Should you buy a used electric car?
Electric cars are seemingly the future of transport in Britain.
Earlier this year the Government banned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2040, and last month Oxford became the first city to ban these vehicles from the city centre by 2020.
A host of schemes and initiatives to encourage driver’s switch to electric and to dissuade drivers from driving petrol and diesel are planned or have been introduced.
On October 23rd Mayor of London Saidq Khan introduced the new toxic T-Charge in London which charges motorists a £10 fee to drive in the cities congestion charge zone if they do not meet the new emissions standard.
This takes the daily charge to £21.50, when the congestion charge fee is added.
Proposals suggest that this zone will be extended to the North and South Circular and could be introduced into a number of the most polluted cities across the country.
On the heels of the new T-Charge being introduced in the UK last month in Central London, urging drivers being urged to consider the second hand EV market.
In the last four years there has been a significant increase in demand for EVs in the UK; new registrations of plug-in cars increased from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 126,000 by the end of September 2017.
In addition to schemes to stop motorists driving petrol/diesels there is a plethora of other benefits that come with the ownership of EVs.
If cutting emissions isn’t enough of an incentive, then the fuel savings should be attractive to most motorists
Firstly the cost to run an EV is significantly lower than filling up a petrol or diesel tank explains Lynn Clark, Brand Manager for Exchange and Mart.
“If cutting emissions isn’t enough of an incentive, then the fuel savings should be attractive to most motorists,” explains Lynn.
“EVs cost just 2 pence a mile and £2-£3 to charge at home. In contrast, a petrol or diesel equivalent costs between £9 and £13 to drive 100 miles.
“And for car owners without off-street parking, government funding allows householders to apply for public on-street charge points near their home.”
While the running costs for EVs is so low, the initial cost of the car is not.
However, Exchange and Mart has found number of EVs for under £6,000 including the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Fluence and Twizy Guise for around £3,000.
Driving an electric car allows motorists to also use ‘clean air zones’ for free and bypass car tax (as long as the car costs less than £40,000).
In addition to this the Government offers a discount of £4,500 for full EVs and £2,500 for plug-un hybrids.
While you may be able to buy an electric car on the used market (or even new for that matteR) there is one thing that needs to be consider.
Electric cars are cheaper to run than petrol and diesel vehicles
Range is something that causes anxiety among EV drivers or those considering the switch.
Most ‘affordable’ EVs come with around 100 miles of range on a single charge, so evaluating how you use your car and what you need it for should inform your decision.
If you commute around the city, run around town on the weekends or don’t put huge miles into the car daily than these cars should more than suffice your lifestyle.
However if you regularly travel hundreds of miles a week and have large commutes then maybe these cars aren’t as suitable.
While there are higher range EVs on the market, they do come at a price.
There is to be investment by companies such as Shell in the number of car charging ports across the UK.
Polar, the UK’s largest EV charging network with more than 5,000 publicly-accessible charging points is continuing to expand with around 20 rapid chargers being added every month by Chargemaster over the coming years.
An issue that used EV buyers need to be aware of is how well the batteries keep their charge.
“If purchasing a car that has trouble maintaining battery energy, then a replacement will need to be considered, and this can come with a hefty price tag.
“However, many makes and models now come with a battery lease plan and whilst this adds to the vehicle’s monthly running costs, it will actually be offset by the car’s lower price.
Used Nissan Leafs can be bought for around £6,00 according Exchange and Mart
“With Oxford City Council just announcing plans to create the world’s first Clean Air Zone by 2020 and other cities set to follow suit, car buyers may want to consider their EV purchasing options,” continues Lynn Clark.
“Major car manufacturers are making some exciting changes. VW offers the e-Golf, offering a range of 186 miles thanks to its improved battery capacity and all in the familiar style.
“BMW is also getting in on the EV market with the i3, which offers stylish and practical motoring, with one of the best battery ranges around.
“What’s more, BMW’s electric Mini is set to launch in 2019 and Mercedes-Benz is promising electric versions of all its models.
“With the technology improving all the time, the used EV market is growing, which means there are some bargains to be had for two or three year-old electric models.
“There’s never been a better time to consider making the switch to electric, as it not only makes sense for the environment, it can bring significant savings on fuel and running costs.”