Easier but not always cheaper: what to know about buying a second-hand electric car
Opting for a pre-loved electric vehicle might get you in an electric car faster, but there are some important factors to consider before taking the keys.
Australians’ hunger to transition to a cleaner energy future, with sales data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) showing that 33,410 electric vehicles (EV) were sold in 2022.
The reasons behind the uptick are clear: EVs have environmental benefits and are cheaper to run in the long term than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, with the upfront cost of some EVs now comparable to that of similar petrol or diesel cars.
The only problem is that demand for electric cars hasn’t quite kept up with supply, a common problem for EVs and ICE vehicles alike. “Demand for EVs is strong - some new models have sold out in minutes,” says Liam Brady, EV Manager at RACV. "However, limited new supply has created a shortage in the market.”
“This has led to instances of people paying more for a second-hand EV than a new EV of the exact same model.”
Consumers looking to skip wait times by opting for a used EV will also need to scour the market harder and face stiff competition to secure the vehicle they want, at least for the next few years.
“Due to the relatively low number of EVs on the road in Australia the second-hand market for them is obviously small,” Brady says.
“This is likely to change in the coming years as state and federal governments have strong mandates to electrify their fleets which they turnover on average every three years – this will significantly spur on the second-hand market helping more Australians afford an EV.”
If you are set on sourcing a used electric vehicle, there’s a few things to keep in mind before handing over any money.