How Much Can You Save By Buying a Used EV?
The current used car market isn’t a good example of the typical used market. This is because used car prices are rising significantly, and trade-in values are outstanding. Shortages and delays related to new cars are causing a boom in the used car space, and with growing demand comes dwindling inventory and increasing prices.
With that said, you can still save money by considering a used EV. In some cases, the savings are substantial, though some used EVs can cost as much or even more than new models. This is especially true with vehicles like the Tesla Model 3. Shoppers don’t want to wait for a new model, so they’re buying up all the used inventory – and dealers are adjusting prices accordingly.
If you’re in the market for a used electric car or SUV, be sure to do your homework. While many models haven’t changed much over the last few years and may look the same as new models, some brands have improved range and added features. Make sure the used EV you’re considering has the features you want, as well as enough range to meet your driving needs.
Keep in mind that we update our scores and rankings continuously, and average used-car transaction prices fluctuate. For this reason, the details you find in this article may not match up precisely with what’s in our rankings. Always consult each vehicle’s individual review for the most up-to-date information.
Continue reading to learn about the best used electric cars and SUVs available in 2021.
2019 Kia Niro EV
U.S. News Overall Score: 7.9/10 | Max Range: 239 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $21,431-$29,734
The 2019 Kia Niro EV is a solid option for used car shoppers. It’s spacious for a subcompact SUV, and it has plenty of range. The 2019 model has the same 239-mile range as a new Niro EV, which can’t be said about many used electric cars. The Niro’s only notable drawback is the lack of available all-wheel drive.
The Niro EV seats five passengers in two rows of well-cushioned seats. Its cabin is mostly high-quality, but gets some criticism for its use of hard plastics. An intuitive 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard. Cargo space is good for a subcompact SUV, but many electric crossovers offer more room. Rounding out the Niro EV’s strengths are its great crash test ratings and low ownership costs.
2019 Jaguar I-Pace
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.0/10 | Max Range: 234 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $57,550-$69,584
If you’re in the market for a luxury electric crossover with an emphasis on performance, the Jaguar I-Pace is worth a look. The I-Pace was a brand-new model for 2019, and it hasn’t really changed much since. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, delivers eager acceleration, and handles like a sports car. However, its range and efficiency lag behind some of today’s EVs.
The I-Pace provides a comfortable ride, and it’s capable of some decent off-roading. In fact, its standard air suspension system can raise and lower the vehicle to adjust ground clearance.
Inside, the I-Pace features a handsome cabin with first-rate materials, respectable cargo capacity, and plenty of space for adults in both rows of seats. It also comes loaded with tech features, though its infotainment system can be frustrating to operate.
2017 Nissan Leaf
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.0/10 | Max Range: 107 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $16,542-$18,940
The Nissan Leaf is a great choice for used EV shoppers, mainly due to its bargain price. The 2017 model year was the final year of the first-generation Leaf, and all 2017 models have a 30-kWh battery pack and 107 miles of range. You should be able to find a 2017 Leaf for about half the price of the current model.
The Leaf is a good entry-level electric car for people hoping to test the waters of EV ownership. It’s not a top performer, and it’s not fancy inside, but the Leaf is roomy, comfortable, and easy to drive, which makes it a fantastic choice for commuters. However, it’s a bit underpowered for highway driving, and rivals have higher safety scores and more advanced driver-assistance systems.
2019 Audi e-tron
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.1/10 | Max Range: 204 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $56,227-$59,557
The Audi e-tron first came to market as a 2019 model, and it has remained largely unchanged ever since, so shopping for a used model is a wise choice. This Audi works to appeal to shoppers looking for a traditional luxury SUV with an electric powertrain.
In terms of performance and interior quality, the e-tron is much like Audi’s gas-powered crossovers. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, and it’s peppy, smooth, and engaging to drive. It also has a premium cabin, two rows of spacious and supportive seats, adequate cargo capacity, and state-of-the-art tech features.
This Audi isn’t perfect, however. It’s pricey on the used market, it’s not as efficient as most EVs, it’s short on range, and it takes longer to charge than rivals.
2017 Tesla Model X
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.2/10 | Max Range: 295 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $62,926-$88,500
The 2017 Tesla Model X is the most expensive used electric SUV featured here. That said, it also has more range than most EVs, and it’s one of the few luxury electric crossovers on the used market with an available third row.
The Model X delivers super-car-like acceleration, it handles like a smaller vehicle, and it comes standard with all-wheel drive. This crossover seats five passengers in its standard configuration, though some used models may have seating for up to seven.
The Model X’s cabin is modern and appealing, but it’s not as luxurious as most similarly priced cars. Nonetheless, it’s loaded with unique standard features, such as a massive touch screen, navigation with real-time traffic alerts, and Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system.
2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.2/10 | Max Range: 258 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $30,857-$36,779
The Hyundai Kona Electric is virtually the same crossover as the gas-powered Kona, though it has an electric motor rather than a gas engine. It costs more than the standard Kona, but it will also save you money on fuel and maintenance.
The Kona EV is a solid option for folks looking for a sporty crossover, but it’s not as accommodating inside as many subcompact SUVs or most electric vehicles. This Hyundai crossover is energetic, handles well, boasts 258 miles of EPA-estimated range, and its front seats are comfortable. What’s more, the 2019 model is nearly identical to the 2021 model, so buying used is a no-brainer.
The 2019 Kona Electric features a user-friendly touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and several advanced driver-assistance systems as standard. However, you can’t get it with all-wheel drive.
2019 Tesla Model 3
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.5/10 | Max Range: 310 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $40,490-$53,857
The Tesla Model 3 is the most popular electric car in the world. It’s the least expensive Tesla available today, it handles and accelerates like a high-end sports car, it has loads of range, and it earns top-notch crash test ratings. The Model 3 also has very low running costs and comes packed with cutting-edge technology.
The Model 3 holds its value better than most cars, and demand has kept prices high on the used market. Current used prices for the Model 3 are often higher than buying new. However, since Tesla has so many orders for the car, people have to wait many months to take delivery. Tesla says shoppers who order a new Model 3 today will get it in eight to 17 weeks.
The 2019 Model 3 doesn’t have as much range as the current model, and styling and features have changed slightly, but a used Model 3 is still a solid option.
2017 BMW i3
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.5/10 | Max Range: 114 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $21,210-$29,752
The BMW i3 is expensive, short on range, and arguably polarizing due to its unique design. However, it’s relatively cheap on the used market, and there are many reasons it’s worth considering.
The i3 slots somewhere between a car and an SUV, so it’s highly practical. It seats four people in its airy and attractive cabin. Moreover, the i3 delivers peppy acceleration, nimble handling, and a smooth ride, though it only comes with rear-wheel drive.
The 2017 i3 offers up to 114 miles of electric-only range. BMW also offers models with a gas-powered range extender, which ups the maximum range to 180 miles, but reduces the electric-only range due to the extra weight.
2017 Tesla Model S
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.8/10 | Max Range: 335 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $49,095-$79,339
If you’re shopping for a used Tesla, the Model S is actually the cheapest option, which is interesting since it’s the brand’s most expensive car when it’s new.
The Model S is the longest-range electric car on the market today, and that was also the case in 2017. Unlike many EVs, which tend to be smaller cars or crossovers, the Model S is a large family hatchback with spacious seating for five people and abundant cargo volume. When it was new, the 2017 Model S offered one of the best infotainment systems on the market, along with plenty of cutting-edge tech features.
The Model S is also one of the quickest cars you can buy, with acceleration that matches or exceeds that of pricey supercars. It delivers a coddling ride, and, despite its size, this Tesla handles quite well, though it can’t match the agility of many luxury sedans.
2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.9/10 | Max Range: 124 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $18,177-$21,508
The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is short on range, but it’s one of the most affordable EVs you can buy, and it’s cheaper than many gas cars on the used market. If you’re looking for a safe, economical electric commuter, a 2017 Ioniq Electric is one of the best options available used.
The Ioniq Electric is incredibly efficient, it has a large cargo area, and it seats five people, though head- and legroom are a bit tight in the second row. This electric hatchback also delivers agile handling and a smooth ride. However, it’s underpowered at highway speeds.
The 2017 Ioniq Electric features an intuitive touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto as standard. Some used models may be equipped with a variety of driver-assistance aids.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.9/10 | Max Range: 238 miles | Avg. Price Paid: $20,111-$21,459
The Chevrolet Bolt was all-new for 2017, and it hasn’t changed much since then. Aside from a small range upgrade in 2020, the 2017 Bolt is comparable to the 2021 model.
The Bolt is an excellent option for used EV shoppers thanks to its impressive range and bargain pricing. It’s also roomy, practical, safe, and fun to drive. The Bolt isn’t as nice inside as many EVs, which makes it hard to justify its starting price of nearly $40,000. However, if you can find a used Bolt for the price of a comparable gas-powered compact car, it’s worth considering.
The 2017 Bolt has a 10.2-inch touch screen, smartphone connectivity, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and several driver-assistance features as standard. It’s not available with all-wheel drive, which is uncommon among long-range EVs, and it doesn’t come standard with DC fast-charging, so charging on road trips will take hours instead of minutes. We suggest searching for a used model with DC fast-charging.
What are the Best Used Electric Cars to Buy?
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric are the top-rated used EVs based on our mainstream hybrid and electric car ranking. In addition, they’re available on the used market at a huge discount compared to new models. Shoppers hoping for a notable bargain should also consider the BMW i3 luxury EV.
If you’re looking for a Tesla, a used Model S is the cheapest option. A used Tesla Model 3 won’t really save you money over a new model, but you’ll be able to get into a Tesla much sooner than waiting to take delivery of a new model.
Are Used Electric Cars Worth Buying?
Used electric cars are definitely worth buying. In most cases, you’ll save a significant amount of money over a new model. Plus, most EVs haven’t changed much over the last few years, so you can get similar range and features compared to the latest electric cars.
What Is the Lifespan of Electric Vehicles?
Electric vehicles last as long as, if not longer than, traditional gas-powered cars. They require less maintenance and have fewer moving parts, so there’s less chance of something failing or needing repair.
EV batteries degrade over time, though by the time the battery degrades enough that it needs to be replaced, the car will likely be near the end of its usable lifespan. Otherwise, it may still be under warranty. Consumer Reports says an average battery pack’s lifespan is around 200,000 miles.
What Is Good Mileage For a Used Electric Car?
When shopping for any used car, low mileage is a bonus. However, buying a used car with more miles on it typically means greater savings. If you’re really concerned about battery degradation, but you’re looking for the best value, it would be wise to shop for an electric car with around 50,000 to 75,000 miles.
If you need to do more research or compare used electric cars to one another, head to our used car rankings and use our comparison tool. Our used car rankings allow you to search by budget, market segment, or model year.