Used electric cars, a good plan?

Uncommon a few years ago, used electric cars are starting to attract buyers looking for savings and a clear conscience. But with an already used battery, a reduced range, are these cars really a good plan? Is there a choice in this niche market yet? We take stock.

For some, the electric car is an aberration. For others, it seems more affordable and becomes the main response to the inexorable rise in fuel prices. Almost 162,000 electric vehicles were sold in France in 2021, an increase of 45.6% compared to 2020, and the occasion is also remarkable: 56,760 new registrations, more than double the previous year.

Why are these second-hand battery cars so attractive? What should you look out for before buying? Let’s first review the available templates.

Electric, good deals for second-hand purchase – TURBO survey of 02/27/2022

Peugeot iOn, Citroën C-Zero, Renault Zoé…

Used electric cars account for just 0.95% of sales volume in 2021. Main reason: “It’s because there are very few on the market”, testifies Julien Trachez, Oxygène Occasion salesman in the North. In its fleet of 60 cars, it offers only hybrids and only one electric, a 2018 Ioniq for 18,990 euros.

To find more models, forget about garages and go online. Many websites allow you to view used electric models for sale. On Le Bon Coin, there are almost 11,500 ads from professionals, just under 8,500 on Argus.fr. It’s not much, but it’s in line with a segment whose new sales history is relatively recent.

Among the cars available, we find at the top of the basket, for example, a Skoda Enyaq (€38,890). For less than 10,000 euros, the first version of the Renault Zoé is offered in large numbers on all websites, alongside more confidential models such as the Peugeot Ion, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV or the Citroën C-Zero. Less common, the Volkswagen e-Up!, the Bolloré Bluecar and the Bluesummer can also be found for less than 5,000 euros.

…but also Teslas!


We see them circulating more and more in France, and for good reason: new Teslas find buyers (141,429 Model 3s sold in Europe in 2021) and turn out to be exciting opportunities for some. Main arguments for the purchase: avoid loss of value when leaving the dealership and batteries that promise a longevity of more than 500,000 km.

A simple search allows you to find more than 300 of them on a single site, mostly Model S sedans, with prices ranging from 40,000 euros to over 100,000 euros. And don’t be surprised to find relatively expensive mileage models. Teslas, and all electric cars, with their very expensive components, don’t wear out like thermal cars.

Purchasing aids for cleaner driving

To buy a used electric car, price discounts can be obtained thanks to State aid, which promotes “cleaner” mobility.

First, the conversion bonus allows everyone to buy a new or used vehicle in exchange for discarding the old car. It allows you to obtain up to 5,000 euros for the purchase of a rechargeable electric or hybrid vehicle whose autonomy in electric mode is greater than 50 km, new or used.

The so-called ecological bonus allows him to receive, without income conditions, aid for the purchase or rental of a new, electric or rechargeable hybrid vehicle. For used electric vehicles, the amount awarded is €1,000, but the new car must be kept for at least two years and must have a maximum CO2 emission rate of 20g/km.

This bonus can be combined with the conversion bonus, and an additional maximum bonus of €1,000 can be added when the beneficiary lives or works in a low emission zone (ZFE).

To be monitored: the state of the batteries


If you decide to convert to electric, you will have to change your habits. Instead of going to the pump, you will have to recharge your batteries at the terminal or directly at home. The various installations cost between 500 and 2,000 euros.

But, before buying a used electric car, how can you be sure the batteries are in good condition? That your ability is still adapted to the autonomy you need?

In all cases, the manufacturer guarantees the battery for 8 to 10 years, specifies Yohann Wuydin, founder of Conduite Eco & Sécurisée. And some manufacturers guarantee a certain level of autonomy. If, for example, you lose more than 30% of your initial carrying capacity, they will change it. »

Battery wear status can be checked directly in the garage or on the dashboard and must be evaluated under real conditions before purchase. The car may have lost between 15 and 30% of its capacity, depending on age and mileage.

A good plan? Maybe later…

Luxury vehicle or ordinary city car, the second-hand electric vehicle seems, therefore, to be aimed mainly at those who want to avoid excessive fuel costs. But according to a study, 42% of French people believe that a 100% electric car would not meet their needs, especially since they will have to choose from around fifteen models.

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