Wouldn’t it would be great if you could buy a used car, run it for 12 months and 10,000 miles and then sell it on for a profit? Research by car valuation specialists cap hpi suggests that this can indeed be a reality – but only if you opt for an electric vehicle (EV).
Cap hpi’s study looked at values of a selection of EVs for sale one year ago with 10,000 miles on the clock, and then compared them with the value of similar models listed today at two years old and having covered 20,000 miles. Rather than depreciating as you might expect, some EVs had actually increased in value to the tune of several hundred pounds.
According to Andrew Mee, senior forecasting editor at cap hpi, the Peugeot Ion electric car has appreciated 8.6% over the past 12 months, adding £425 to its value despite the addition of 10,000 miles to its odometer. “The Vauxhall Ampera’s average appreciation is 5.3% or £725 in value, and the most popular EV on the market, the Nissan Leaf, has an average appreciation of 4% or £456 on its original value,” he added.
Mee attributes the rising prices to a number of factors that include the rollout of clean air zones, cheaper running costs, an increase in the number of charging points and a wider range of vehicles from which to choose.
The figures follow data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) that shows sales of used EVs increased by 77% in 2017 compared with the previous year, tipping over 10,000 for the first time. Admittedly this is still small fry in a used car market that totalled 8.1 million vehicles sold, but the signs that interest in electric cars is gathering pace are clear to see.
That is not of course to say that there aren’t still barriers, both real and perceived, to EV ownership. A study of almost 17,000 people carried out by the AA last July, for example, found key stumbling blocks included concerns over the length of time to charge an EV, limited driving range, high purchase price and the unsuitability of some dwellings for home charging points.
According to AA president Edmund King, another point to be drawn from the findings was a generational difference in attitudes towards EVs: “Interestingly the younger the respondent, generally the least likely they were to be concerned about these issues, suggesting that new drivers are more open to EVs than ‘traditional’ drivers.”
Regardless of how long you’ve been behind the wheel, it would appear that at least one of the concerns listed – anxiety over poor resale values – can now start to be ticked off the list.
Top 3 most popular used EVs on CarGurus
Price from: £6500
It’s no surprise that the world’s best-selling electric car is in plentiful supply on the used market too. Launched in the UK in 2011, the Leaf has steadily grown in both capability (including range, which improved from 80 or so miles in a 24kWh model to more than 100 miles in a later 30kWh example) and popularity, and since 2013 has been built in Sunderland. Note with Leafs there is a distinction to be made between ‘battery owned’ cars that include the battery, and those run on Nissan’s Flex battery hire scheme. In the latter case the car will be cheaper to buy, but you’ll need to factor in a monthly battery rental cost of around £70 in addition to the price of the car.
Search for used Nissan Leaf on CarGurus
Price from: £15,500
Built from exotic materials and featuring quirky rear-hinged doors for those sitting in the back, the BMW i3 is as distinctive to look at as it is to drive. This is an EV that marries brisk acceleration with an exceptional turning circle and regenerative braking that is strong enough that you can do much of your driving using just one pedal. The realistic range is about 120 miles for a later 94Ah models, or around 80 miles for the earlier 60Ah cars. Alternatively, opt for a range extender i3 and you’ll get a small petrol generator in the back that can be used to charge the battery on the move.
Search for used BMW i3s on CarGurus
Price from: £5000
The Zoe is not only one of the most plentiful EVs on the used market, but also among the cheapest. However, it’s important to understand that part of that is down to the fact it is more often than not sold with a battery that needs to be hired at an additional cost of at least £59 per month.
If you are prepared to pay the extra fees you’ll enjoy a quiet and spacious little car that can cover around 70 to 100 miles from a full charge for an early version, or more than 150 miles if you opt for a later Z.E. 40 model.
Search for used Renault Zoes on CarGurus
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