner. While buyers of new electric cars might not be too happy about this, as someone in the market for electric used cars, this is good news for you. Admittedly, this is something you might be concerned about in the future – after all, you’ll be able to sell it for even less than that if you choose to in a few years. But, honestly, for the savings you get now and the years of performance you’re likely to get from it, this is really not something that should bother you.

Reason #2: Give the Environment a Hand

If you’re feeling particularly altruistic then this might be the number one reason to buy a used electric car, but otherwise, it certainly clocks in right at the top (and is possibly tied for first). Personal politics and opinions on global warming or climate change aside, we can all agree that creating less pollution is a good thing. If you’ve ever been to or seen pictures from places like Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even Phoenix, then you know how bad pollution and smog can get in cities with lots of vehicles. Electric cars don’t produce pollutants that contribute to things like global warming, and many local power plants – where they draw power from – also run on clean or renewable energy sources.

Some people argue that used cars are better for the environment than brand new electric cars. This is because producing electric cars often has a bigger carbon footprint than a vehicle that has already been on the road for a few years. Making a car takes power and resources, so every year a vehicle stays on the road offsets that investment of resources and its impact on the environment.

When you buy a used electric car, then you get the best of both worlds. It stays on the road, potentially replacing a new car, and increasing the time it offsets the impact of it initially being made. Plus it’s electric, so the ongoing contribution to pollution and global warming is far less than used cars that run on gas.

Reason #3: A Smooth Ride

Electric cars are often appreciated for the fact they tend to provide a smoother, quieter driving experience than traditional gas-powered vehicles. There’s no internal combustion going on, just smooth electrical reactions, so electric cars don’t tend to vibrate like traditional ones do. And, once again, since you can typically find a better price on electric cars, if you compared them to a similarly priced gas-powered model, you’re likely to find more options and refined choices.

While the quiet, sometimes silent, nature of electric cars offends those people who love the roar of an engine, a lot of folks prefer the strong, silent type. Many models even include artificial “car” sounds so that pedestrians and other people know when your vehicle is there from the sound of it. Your neighbors will certainly appreciate it when you rev your engine at 1 in the morning and they can sleep peacefully. And if you want to annoy your neighbors, well that’s what good sound systems are for.

Light blue 2015 Chevy SparkEV charging on street

Reason #4: Low Maintenance Requirements

In general, electric vehicles have lower maintenance requirements than similar gas-powered vehicles. This comes down to the lack of an internal combustion engine, which results in fewer moving parts that can wear out, need replacement, or just plain break. You’ll find this a benefit because you won’t have to spend as much time and money on maintenance for your used electric car compared to a traditional one of the same age.

The other benefit here is that it’s more likely that used cars are in good shape since they require less maintenance. With a used car, you never know exactly what the previous owner did to it or how well they treated it. Used electric cars need less maintenance to begin with, so even if it wasn’t well cared for, this probably had less impact than it would on a gas-fueled vehicle. Anything to remove some of the uncertainty from the equation is a good thing.

Reason #5: Because they’re Cool!

So this might be a silly reason, but I don’t care. Electric cars are cool. Think about it: this is the stuff of science fiction not too long ago. Now, maybe we’re not quite at the point of flying cars fueled by small fusion reactors we can feed our weekly garbage into, but we’re getting there. Baby steps…

Sure you might not roll up on some fellas hanging out on a Saturday night with their classics from the 50s and 60s and impress anyone – just like anything else in life, you have to know your audience. Find people who appreciate electric cars and taking care of the planet, and you can impress them to no end with your modern classic. Let someone else try to make a statement with a brand new electric car – you can scoff and ask them how much it cost, knowing you paid a fraction of that price, or ask them about the carbon footprint involved with making the vehicle.

Driving a used electric car sends a statement: it says that you care. You care about your wallet, about the environment, and about taking care of the things in life that are important to you. I can’t think of anything cooler than that.