What to look for in a used electric car

025 Apr 2024

5 things to consider when buying a used EV

Are you tempted but tentative about buying an EV? Well, this might be the year you’ve been waiting for, as leases expire and a higher volume of used EVs are expected to enter the UK market. Before you take the plunge, though, let us walk you through a few things you need to bear in mind first.

Check the battery life

The battery is one of, if not the most, crucial components of an electric vehicle, as its condition directly affects the car's range and performance. You may want to check this before buying a used EV. You can usually find out how the battery is faring through the diagnostic tools or software provided by the manufacturer. Remember to ask how quickly the battery might degrade over time.

Read up on repairs and replacements

Find out if your desired electric car has had any repairs or replacement parts. And pay attention in particular if any work’s been done on the battery, powertrain and electric motor. You may not want to go for an electric vehicle that’s had extensive repair work on these critical components. Also check whether the EV is still covered under warranty – especially for the battery and powertrain.

Consider how compatible you are

Check the range of your EV of choice. Does it fit with your lifestyle and day-to-day driving needs? Consider factors like your daily commute, how often you travel long distances and where your nearest charging stations are. You might want to go for a smaller electric car if you don’t have off-street parking, for instance. Or if you only tend to nip about locally. Whereas those who commute out of town or often drive across the country might be better off in a bigger vehicle.

Understand software updates

Electric vehicles often come kitted out with advanced software systems that control various features like energy management, regenerative braking, and driver assistance. Check if your chosen electric car has had regular software updates, and if it's compatible with the latest firmware versions from the manufacturer. Up-to-date software means your EV is more likely to drive safely and efficiently. It also means you’ll have access to new features and improvements as and when they’re introduced.

Find out more about public EV charging

We'll keep your electric vehicle moving as you travel around the UK with our network of charging points—so you can plug in, power up, and go.

Take it for a ride

With all of the above in mind, of course the proof of the pudding is ultimately in the driving. If possible, take your EV for a test drive, and pay attention to the handling, the brakes and how it sounds. Whichever model you’re hankering after, know that choosing a used EV continues to be a worthwhile choice.

Hopefully our guide to choosing a used EV has been helpful. Once you’re ready to hit the road with your not-quite-new EV, download our bp pulse app so you can find the nearest chargers.

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