What does a used EV cost? What kinds are available?
Research shows that non-luxury used EVs are cheaper to own than even used gasoline-powered cars. Price trends in the used EV market depend on a lot of factors, such as availability and demand, but – barring some strange trends, you’ll be saving money if you buy your EV used.
Overall in California, used EVs are 40 percent cheaper compared to the average used gas car with the maximum incentive under California’s Clean Cars 4 All program.
You can find the latest and best cost information on used EVs at Recurrent Auto.
The EVs on the list below are generally half the price or less of a new EV and can be found for under $15,000:
- Nissan LEAF
- Ford Focus
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Kia Soul EV
- BMW i3
Learn about used and new EV incentives by zip code.
Where can I find a Used EV?
The California used EV market is the largest in the country, with almost four times as much in inventory as the next biggest market: Texas. You can find any price or level of luxury. The average price for our vehicle bundle in California is $30,715 – just under the nationwide average of $31,031. Notably, 2018 and 2019 Model 3’s can be found around $42,500, around the same price as a 2015 Model S.
All used car websites have used EVs and most dealerships do as well. If you’ve shopped for a used car before, you may already have a favorite site. If this is your first time buying a used car, consider the experience you’re looking for and the type of information you want. Autotrader.com has been around for a long time. TrueCar.com will show you what other people paid for the same car. And Carvana will give you the experience of picking up your used EV from a futuristic car vending machine.
Below is a list of the top used car websites where you can find the best used EVs near you. Enjoy the ride!
What’s the battery life on a used EV and is it under warranty?
Batteries last a long time, but just like the rechargeable batteries in your phone or computer, the amount of charge they can take lessens over time. Don’t expect a 100% battery life report on a used EV, but don’t be dismayed if the car only offers three-quarters of its original range. Most people don’t drive more than 40 to 50 miles a day anyway.
If you’re really concerned about battery degradation, but you’re looking for the best value, it would be wise to shop for an electric car with around 50,000 to 75,000 miles. Recurrent’s vehicle-specific range reports helps you understand the battery condition and know what to pay. This free analysis tool requires a couple of minutes and dashboard photos of the car you’re considering
In regard to battery warranties, depending on how old the EV is or how many miles are on it, a used EV may still be under a warranty that can be transferred to the new owner. Be sure to do your research and read the fine print before you complete your purchase. Dealership customer service departments can also tell you if the EV has an expired warranty and whether it is transferable.
The California Air Resources Board is looking at requiring automakers to include specific warranties on their EVs that will take effect in 2026.
Does your used EV have all of its charging equipment?
Make sure that the seller includes the charging cord, all adaptors, and any other charging equipment. Charging devices can be expensive. It’s possible the car’s previous owner misplaced it or left it at home when they traded it in for a new vehicle at a dealership. If buying the electric car from a private party, it may be worth asking if the seller would sell their installed home charger to you as well. Level 2 chargers cost an estimated $500-600 new, and they are easy to install as long as you have a 240-volt power outlet.
How to charge and where to charge?
How to charge and where to charge should be the next step in considering an EV. Here are some questions to consider before you buy an EV, whether it’s new or used:
How will you use your EV and what is your average daily mileage?
- A vehicle with a range of fewer than 100 miles works for the average daily commuter. If you drive for vacations that don’t fit within your EV’s range, you will need to plan in advance and add the time to charge into your road trip.
Can you charge at home?
- 80% of EV owners charge at home. Charging at home is easiest and one of the best benefits of owning an EV – no more trips to the gas station!
- There are 2 types of home charging. If you don’t drive a lot of miles every day or if you buy a plug-in hybrid, you can charge your car with a typical household outlet (Level 1).
- If you want to “refill” your EV faster, you may opt to install a faster 220- to a 240-volt outlet, like those used by clothes dryers, which usually entails hiring an electrician. If you decide that installing a home charger makes sense, check out ElectricForAll Home Charging Advisor to determine which charger is right for you and get assistance with applying for incentives.
What public charging options are nearby your work or home?
- Check to see if your workplace has EV charging available and if not, some city parking garages allow free charging if you are a commuter. Check your local county or city parking for EV parking availability or click here to find the nearest charger location.
Where are charging stations on your regular routes and destinations?
- You’ll want to find out where you can access EV chargers along your typical and not-so-typical driving routes. Not all public chargers can support all levels of charging. The dealership or owner can tell you if the car is equipped with faster-charging capability. Some models provide charging adaptors.
- To see the different types of public chargers, click here.
Do you live in an apartment or condo?
- Some apartment residents or city homeowners will only have on-street parking.
- Some apartments and condos have private garages or driveways. In that case, an electrician can install the charger in those locations depending on the apartment or condo association rules and regulations.