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Used electric car prices remain lowBack

NissanLeafElectric vehicles (EVs) are losing substantial amounts of money at part-exchange, despite Government incentives, making it a good time for buyers to cash in on some excellent EV deals.

Latest data from CAP Automotive has revealed that over the past three years, electric vehicles have only retained 20.2 per cent of their value. Although CAP predicts that this figure will rise to 26 per cent in the next three years/ 30,000 miles, this figure is still way behind diesel cars which retain on average 44.7 per cent of their value, and hybrids which retain 45.3 per cent over three years.

It is assumed that in the future, battery-powered cars will become the car of necessity, so will this type of depreciation actually become the norm? According to Mark Norman from CAP Consulting who has done a lot of work on EVs, the price of these cars is what is killing them.

Norman said: “Even after the £5,000 subsidy they’re too expensive and people still have questions about them. When the prices start to come down, they will become more popular, early adopters will become advocates, depreciation will slow and the market will stabilise.”

But it could be a long rocky road before that stabilisation happens, and for EV owners it continues to be a constant worry. For example, the part-exchange prices a Renault Twizy owner was quoted for his vehicle which cost £7,200 to buy new only a year before, were as low as £2,500, meaning the car had lost 62 per cent of its value in less than 12 months.

This price was actually quoted from a Renault dealer proving that dealers are offering as little as possible for used EVs at the moment because they don’t actually know what the used market for them is.

CAP’s research also reveals how the £5,000 incentive from the government towards purchasing a new electric vehicle is doing nothing to help retain the car’s value. For example, in Gemany the amount of depreciation is roughly the same as the UK, however, the vehicles start with a higher starting price which means the rate of depreciation is significantly lower.

With only 2,538 EVs currently going to UK homes this year, which makes up just 0.14 per cent of the UK’s cars sold, the incentives continue to do little to boost sales and it is the current owners who are losing out.

However, the fast depreciation of EVs still makes them a good used buy. For example, you can now buy a used Nissan Leaf for roughly the same price as a used Ford Focus yet you’ll save cash by not having to purchase diesel. Customers also have little to lose when it comes to making dealers a cheeky offer – dealers have taken a risk buying the EV in the first place and may just be keen to shift it.



Posted by Leana Kell on 09/12/2013