How to buy a used EV

How to buy a used EV

April 16, 2024

A new take on EV buying

In many ways buying a used EV is no different from buying any other sort of car – first you see it, you’re intrigued, attracted, then you fall in love with it,……. you know you want it!  But then you start to looking for excuses to run away.

You check tyres, brakes, interior, body and paint work, but they’re all perfect. It’s done 25,000 km and everything on this Tesla Model 3 looks brand new! Why is it for sale?

We think you need a different take on things, a place that can help you check all the new and sometimes hidden features of an EV before you buy.

Somewhere that’s EV friendly, and a great place to checkout a wide range of EV’s for sale.  You need AmazingEV. Australia’s dedicated used EV marketplace.

There you can find a range of amazing, used EV, just EV’s – plus information on the most important things you need to help you when you’re buying a used EV.

And don’t forget, you are not alone. There’s already a flourishing used EV market with over 14,000 pure EV’s sold in 2023, that’s 1,100 a month, according to data from our friends from Autograb, who count everything in the used car market.

So who’s buying used EV’s?

The budget conscious, forward thinking, environmentally aware, Mothers, uncles, daughters and cousins – who know a good deal when they see one, that’s who. Many are buying a second family car, getting into the EV market for the first time, or just rescuing a Nissan Leaf from the scrap heap. That’s who.

But what made them sure that parting with $50k on a two year old Tesla was a good idea?  

Here’s some of the ideas from used EV buyers, that we wanted to share with you.

A Car Health Check, especially for EV's

We recommend an overall car check, as always before, but this time from a local EV accredited service centre, the Manufacturers service centre, NRMA or equivalent, just as you would with any other car.


Body, brakes, bearings, pipes, fluids, seals, glass, tyres, software updates etc. make sure all in keeping with age and millage.


And don’t panic if it hasn’t been serviced much at all in the first 2-3 years, sometimes there’s just not that much to do anymore.


Here’s Tesla’s suggested servicing program covering the first 4 years.  Not a hellava lot to think, or worry about either!


Many also went one step further and got an EV battery check Battery Health, not the 12 volt one but the big one that powers the car, from the Manufacturer or specialist battery testing services.


EV Batteries do degrade, but nowhere near as fast as you might have read.  EV battery history data we got from USA company Recurrent, who studied thousands of live EV batteries, suggests a 5% loss in the first year, then 1% per year after is typical for modern EV’s.


But even then, it doesn’t just get to a point the car won’t work, it just doesn’t drive as far as it used too.

A red flag after a battery health check is a result that is well outside this range.


If you see this, then in fact, it’s probably a major battery failure and in many cases still inside the new car manufacturers battery warranty.


Most new EV’s have extraordinary Motor and Battery Warranties, up to an amazing 7-8 years or 160,000 km, and the great thing is  they are usally fully transferable, so you can expect to take full advantage of that with a Used EV.


But there is no doult, given the importance of the most expensive part of your Used EV, Battery Health data will become common currenty for Used EV’s and go on to form part of an EV’s ongoing Warrant of Fitness.  This will provide confidence to both used EV buyers and sellers.


Some say a car’s life ends when the cost to fix it is more than it’s value, say around the 11 year mark.  Which co-incidentally is the average age of used cars in Australia.  We don’t see EV’s being any different – except the biggest Asset, the battery will still have plenty of life left in it, for, say, a home storage system!

Car History Report

Most EV Buyers indulge themselves and spend the price of a bottle of wine (not a very good one) on a Car History Report.

This report, from a number of online providers uses VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) or Rego number to provide you with more details about whether the car has been;

1. Reported in any accidents
2. Damaged, Written off or Stolen
3. Still has finance owning (PPSR Report, Personal Property Securities Register)

Once you get the report, that love at first sight may not be a deep and long lasting as you had hoped.


Also, don’t forget, don’t ignore the obvious as all care is taken with these reports, there is no substitute for a physical inspection for accident damage, which may slipped under the radar. A good local panel shop can tell you in a second!


Seriously, depending on what factors pop up, eg. accident damage, while we don’t suggest you run away, every negative on the Report has an impact, usually on price or your minimum expectations – to the point where, perhaps, this is not the one for you.

Private EV Sellers love their EV's

The great thing all private sale used EV buyers shared was getting to talk to the previous owner, usually someone from the EV friendly community and getting to know the story of the car.


Many EV sellers are early adopters and have become accidental advocates, or just natural EV enthusiasts.  They usually love driving EV’s and telling the story of their EV journey.  This just naturally gives you confidence as a used EV buyer and encourages others to get on board too.


Private Used EV Buyers, via online marketplaces like AmazingEV, have really enjoyed finding out the car has been owned by an real EV lover and looked after better than the family dog.  Many cars even have a name, and become part of the family too, which makes it easier for your love it too.

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