10 Nov 2017
Buying a Secondhand Electric Car?
Buying a secondhand electric car: check before you get a shock.
HUNDREDS of secondhand electric cars are being imported this year. Most, if not all, are Nissan Leafs. They are arriving south at hugely competitive prices – sometimes for as little as €2,500 to €3,000.
These are tempting prices and considering both the low acquisition and running costs (road tax, electricity etc) there is a lot of interest in them from urban families who don’t put up large mileage in their second car.
On the face of it, they seem like one of the bigger bargains of the current imports’ surge.
But, as always with anything secondhand, there can be trouble in store.
So you need to:
- Check thoroughly on the battery pack because, naturally, the older the car the more likely the pack is to be losing its capacity to charge and hold power.
- Check with the likes of MyWheels.ie to make sure the mileage is correct. Again, obviously, the more miles covered the more the battery can lose its prowess.
- Check with the previous owner, if possible, to see what sort of driving and charging was undertaken. If there were a lot of quick charges, expect the battery to have lower reserves of capacity than something that was trickle-charged at home overnight.
- Check with the brand to see what amount of time is left on the warranty for the battery. This can change from one country to another and is usually seven to nine years.
- Check if the UK warranty carries over to Ireland.
- Factor in the cost of a replacement battery pack over say your three year of ownership. It’s costly and you need to realise you might be better off not bothering to replace if it fails or diminishes significantly.
- Consider buying down south from a dealer where you have more immediate backup should the worst happen.
Always do a vehicle car check before buying a used car.