Today, interest in electric cars continues to rise steadily. According to a YouGov poll, 17% of British people would consider buying an electric car. It’s no wonder: manufacturers have improved the look of EVs, and their electric driving range has vastly improved, too, along with the UK’s car charging infrastructure. Plus, you can also make some serious savings in the long term, thanks to overall cheaper running costs.

With Electric cars being available on the market for a few years now, this means there’s now a wealth of used electric vehicles available. Used electric cars offer a cheaper cost to entry, but there are some considerations, such as the range of used electric cars, maintenance costs, and battery health.

Depending on your needs, opting to go either electric or hybrid (a car that pairs a petrol or diesel engine with an electric battery and motor) could be a wise financial decision – especially with certain government incentives, like free road tax.

As electrically powered models grow in popularity, it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the key factors of the buying process.

Naturally, this used electric car buying guide has lots of handy info, so we’ve made it easy for you to get to the section most relevant to your needs. Feel free to skip ahead using the links below to get the information you’re after.

Should I buy a used electric car?

Now is a great time to buy a used electric car, with many automotive brands expanding their electric vehicle range. First though, you have to make sure an EV is right for you and your needs. Like petrol and diesels, electric vehicles come with some pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of a used electric car

Only you can decide whether a used electric car is right for you, but we can certainly share our expert advice. Visit our pros and cons list for buying a used electric car for a more detailed and in-depth guide to the benefits and disadvantages of a used electric car.

Advantages of buying a used EV:

The purchase price will be significantly lower than buying a brand-new EV
There are overall lower running costs with EVs, especially if you have a charging point at home
EVs have fewer moving parts, and should prove reliable and easier to maintain
Many manufacturers provide a 5/8-year warranty for the battery, which could still be in effect when bought used

Disadvantages of buying a used EV:

EV batteries can degrade over time, losing the capacity to hold as much energy – which could mean reduced range after a few years of use
EVs take longer to recharge than a petrol or diesel does to refuel – although modern rapid chargers can provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes
Battery replacement, if required, is expensive (although batteries should last at least 8-10 years)
For maintenance issues, you’ll likely have to visit a main dealer or specialist, as independent garages may not be set up to service and maintain EVs


On top of these pros and cons, you need to consider EV charging. You’ll want easy access to a dedicated charge point, which you can use regularly – whether at home, work, or somewhere else nearby.

Also, think about the journeys you’ll be using the car for. If you’re travelling short distances regularly then an everyday electric vehicle can easily fit into your life, but if you need it for longer trips then you’ll probably want to consider a Long-range electric vehicle, a hybrid diesel car, or a hybrid petrol model.

Driving a used electric car

Driving an electric car can be a lot of fun – particularly as EVs can draw upon their electric motor for instant power, generating maximum torque from a standstill. That means electric vehicles often have very impressive acceleration times.

But that’s not all, electric cars also provide:

  • An easy driving experience thanks to full automatic transmissions
  • A smooth and quiet ride experience
  • Regenerative braking to recover energy

Are used electric cars worth it?

Yes, absolutely. Although they may sometimes cost more upfront to buy than a comparable petrol car, EVs can offer reduced running costs overall. According to a Which? study in November 2023, the cost of EV charging can be as low as 2.5p a mile for off-peak electricity at home.

In the same study, fears about the range of EVs is also answered, reminding drivers that most journeys are under 100 miles in the first place – and an electric car can easily meet those needs. But what about charging the car?

Well, in the UK there are now more than 42,000 charge point connectors spread over 15,500 locations according to EDF Energy. As well as never being too far from a charging station, thousands of those chargers are also free to use!

Would I be better off with a used hybrid car?

If you plan on doing a lot of long-distance driving, then it might make more sense to go with a hybrid car. Hybrids use a petrol or diesel engine paired with an electric motor and battery. This allows them to cover more miles than most of their all-electric counterparts without needing to refuel.

More than that though, they’re less dependent on having access to charging facilities as they can be refuelled with petrol or diesel in the normal way.

However, advances in electric technology mean EVs continue to rapidly improve in terms of the distance they are able to travel. Today, there are Long-Range Electric Vehicles that can cover over 400 miles on a single charge – perfect for any long-distance journey.

Buying a used electric car

Buying an electric car is more or less the same as purchasing a petrol or diesel vehicle. That means you want to follow all the usual car-buying steps, from setting a budget, to finding the right vehicle for your needs. But take note, when it comes to the world of EVs, there are a couple of additional points you want to look out for.

When buying a used electric car, you want to follow the same steps you would when purchasing a second-hand petrol or diesel vehicle. If you’re not sure what those steps are, check out our Complete Guide to Buying a Used Car.

What should I look for when buying a used electric car?

Regardless of whether you plan on buying a used or new EV, you want to find out a few extra details about the car. So, be sure to look out for the following things when buying an electric vehicle:

  • Range – if you drive long distances, you’ll probably want to go for a long-range electric car
  • What government grants are available – check out The Plug-in Car Grant and the Homecharging Scheme
  • The type of charger it uses – different EVs have different chargers, so it’s best to know which you have in advance
  • Charge speed – some electric cars can accept up to 350kW, others around 7kW, and this will affect whether you can use a rapid charger or not
  • Where you can charge the electric car – can you get a dedicated home wallbox charger? Or recharge your EV at work or somewhere nearby?
  • Costs of charging – it’ll help you budget your running costs
  • How to maintain your battery – EV batteries can lose charge over time, so read up on how to keep it at its best

We go into a lot more detail on many of these points in two of our in-depth guides: Electric Car Charging and Electric Car Range.

Top tip: when buying a used EV check the car when it is fully charged and see what the info screen says about the health of the battery and the maximum range

Where can I buy an electric car?

For those looking on the second-hand market, you can buy a used electric car with us at MOTORS.

There are other alternatives, such as approved used cars from franchised dealerships, that will often include a manufacturer-approved warranty for your EV.

Other options include car supermarkets, independent dealerships, EV Specialist Dealers and online dealerships. Whilst offering warranties, these may or may not be manufactured and approved.

Finally, buying a used EV from a private seller is possible. But this will often come with no warranties and will be sold as seen.

Brand-new electric vehicles can be bought from car dealerships, like you would a petrol or diesel car. Tesla EVs, however, are predominantly bought online as they don’t have a traditional dealer network.


Used Electric car prices

How much does an electric car cost? Well, prices from new typically range from around £20,000 for small city cars, up to £100,000+ for luxury models and high-end sports cars. We’ve also created a list of the 10 best budget electric cars on offer.

You can get a good idea of new and used EV prices with our quick reference table below.

High-end Electric Cars New Price from (£) Used Price from (£)*
Audi E-Tron 60,000 20,000
Jaguar i-Pace 55,180 24,666
Mercedes EQS 89,624 67,940
Porsche Taycan 97,990 64,981
Tesla Model S Not available for sale 26,710
Tesla Model X Not available for sale 40,842
Mid-range Electric Cars New Price from (£) Used Price from (£)*
BMW i3 Not available for sale 8,894
Honda e 36,158 16,613
Hyundai Ioniq 19,299 11,995
Kia e-Niro 29,556 19,324
Tesla Model 3 33,192 22,853
Cheapest Electric Cars New Price from (£) Used Price from (£)*
Fiat 500e 24,000 12,450
Mini Electric 20,000 15,000
Nissan Leaf 21,012 6,235
Renault Zoe 16,966 6,681
Smart EQ ForTwo 15,500 2,495
Vauxhall Corsa-e 25,995 12,499


*Used Prices are from, as of 16/01/2024.

Used Electric car range

EV range is how far an electric car can travel on a fully charged battery. Distance-wise, the range of EVs is usually lower than diesel and petrol vehicles. However, this needn’t be a concern if you mainly plan on doing city driving or short commutes.

Also, the range is affected by a variety of factors, such as the weather. We go into depth on this subject in our Electric Car Range guide, which covers what affects it, how to get the most miles out of your EV, and more.

Top-end electric sports cars and luxury EVs are now able to run for prolonged distances, with ranges sometimes close to double the size of standard models.

Some EVs can now drive the length of London to Edinburgh in one go, providing over 400 miles on a single charge! You can read all about such EVs with our Top 10 Electric Cars with the Longest Range.

Furthermore, the range of an electric car can diminish as its battery health declines. This could mean shorter ranges for older and higher mileage electric cars.

Used electric car batteries

The electric battery in your used EV is like the heart of your car in many ways. It’s what’s responsible for providing the energy to get your car driving down the street.

Electric batteries in EVs measure their energy capacity in kilowatt-hours (kWh), which relates to the amount of energy the battery can store over a set period of time. The easiest way to think of it is like a petrol or diesel fuel tank, the larger the capacity, the more fuel (or charge) it can retain.

City cars and smaller hatchbacks tend to have EV batteries with around 35kWh of capacity, mid-size cars have around 50kWh while larger SUVs and performance cars will have batteries 85kWh and above.

What is used electric car battery life like?

Electric cars share the same curse as many other electrical products much like phones and laptops. In short, their batteries can degrade over a long period of time, reducing the charge they can retain.

Automotive brands have attempted to safeguard customers from this concern with lengthy warranties that guarantee their batteries will perform at a certain capacity for either several years or number of miles.

A common cause of worry among potential buyers is whether or not they’ll have to fork out for a replacement battery a couple of years down the line. If you’re still concerned on EVs battery life you can read our article on the average battery life of an electric car.

It’s also possible to prolong a battery pack’s life by both recharging and discharging it on a frequent basis. Don’t charge your EV unnecessarily, though, as this will do more harm than good. It’s also equally important to ensure your car’s battery gets used regularly, as neglect has been linked to premature battery decline. In addition, try to:

  • Limit the use of rapid chargers, as prolonged use could strain the battery
  • Keep your battery between 20%-80% when recharging and discharging to maintain its optimum capacity for longer

The cost of electric car batteries

Between 2010 and 2016, EV batteries have dropped in cost by around 80%, which is a huge sum, especially considering driver concerns over battery prices. However, you can still expect to pay on average around £4,500 for an EV battery replacement.

Having said that, most electric cars come with a 5 to 8-year warranty on the battery. Also, you can typically expect the battery to last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.

Electric car battery lease

Previously the Renault Zoe had the option to lease the battery, where you can own the car but not the battery, instead choosing to pay a small monthly fee for its use.

However, this practice of battery leasing has now been phased out as concerns about battery life has reduced.

Costs of running a used electric car

The cost to charge an electric car will depend on where you recharge your EV. For more information read on charging costs and types of charging available, read our guide to electric car charging.

Cost of Charging a Used Electric Car From 0% to 80%
Charging Location Charging Speed Cost
At home 7kW Home Wallbox Charger £17.87
Public Charger 23-99 kW Rapid Charger £35.43
Public Charger 100+kW Ultra Rapid Charger £37.99
Free Charging Points Varied £0.00

* All prices taken from RAC Charge Watch

Used electric car service and repair costs

Electric cars have fewer moving parts compared to petrol and diesel cars. That means servicing and repair costs should be comparable or even less expensive as there are fewer mechanical parts to inspect and replace.

With that said, EVs are heavier than petrol or diesel cars (because of the battery pack) and will have larger brakes that a more expensive to replace. Tyres, too, can wear quicker due to the increased overall weight of the car.

Used electric car MOTs

Electric cars still need to pass an MOT test after 3 years just like diesel and petrol cars. However, they don’t require an emissions test.

Car insurance for used electric cars

Electronic car insurance, known as e-car insurance, follows the same basic principles as regular car insurance. Specific policies differ for electrically powered vehicles, though, due to the cost of specialised parts, battery prices, and the need for repairs to be done by specially trained mechanics.

It’s likely the cost of insuring an electric car will be more expensive than a similar car that requires diesel or petrol. This is because the technology is still new and the initial purchase and repair price is generally higher.

Used electric vehicle breakdown cover

Many EVs offer 3 years of breakdown cover when purchased as a new car. If your EV does break down or its battery runs empty, take note, you should not tow an electric car over long distances as it can damage the vehicle. Instead, it should be loaded onto a flatbed truck by the breakdown company.

Used electric car road tax

Vehicle excise duty, or road tax, is currently free for electric cars, although you still have to go through the road tax process and sign all the relevant documents. Read all about this subject in Road Tax on Electric Cars and Hybrid Cars.

Electric car grants

There are a number of incentives and government grants in place to assist drivers in making the switch to electric motoring. There is the Homecharging Scheme, which helps owners install a dedicated home charge point by offering up to £350 off a residential EV charger. This makes charging your used EV at home more accessible and desirable due to the lower cost of recharging at home compared to public chargers.

And there is the Workplace Charging Scheme, which assists businesses in setting up EV chargers in the workplace. All of the grants come with eligibility criteria, so check in advance to make sure they apply to you and your EV.

How much does it cost to install an electric charger at home?

The cost to install a dedicated wallbox charger at home depends on the manufacturer and kilowattage of the charger. Typically, a 3kW unit will cost between £250-£500, whilst a faster 7kW wallbox charger will be priced between £450-£800. For the even faster 22kW charger, you’re looking at around £1,000-£1,500.

Used Electric vehicle maintenance

With no engine oil to change, cambelt to replace, or water pump to change, electric vehicles are easier to maintain than petrol and diesel cars. It’s why you can generally expect to pay less for electric vehicle maintenance.

Do used electric vehicles need more servicing?

No, electric vehicles do not need servicing more than petrol or diesel cars. You should service your EV just as often as you would any other car to keep it in good health.

However, with fewer moving parts, annual servicing costs can sometimes be cheaper as there are fewer parts to test, and fewer parts that’ll need repairing or replacing. Tyres, of course, need to be replaced just as regularly as with any car.

Are used electric cars reliable?

Yes, used electric cars have proven to be reliable. Again, due to the lower number of moving parts, there is less that can go wrong with an EV compared to a petrol or diesel model.

How do you service a used electric car?

Simply take your EV to a qualified technician and they’ll take over from there. The technician will use a diagnostic machine to check if any fault codes need attention, and they’ll check the battery for its performance and for any damaged cells, along with other checks to make sure your EV is in the best condition.

The best-used electric cars to buy

We’ve covered many considerations for buying a used electric car. with so many used EV examples available, you might feel a little overwhelmed with choice. It’s important to choose an EV that suits your lifestyle, whether that’s fitting in all the family, or wanting the most range out of your car.

If you are convinced a used electric vehicle is the right choice, check our expert’s recommendations for the best used electric cars.