Electric cars have been growing in popularity over the past decade. In December 2019, the EV industry saw record sales, gaining a 3.8% split of the total market share in the UK, with almost 5,500 new registrations in one month alone. This is a significant increase from December 2016, where EVs owned a lowly 1.7% of the market share.
There are countless articles documenting the benefits of electric cars, particularly the environmental impact of zero-emissions vehicles. But if you’re in the market for an electric vehicle (EV), should you opt for brand new or used?
Benefits of buying a used EV
The UK’s used car market finished last year slightly down compared to the previous 12 months, with a -2.1% difference. However, one riser in the industry was the sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric cars. This market share recorded a rise of 27%.
One of the main advantages of buying a used EV is the potential savings. If money is tight, then a used car ticks all the boxes; approximately 20% of the value of a car is lost when you drive it away. As such, it’s led to almost three used cars being sold to every new vehicle in the UK.
But why else would you choose a used car over a new one? The more impatient among us may also enjoy the fact that you can drive a used car straight from the dealership. This certainly isn’t the case when it comes to new cars, where you’ll need to wait for your order to be delivered.
Benefits of buying a new EV
Of course, the main factor for buying a used car is the cost savings. But, that’s not to say new cars aren’t still popular. Thanks to constant updates in technology and safety measures new cars often have new and exciting features over their predecessors.
What will interest most in buying a new car, namely if you’re in the market for an EV, is newer battery technology. Due to technological advancements, it’s stated that new-car batteries will last between 10 and 20 years before needing to be replaced and can cover around 150,000 miles before needing to be replaced. Experts say that manufacturers have now proven themselves in this sector, giving prospective buyers more confidence in buying a newer vehicle.
The impact of EVs on the automotive industry
Despite electric cars showing signs of good durability and value, either new or used, the main selling point is that there are no emissions.
As such, with a rise in electric vehicle sales, we will undoubtedly also see an increase in used sales in the run-up to the ban on new petrol and diesel models. As this becomes more widespread, it will completely revolutionise the automotive industry.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, commented on the used car market: “It’s encouraging to see more used car buyers snapping up low-emission vehicles as supply grows – but those sales remain low as an overall proportion of the market. We still need the right policies and incentives from the government to give new car buyers confidence to choose the cleanest petrol, diesel and electric models that best suit their needs, so that even more drivers can benefit from this exciting technology as it filters down to the used market in the coming years.”