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5 Things You Need to Check Before Buying a Used Electric Car

Electric vehicles are becoming popular for California residents. You may want to get ahead of the curve and rising gas prices by purchasing one now. Used electric vehicles can present a nice price point to explore this technology, but here are a few things you want to think about first before buying one.

Elements Common in All Vehicles

Some parts of an electric car are the same as those on a gasoline-powered vehicle, and you need to make sure these are in good shape before making a purchase. When in doubt, have your mechanic look at the following:

  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Heat and air conditioning
  • Electronics outside the power system (lights, door locks, dashboard, etc.)

A pre-purchase inspection of a used car is always a good idea. Try to find a mechanic who has worked on electric vehicles before.

Health of the Battery

An electric car battery should last from one to two decades or over 100,000 miles. However, EV batteries lose about >span class="s1">2 percent of their capacity per year (AKA battery fade). Sometimes the battery can be serviced and internal cells replaced to extend its life. In other cases, the battery must be replaced, which can run you between $5,000 and $15,000 — no small amount of money.

Remaining Manufacturer Warranty

In most instances, the manufacturer’s warranty will transfer from the seller to the vehicle's buyer. That means you need to know exactly what’s covered, lest you find yourself paying out of pocket for repairs.

Like other vehicles, EV warranty coverage has two components: comprehensive and power train. The power train portion applies to the electric motor and transmission, while the comprehensive part covers parts and labor for other mechanical components. According to federal regulations, an EV’s battery must be covered for a minimum of eight years or 100,000 miles.

Scheduled upkeep and wear-and-tear items (e.g., windshield wipers) are not covered. Often, roadside assistance is part of the warranty, though.

Availability of Charging Stations Where You Typically Drive

An electric vehicle can become a problem if there are no charging stations at your office or local area. Therefore, be sure there are adequate places to juice up near you. And know how long it takes to charge your car’s battery. Some vehicles take considerably longer than others.

Cost and Logistics of Installing a Home Charging Unit

Most folks charge their electric vehicles at home while they sleep. This requires having a charging station in the garage or on the driveway. In some cases, you can simply plug in your station and go (most sellers include the car’s charging cord). But if your wiring is not rated for 240 volts, you will have to upgrade, which means hiring a licensed electrician to do the work.

Don’t forget to update your auto insurance policy when purchasing a new vehicle. Expect the premium for an electric vehicle to be a bit more than one for a gas-powered car, as electric cars are more expensive to repair after a crash. However, this will be offset by buying the vehicle used and not needing to pay for gasoline any longer.

Call First West Insurance at 714-842-2523 to find the perfect auto policy for your needs and that meets the requirements of the state of California, so you can enjoy your electric vehicle safely and legally.