The popularity of electric cars has grown significantly in recent years. Last year, 59,945 electric vehicles were registered in the UK — a new record for sales. In December, EVs had a 3.8% split of the UK’s market share, with nearly 5,500 electric vehicles registered in the final month of the year. Compare this to the lowly market share in December 2016 (1.7%) and it’s clear to see that electric vehicles are rising in popularity in the run-up to the government’s future ban on new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.
The benefits of electric cars are well known, with the no-emissions statement being a huge selling point. However, should the public look into purchasing used electric vehicles if they’re in the market for a new car? Here, with used car experts, Motorparks, we look into the used car market.
The used car market in the UK
Last year, the UK’s used car market was down 2.1% compared to the year before. 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%. SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said of the development:
“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 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.”
Benefits of buying a used car
Of course, the main factor to buying a used car is the decreased value. If money is tight, then a used car ticks all the boxes. New cars are still popular, and rightly so thanks to the constant updates in technology and safety measures, but with approximately 20% of a new car’s value being immediately lost when you drive it away, it’s led to almost three used cars being sold to every new vehicle in the UK.
But, why else would you buy a used car? Nowadays, factory warranties are even longer than before, meaning that the appeal of buying a used car can be enhanced by their longevity. Also, all the gadgets the you often pay extra for when buying new may well already be in a used vehicle and this too will come at a fraction of the cost compared to buying it new.
Many of us are impatient too and with a used car you can often drive it straight off the forecourt, too. This certainly isn’t the case when it comes to new cars, with your car needing to be specifically ordered and, depending on your choice of extras, this could take several months. With a used car there is no waiting period. Simply pay your money and drive on by.
Usually, in terms of insurance, it’s more expensive to insure your car if it’s new car, too. This is because there is obviously a lot more equity at risk if you’re involved in a crash. Therefore, you may find that you don’t have to fork out as much on your policy if you choose a used car.
Why pick a used electric car?
According to surveys, 75 per cent of the UK’s drivers would buy a used electric car. It’s thought that we are becoming a lot more trusting of a battery’s longevity than we previously were. Many of the reasons for going down this route are the same as buying new, including the positive impact these vehicles have on the environment compared to petrol and diesel cars. The main stumbling block for the quarter that baulked at purchasing a second-hand EV was due to the price.
Because of advances in technology, experts believe that a battery pack used in an electric car won’t need to be replaced for over a decade, covering approximately 150,000 miles. Additionally, an increase in EV charging services from suppliers such as Northern Powergrid and the increased availability of charging points has meant that the market looks set to take off in the UK. Experts say that manufacturers have now proven themselves and this sector, giving prospective buyers more confidence in buying a used vehicle.
Of course, it’s not just a representation of good value and high durability that makes electric vehicles a good choice. The zero emissions is a huge benefit to buying an electric car — both new and used. With a rise in new 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.