Interested in electric vehicles? Consider buying an affordable used EV

Interested in electric vehicles? Consider buying an affordable used EV

Paul Bordenkircher

Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity, but many drivers are still not sure if they can afford them. The most common question I get asked is: “How much does it cost to buy an EV? Aren’t they expensive?” My answer — new ones can be (as with all new cars), but perhaps consider buying an affordable used EV.

New electric vehicles are still a little more expensive than their gasoline-powered counterparts; however, new EVs will be cost-competitive with gasoline-powered cars by the mid-2020s, according to BloombergNEF. Even though the up-front purchase price to buy an EV is falling, I have a little secret that very few people are talking about: buy a used EV and save money.

I recommend buying a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle because it includes an extended warranty. It takes some of the guesswork out of buying a good, reliable car. Whether or not the car is powered by gasoline or electricity, insist on it when you’re car shopping. 

To give you an idea of the kind of savings you can expect, I bought a used 2016 Chevy Spark EV, which sold for about $27,000 when it was new. When I bought this car in 2019 (just three years later) it could be purchased as low as $8,000, but was typically priced between $10-12k. 

There’s more good news. The lifetime ownership cost of owning an EV is well below that of a gasoline-powered car. When drivers factor in the costs for maintenance and repairs, EVs are the clear winner and can save drivers between $6,000 and $10,000! That’s because there are less moving parts to wear or break down. Not only that, but electricity for powering your car is far cheaper than gasoline. Don’t believe me? Check out this fact sheet specific to owning an EV in Nevada. And special programs with your local electric utility may be able to save you even more.

So far, I’ve been very happy with my used Chevy Spark EV, and if you’re considering getting your first EV, consider buying a used one. The task of used EV shopping will be much easier once the Clean Cars Nevada program is adopted in our state and more makes and models become available on the second hand market. You can also check out my quick guide on how to buy an affordable used EV before making the plunge.

Did you buy an EV? Email and tell us your story!