Where To Buy The Best Second Hand Or Used Electric Cars
In the market for an electric ride but can’t afford a fresh out the factory model? Have you tried looking at a second-hand electric car instead? Look in the right places, and you just might find your new favourite whip.
Why you’ll be doing your bit to cut carbon emissions in no time. You’ll also save some money by taking this route!
Sales of new and used electric cars are growing, making the road to EV a lot more accessible to those still on the fence. Here at E4TP, we’ve made it our mission to cover everything there is to know about electric transport.
It’s why we’ve put together a guide here on where you can buy the best second hand or used electric cars.
The process of buying any car these days has changed dramatically over the past decade or so. Dealerships will always be an option for old fashioned buyers or those with trust issues, but online has more than proven itself worthy. All you need to do now is fire up Google and search “best second-hand electric cars” to find a great deal on a modern automobile.
Another option would be to continue reading. After all, we’ve included top tips and gathered a few key websites worth checking out, all to help you find the cheapest used electric car.
Where to buy the best used electric cars?
Know that electric cars are catching up with petrol and diesel cars in terms of residual values. In other words, the car retains its value as soon as you buy it, unlike before. It’s a sign of a growing market, one that every major car brand is getting involved in.
The best used electric car websites
The internet is a bottomless pit of information and home to many helpful websites selling a wide selection of used electric cars. Sites put the power in your hands, giving you the ability to run fair comparisons with other sellers/sites to find a better deal.
Is it safe to buy a car online?
The answer to this question is yes, as long as the seller is a reputable one. We’d advise against purchasing second-hand cars from unknown places as a general rule of thumb, especially online. Potential buyers, you have a lot of options should you take the website route:
You might remember Auto Trader if you ever collected automobile magazines back in the day. The online version is the most visited car website in the UK, showcasing an extensive selection of new and used cars. Moreover, the Auto Trader site allows you to window-shop all the best used electric cars sold by independent/private dealers.
Buyers can filter by size, fuel type, economy and emission levels, amongst other options. This will be the site for you if you’re looking for the widest selection of used electric cars possible. Auto Trader also conducts its own reviews on most of the vehicles shown.
- Multiple categories to choose from
- Easy site navigation
- Results favour paid dealers
Cazoo was founded by Alex Chesterman, aka the guy behind DVD rental service Lovefilm and property site Zoopla. Every car you see listed on the site is owned by Cazoo directly. They actually test-drive every vehicle before it’s even listed, guaranteeing quality each time! Buyers can search by manufacturer, colour and engine.
The site currently holds a 4.8 Trust Pilot rating. Reviews on Trust Pilot are positive across the board, praising “good customer service” and “amazing prices.” However, some reviews have highlighted poor customer service when problems arise. Negative reviews are minimal but worth highlighting regardless.
- They test-drive all vehicles
- Cazoo highlights imperfections in detail
- Quality of customer service can vary
Conscious of financing? FairSquare is a site that puts your budget above everything else, perhaps to its detriment. The site has been around since 2018, allowing potential buyers to weigh up their options, both used and new, in great detail. Price sliders found in the search options make finding the best second-hand electric cars a doddle.
FairSquare links to other dealers rather than owning the vehicles themselves. Free delivery on all purchases, electric or not, makes buying from FairSquare an excellent option for those who don’t like spending too much money. The site claims to be independent. In other words, they don’t play favourites over specific dealers.
- Great for showing buyers what they can/can’t afford
- Search options give buyers applicable results
- Car info can get lost in favour of financing details
Heycar launched in 2019 and is a website owned by Volkswagen and Daimler, a site home to thousands of used cars. Only a select few can list their cars on the Heycar site, which is bad for the little guy (smaller garages), but great for everyone else, including you. You’ll find no ads from third-party providers at Heycar; the same goes for sponsored listings. Ads/sponsored listings tend to confuse rather than help; it’s good to see a site tackle that.
Every car must be less than 8 years old and have less than 100,000 miles on the clock to earn a place on the site. This does limit the number of cars on the site, but every car shown is on the newer side; visiting Heycar is a glass half empty type of deal.
- No ads or sponsored links to specific vehicles
- Every car listed is relatively new
- Older cars aren’t available
Like Auto Trader, PistonHeads is one of the oldest car sites going. It’s the place to be for news, forums and finding the cheapest second-hand electric cars for sale. This year, the site has well over 20 million posts from users; impressive, right? PistonHeads has a real sense of community about it. You’ll come to search for the best used electric cars but will stay for everything else.
Car enthusiasts chasing their automobile white whale will find PistonHeads a haven of sorts. This site is chocked full of special edition/rare vehicles, the kind James Bond rides around in.
The only real downside to this site is the number of private dealers compared to others.
- It’s a community-driven place to be
- Offers quite the selection of electric cars
- Not as many private dealers listed
Tesla’s Used Inventory
Why not buy a used electric car straight from the source? Tesla has a used inventory made for the sole purpose of selling pre-owned versions of their famous motors. You can’t customise the vehicle like you can by purchasing a new Tesla, but the price difference is noticeable. For example, we’ve seen a 2015 Tesla Model S selling for £31,000.
Tesla has full access to each vehicle’s history, allowing them to pick and choose which vehicles can be re-sold and still hold up. All second-hand electric cars sold by Tesla go through similar processes to ensure only the finest quality for potential first-time buyers. Everybody wants a Tesla, and now you can buy one at a reasonable price!
- All cars are tested and maintained by Tesla
- Electric cars continue to receive new updates
- Some used Tesla’s can’t be bought in certain countries
Some of the best used electric cars for sale fill the sites mentioned above. Let’s be honest, sites are a lot easier to navigate, allowing you to cut straight to the point. All relevant information is right there in front of you, too; it’s one of the main selling points of ordering a zero-emission whip online over visiting a dealership in person.
Second hand electric car dealerships vs used car sites
Most land-based car dealerships now offer a selection of new/used electric vehicles. Dealerships aren’t limited to one or two electric vehicles either. Plug-in hybrids, hybrids, and all-electric cars should be available for purchase at in-person dealerships. Traditional buyers will trust these places a lot more than the sites mentioned above.
Yes, those that go to car dealerships can inspect certain vehicles up close to check for scratches and other damages, but used car websites tend to be pretty descriptive/honest about these sorts of issues too.
You might end up visiting multiple dealerships before finding the best second-hand electric car for you, whereas searching online could perhaps yield a faster or better result. In short, you’re limited to the area you find yourself in.
Don’t get it twisted; we see the advantages of car dealerships. In fact, we know for a fact that more electric-only dealerships will appear in the next few years. Used electric car sites and dealerships both have their place and provide the same service at the end of the day, but we tend to lean more towards used car sites.
The best second hand electric cars
Like their non-electric counterpart, electric cars are bought and sold multiple times to make way for new iterations over time, thus allowing you to join the electric boom without needing to rob a bank first. Not sure which used electric car is for you? Check out our zero-emission picks below:
Release Date: 2010
Used Price Point: £5,000-£16,500
The Nissan Leaf is a compact ride with later versions giving drivers around 170 miles on a single charge. How much does a Nissan Leaf sell for these days? Well, depending on the version, you’re looking at anywhere between £5,000 to £16,500. Most Leaf’s you come across should still be covered by Nissan’s 100,000-mile warranty on batteries.
Tesla Model S
Release Date: 2012
Used Price Point: £30,000-£90,500
A god amongst men (even in second-hand form), the Model S remains one of Tesla’s finest electric cars to date. Drivers can manage up to 200 miles between charges if they’re looking after the battery correctly (avoid overcharging as this will wear the battery down). You’ll be asked to pay more for a Model S, but the power they possess, even second-hand versions, is scary.
Release Date: 2014
Used Price Point: £16,000-£31,000
Volkswagen released an electric version of their popular Golf car in 2014 after years of development. Try to avoid models before 2017 as the range is relatively short compared to later versions. The e-Golf is the perfect people-pleaser, especially later versions, given its faster charging time. Production of the e-Golf ended in December of 2020.
Kia Soul EV
Release Date: 2014
Used Price Point: £14,995-£20,000
The Kia Soul EV is an all-electric subcompact crossover SUV with plenty to give if you let it. A half-decent version of this electric car could take you up to 100 miles on a single charge. You might want to look at another second-hand car for sale if you care about boot size, as the Kia Soul EV is lacking in that department.
Understand that first-generation electric vehicles have shorter ranges in comparison to newer models. Working out the max range on any electric vehicle is easy; you just need to look at its kWh number; the higher the number, the greater the range. Charge times will lengthen the higher you go kWh-wise. Ask yourself how far you’d travel on average before making a final decision, it could make the world of difference.
In Closing: Where To Buy The Best Second Hand Or Used Electric Cars
As you can see, buyers have many options when it comes to finding the best second-hand electric cars. Websites tend to offer a wider selection, but land-based dealers still have their place in the electric car ecosystem and always will.
A great starting point is to search for some of the electric cars mentioned above; after all, they offer more bang for your buck.
- Don’t want to buy the EV outright? No problem. Have you thought about leasing it instead? See our guide here for more.
The Tesla Model S alone is worthy of your time and attention — a great option for buyers looking for an all-electric car from the one and only Tesla.
On a budget? Check out the Nissan Leaf; it’s an inexpensive model with great mileage depending on the age/quality of the vehicle.
Did you learn a thing or two? Are you confident in your abilities to find a decent selection of used electric cars that work for you? Let us know in the comments below.
The Best Used Electric Cars FAQs
Looking for more info? In this section, we’ll be breaking down your frequently asked questions surrounding second-hand electric cars for sale.
Does the battery come with the used electric car?
In some cases, you will be expected to lease the battery unless otherwise stated. You can generally tell which electric cars come with batteries as they’re typically more expensive to purchase. Ensure you ask about the battery before making any purchase, as it isn’t always clear.
What is the best used electric car website?
Auto Trader is probably the best option if you’re looking for some of the best used electric cars available. Why? Because they give you more options to pick and choose from, outside of having an outstanding reputation. Other sites have their highlights, but Auto Trader appears to cover all bases.
What is the cheapest second-hand electric car I can buy?
Price-wise, you’ll be paying a lot more for an electric vehicle/hybrid over standard vehicles. In short, the price of a second-hand electric car will depend entirely on the seller, make and battery. The Nissan Leaf appears to be one of the cheaper used electric cars on average. Perhaps this could be worth looking into?
Why are there so many used electric cars for sale?
With electric cars and EV in general, the technology is ever-changing. Companies like Tesla and Audi are working on new, stronger batteries that take less time to fully charge. Don’t let that throw you. All the best used electric cars are incredibly cheap compared to brand new vehicles.