NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 16, 2023) — Many consumers are attracted to the idea of going electric – but worry they will face a steep price tag for a new electric vehicle. AAA says a used EV may be a more feasible option for buyers concerned about cost or those looking to add another car to their household.
“Making the switch to an electric vehicle may seem overwhelming and consumers have a lot of questions. That’s why AAA developed a Used EV Buyer’s Guide, which aims to answer those questions and cover essential topics related to buying an EV,” said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Whether they’re looking to buy new or used, this guide can help consumers buy an EV with confidence.”
According to a 2022 AAA survey, 25% of consumers who are interested in EVs would purchase used. The survey also revealed that Millennials (32%) are the most likely to consider this option.
AAA’s Used EV Buyer’s Guide Offers “A Pre-Shopping Checklist” including:
Basic background of EVs
Driving range and charging
Used EV ownership cost comparisons (battery versus gas-powered)
Repair and maintenance costs
Supplemental AAA Car Buying Resources
What to look for in a used EV
AAA Used EV Buyer’s Guide Overview
Purchase Price of a New vs Used EV
The 2017 Tesla Model S 75 is a high-performance large sedan with a range of 249 miles and an original MSRP of about $70,000. Currently, a used model might cost $50,000 or more. The more moderately priced 2017 Nissan LEAF S is an economical compact hatchback with a stated range of 107 miles and an original MSRP of about $30,000. A used model might currently cost less than $15,000.
Used EV Ownership Costs
Buyers can expect to spend thousands less on a used EV than on a new one.
Overall, used EVs are generally less expensive to own than similar used gas-powered vehicles.
The most significant savings were in fuel, repair, maintenance, fees, and taxes (due to available rebates for some EVs).
Fueling a gas vehicle costs roughly three times as much as charging a similar EV.
Tax incentives of up to $4,000 are available to consumers to purchase used EVs.
EVs typically cost less to maintain, but used EV owners have to consider the potential cost of eventually replacing the battery, which can be expensive.
Driving Range & Charging
Driving range and charging are the most common concerns for prospective EV buyers. The good news — most EVs have more than enough range for daily driving habits.
Overnight charging at home that uses a 240-volt source (known as Level 2) can get most EVs back to full capacity by morning.
While public charging is not as readily available as gas stations, it is growing quickly. With extra planning, EV owners can eliminate concerns about running out of charge.
Shopping for a Used EV
EVs are still relatively new to the market, so car buyers may find that used EVs consist primarily of compact sedans and crossovers.
Before shopping, car buyers should list their vehicle needs (i.e., driving range, size, performance) to ensure they select the right vehicle for the best price.
When buying a used EV, it is imperative to find a vehicle with a warranty that still has a lot of time before it expires and specifically covers the replacement of the traction battery.
AAA Provides Mobile EV Charging in 15 Cities, Including Nashville
AAA recently launched a pilot program, offering roadside charging for EVs in 15 metro areas. The program utilizes mobile charging trucks to provide members with an additional 10 – 20 miles of range – enough to get them home or to the nearest charging station, at no additional charge.
This program is currently being piloted in the following cities:
Grand Rapids, MI
West Springfield, MA
San Francisco, CA
Additional AAA Resources
In addition to the Used EV Buyer’s Guide, AAA also supports its EV members with exclusive perks and benefits like:
TripTik Travel Planner provides public charging information along any route
AAA TourBook® Guides include which hotels offer public charging for guests
Cashback rewards for public EV charging on AAA-branded credit cards (visit a participating AAA to learn more)
Your Driving Cost Online Calculator helps consumers determine important comparison costs before purchase. Select the desired state, annual mileage, and driving ratio representing your typical driving habits, and vehicle year/make/model & trim.
AAA Car Guide provides consumers with reviews and ratings of select vehicles with the latest automotive technology, many of which are EVs. The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center (ARC) tests and reviews vehicles annually.
AAA.com/Insurance – If you are thinking about trading out an old vehicle, or adding a brand new one, make sure you talk to an insurance agent to discuss updates to your policy, coverage, and get rate estimates.
To help educate the public, AAA conducts ongoing research on EVs, including consumer sentiment surveys, testing to determine factors impacting electric vehicle range, the true cost of electric vehicle ownership, and a survey on consumers’ experience with going electric. To see the full body of research, visit AAA Newsroom.