Should you buy a Used Electric Car?

Considering a used electric car? With rising fuel prices and government incentives, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular. While new EVs can be expensive, a pre-owned EV offers significant savings, avoiding initial depreciation and lowering overall costs. Learn about the benefits, what to look for, and whether a used EV is the right choice for you in 2024.
used ev
By - Sankul Nagpal
June 21, 2024

Gone are the days when finding an electric vehicle on the road was a rarity. With rising fuel prices, coupled with government subsidies, large-scale adoption of EVs, and players like Tata Motors entering the space, buying an electric car is no longer a distant dream. Offering several advantages over conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, Electric Vehicles are loved not just because they are cleaner and greener to drive, but also because they are smarter, more efficient and cheaper to both maintain and drive. No wonder why Electric Vehicles are now an integral part of OEM sales, with every car manufacturer witnessing double-digit growth. However, despite all the advantages, one thing that still bothers a lot of potential buyers is the price of electric vehicles which is quite higher than conventional ICE vehicles. This is where a pre-owned EV could prove to be a smarter choice, offering a substantial price advantage and overall value in addition to other advantages. So if you are wondering whether or not to buy a used electric car, here’s what you should keep in mind.

Table of Contents

Why You Should Consider a Used Electric Car

The dilemma of whether or not to choose a pre-owned electric car crops up from the moment you consider buying one. Doubts like battery longevity and lifecycle, motor durability and overall condition can eclipse your decision. This is why it is crucial to list out the advantages so that you can weigh the pros and cons. Here are some of the advantages of choosing pre-owned electric cars.

Up Front Price Advantage

The biggest advantage of choosing a pre-owned electric car is the upfront price advantage it offers. Compared to the retail on-road price of an EV, a used electric car can offer savings of about 30% to 70%, depending on the age of the vehicle, since demand for EVs is still less than for conventional ICE cars. For example, the on-road price of a Tata Nexon EV for its base model in Delhi can cost you around 15.2 lakhs. For the same model, you can expect a price of around 10-12 Lakhs in the pre-owned market. This means that you will be able to save a substantial amount in upfront costs when buying a pre-owned electric vehicle. These savings can go a long way in reducing the total ownership cost of your EV, helping you save more in every aspect.

Avoid Initial Depreciation

Vehicles are depreciating assets and that’s something that will always haunt new car buyers, especially during their initial years of ownership. This is because new cars, both ICE and EVs, tend to lose up to 30-40% of their ex-showroom value in the first 2-3 years of their ownership. By opting for a used electric vehicle, you can save yourself from this initial depreciation thereby making a more financially sound decision. With the effects of initial depreciation avoided, you can be assured of viable savings throughout the life of your EV, since the depreciation rate wouldn’t be as high as it is during the initial years of ownership. This way you can counter the effect of depreciation with the amount you save as both upfront as well as running costs.

Better Affordability

Since EVs are generally priced higher than their ICE counterparts, your dream of getting home an electric vehicle might get delayed due to the high price tag of brand-new EVs. This is another area where buying a used electric car can really help. Since used cars offer an attractive price advantage, you can fulfil your dream of driving an electric car much sooner. The used car market is revered for its affordability and the same is true even in the case of electric vehicles. By choosing to buy a pre-owned electric car, you can use a budget that otherwise would not be able to buy you an electric vehicle, to bring home your dream car.

Maximum Savings

With a pre-owned electric vehicle by your side, you can be assured of maximum savings in almost every aspect. Be it upfront savings or freedom from initial depreciation, buying a used EV will help you save big even in terms of maintenance, cost of driving, charging and overall upkeep. Since EVs are substantially cheaper to drive, with a pre-owned EV you can recover the cost of your purchase much faster than you would have been able to when buying a brand-new electric car.

What to look out for when buying a Used EV

When in the used car market, knowing what not to buy is more important than knowing what to buy. Because at the end of the day, you would not want to bring home a car that robs you of your savings. When it comes to electric cars, even though there are fewer moving parts than in conventional ICE vehicles, factors like battery, motor and other components largely affect how an EV will perform and thus should not be ignored. So here’s what to look out for when buying a used EV.

Battery Health

The heart and soul of every electric car is its battery pack. The better and more efficient the pack is the better an EV performs. Much like our mobiles, modern-day EV batteries are made up of lithium-ion and are prone to losing their optimum performance as they age. This is why considering battery health becomes much more crucial when buying a used electric car. An EV with depleted battery health might give you a lower range and can ruin your EV ownership experience. So whenever you are out there buying a used EV, make sure to carefully inspect the battery’s health. To make sure the battery is in good health, drive the EV a few kilometres and check how much the range and battery has depleted. If you notice the battery as well as the displayed range falling at a higher pace than usual, avoid the deal at all costs.


Since EV adoption in India is a recent phenomenon, the biggest advantage of buying a pre-owned EV is the fact that you can bring home newer models for a substantially lower price. Moreover, since modern-day EV batteries are meant to last long, EV manufacturers often offer longer battery and motor warranty periods ranging anywhere between 5 to 8 years on average. Thus, chances are that the used EV you are eyeing will have a valid warranty still in place. To make sure that you crack the right deal, ask the owner/dealer about the warranty period, terms and validity, to make sure crucial components like the battery pack and motor are well covered. 

Electric Motor

One of the most important components of an EV other than the battery is the electric motor. It is the electric motor that sends power to your wheels. Being an electric component it is crucial to check that the Electric Motor is in good shape and is working well. Therefore, before buying the pre-owned electric vehicle you are eyeing, make sure to check the electric motor for any kind of unwanted noise, faults and lack of performance/pickup.

Charging Accessories

The key to efficient EV functioning is a healthy charging cycle and good charging practices. Since EVs come with a specific range, there are multiple charging options that manufacturers provide. These include fast charging, AC as well as DC charging options all of which charge the battery at different rates. But to get the best out of an EV’s battery, the pre-owned EV you are eye must be offered with all the charging accessories such as plugs, portable charging apparatus, and other charging accessories. If the deal you are eyeing is missing these elements, try and avoid the deal.

How old should a pre-owned EV be?

Much like conventional ICE cars, the key to bringing home a pre-owned electric car you won’t regret is to choose models that are relatively newer in both age as well as condition. The good thing is that since EV adoption itself is relatively new, most of the models up for sale are usually just a few years old. If not, make sure that you buy a used EV that is about 3-4 years old. This way you can be assured of a smoother ownership experience, fewer kilometres on the Odo, an active company warranty and a well-maintained condition. It is also advised to either avoid models that are more than 5 years old or buy them only and only if the battery and motor are in good condition.

Is a used electric car worth buying in 2024

Considering the many advantages EVs offer over conventional ICE vehicles, buying a used electric car comes as a much more viable and financially sound decision. With charging infrastructure rapidly growing, this could be the best time to bring home an EV. And for those who do not have a big budget, buying an EV in its pre-owned glory could truly be the best way forward. With a pre-owned EV by your side, you can not only save hefty in terms of upfront costs and depreciation but also be assured of maximum value and overall affordability. 

Frequently asked questions(FAQs)

  1. Q. What are the benefits of buying an Electric Vehicle?

    EVs are cleaner, greener and cheaper when compared to conventional ICE cars. Despite their high upfront cost, EVs can help you save a lot in terms of ownership as well as running costs since electricity is substantially cheaper than fuel. Moreover, since Electric cars have fewer moving parts, the cost of maintenance is also lower.

  2. Q. How can buying a used electric car help me save money?

    Buying a used EV can truly help you save big. This is because you can save a substantial upfront cost that you would have spent when buying a brand-new Electric car. Moreover, since new cars depreciate at a much faster rate during their initial years of ownership, choosing a pre-owned EV can even save you from rapid depreciation, thus being a financially sound decision.

  3. Q. What are some good pre-owned EV options in India? 

    Tata Nexon, Tiago, Tigor, Citroen eC3 etc. are a few good used EV cars in India.


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