RAC Cars News


Buying A Used Electric Car

By raccars Published

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The market for new hybrid or electric cars is booming but buying one used is still largely an unknown quantity. However, if you spend most of your driving career on urban roads, a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full electric car could be both economical and practical. As the market has expanded, so has the model range, and you can now choose from sub-compact models up to SUVs and even supercars in clean and green form.

Toyota Prius

Far from the most stylish or exciting model in the segment, the Prius has put in the time and proved its qualifications. Its main virtues are its reliability and fuel efficiency, but it's still one of the more expensive options. You should be able to find a tidy example from £3,000.

Nissan Leaf

The Leaf was campaigned on the basis that it feels like a standard five door hatchback to drive. While it comes with the usual range limitations of electric cars, the Leaf is one of the most practical models in the electric car segment and can be found from £8,000.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Hybrid

A step up in luxury is provided by the Mercedes E300 Bluetec hybrid, unusually an electric/diesel combination. Performance is also in a higher class and massive depreciation makes this a bargain on the used market. Priced from £17,500.

Lexus RX 450h

A petrol/electric powertrain means this SUV is far less obnoxious than it might first appear. It's reliable, spacious and very efficient. Used models are astoundingly good value, starting from about a third of the price of a brand new one.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The UK's - and the world's - best selling plug-in hybrid, the Outlander PHEV has revolutionised Mitsubishi's place in the market. This large, clever SUV offers enough electric range that you'll hardly need to use the petrol motor back up. It hasn't been out long for there to be a healthy used market for it yet, so you'll either have to wait a little while or be prepared to search the classifieds with a fine toothed comb.

Volkswagen e-Up

VW's electric city car would, no doubt, be more popular if it were cheaper to buy. At £20,000 new, you're better off searching for a used model from about £12,500. Both performance and a 99 mile range are very generous in an urban environment.

Tesla Model S

The car that almost single handedly brought sex appeal to the electric market, the Model S is fast, luxurious and packed with stunning modern technology. Exclusivity keeps used prices high but it's still a lot of car for the money.

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