Buying a used electric vehicle could save thousands over the course of ownership

Motorists could save thousands by buying a used electric vehicle instead of a petrol or diesel equivalent, according to a new study.

For example, those buying a third-hand, medium-sized electric vehicle could pay about £5,600 less over seven years of ownership.

The research has come from the Green Alliance think tank, which says the study shows that implementing a mandate to encourage sales of new EVs would give lower income families better access to low-cost vehicles on the used market.

Nissan LEAF Charging
(Nissan)

Electric vehicles tend to cost more than petrol or diesel cars to buy new, but have lower running costs.

The think tank points to data that shows that of the seven million used vehicles sold in the UK last year, just 0.3 per cent were EVs. That’s compared with 16.5 per cent of new car sales, a number that must increase to 100 per cent by 2035 under government legislation.

It’s unclear whether last year’s EV market share is representative of the current market, though, as the industry was so heavily disrupted by factory and dealership closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Green Alliance’s research found that a second-hand electric vehicle costs up to £2,300 less than a petrol car over five years of ownership. Meanwhile, owning a third-hand car for seven years could save up to £5,600.

To increase EV uptake, the report suggests introducing a mandate similar to the one used in California. This would require car makers to increase the proportion of EVs they sell, with interim targets between now and the 2035 deadline.

Caterina Brandmayr, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, said: “The government has sent a strong signal to carmakers about the direction of travel, it must now ensure they speed up the transition and help us all to switch by getting more electric vehicles on the road.

“This is especially important to ensure those on lower incomes can benefit from clean cars sooner, as well as cutting carbon emissions and cleaning up our air.”