What to Consider When Buying an Electric Vehicle?

Perhaps the biggest change to affect the automotive industry for decades has been the rise of electric and low-emissions motoring. From the pioneering Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid through to the Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicle, the change from combustion engines to electric power has gathered pace in the last few years, with more and more manufacturers adding all-electric models to their lineup.

This even includes the marques represented here at Birchwood Group, with Ford, Kia, Mitsubishi and ŠKODA all offering vehicles that are among the cleanest and most efficient around.

Of course, the rise in new electric vehicles also means that there’s a flourishing pre-owned market of used cars from some of the best names around. And, when it comes to choosing a used electric vehicle, there are a number of considerations you should bear in mind. For example:

Your requirements

If you only ever make short journeys - school runs, work commutes, shopping trips, etc. - you may find that the electric car you choose does not require an extensive range. As such, you will be able to have a wider selection of models to choose from. Similarly, if you have a family to transport or if you’re a solo motorist, the size and specification of any model you need should be carefully considered.


Depending on the model you choose, charging demands will vary. However, it’s always worth considering the home charging options available to you and whether you have access to suitable charging locations. After all, if you live in a flat or have to park on a public street, you will need to be able to access surrounding charge points. Home installation is preferable, of course, particularly if you are required to charge the battery overnight for an extended period of time.


With any used car, knowing that your purchase comes backed by a comprehensive warranty offers added peace of mind. For a used electric car, you may also be anxious to know that the battery of your vehicle - which in some instances is leased separately - will be covered due to deterioration of performance over the years to come. Ensure you’re fully aware of any warranties and exactly what is covered before you buy.


Since fully electric vehicles have only been common for a number of years, determining an accurate level of depreciation isn’t always easy. As such, it’s not uncommon for an electric model to suffer significant deprecation in the earlier stages, with users uncertain about longevity. However, there has recently been a stabilisation in prices thanks to the provision of warranties and improvements and refinement in technology.


One of the major benefits of choosing an electric car is the reduction in maintenance. That is to say, without a combustion engine and its constituent moving parts, there are fewer things that can go wrong and require fixing and replacing. That said, any vehicle will suffer the effects of wear and tear, so investing in regular maintenance continues to be a priority when selecting any used car.

To learn more about the considerations you should be aware of when buying second hand, speak to a member of the team at Birchwood Group today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.