The electric used car market gets an electric shock

The used car market is going down a bit. Normally a vehicle depreciates as soon as it leaves the dealership, but nowadays used vehicles sometimes look like investments, especially certain models of electric cars.

For example, last December the average price of a used Tesla Model S rose 41% compared to December 2020, according to data from an analysis conducted by vehicle sales platform AutoHebdo.

The increase in value of used cars is unheard ofstarts Benoît Béland, Chief Marketing Director of AutoHebdo.

Dealers grab our used cars. »

A quote from Benoît Béland, Senior Marketing Director of AutoHebdo

And that is especially true for electric vehicles, specifies Mr. Béland.

In Quebec, searches for electric vehicles on the AutoHebdo website increased by 85% in March 2022 compared to the same period last year, and the number of consumers thinking of connecting and asking dealers for information via the AutoHebdo platform increased by 1,218 %. in a year!

A Tesla Model Y plugged into a charging station.

Photo: Getty Images/Brendon Thorne

In an environment where prices are skyrocketing and supply no longer meets demand, we need to be extra cautious and carefully analyze prices, suggests AutoHebdo’s Senior Marketing Director.

On our platform we have an algorithm that compares all prices of similar models in real time. So when we refine our search, it’s super easy to see if the asking price is above average or below averagesays Benoît Béland, adding that even in this unprecedented context, there are good opportunities for consumers who make the effort to use the right tools and search carefully.

profitability

CAA Quebec automotive expert Jesse Caron gave a talk on the myths and realities of electric vehicles and another on buying a used vehicle at the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show this weekend.

According to him, buying an electric vehicle, new or used, is generally more profitable than buying its petrol equivalent.

It’s true that the price difference can be quite large at the time of purchase, that may be a brake, but the slightest bit you drive an electric vehicle, you start making it profitable after a few years. »

A quote from Jesse Caron, CAA Quebec automotive expert

Jesse Caron backs his claims with very recent data analyzed by his team in anticipation of the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show regarding used vehicles.

These estimates show, for example, that an electric 2016 Kia Soul costs nearly $6,000 more on the used market than its gas-powered version, yet it avoids spending an average of $2,750 a year on fuel. The electrified version therefore becomes the “Best Deal” after a little more than two years.

A hybrid Toyota Prius in Regina

A hybrid vehicle.

Photo: Radio Canada / Ismaël Amodeo

Still, you have to pay about $3,600 more for a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid than its gas-powered equivalent, according to CAA analysis. However, the plug-in hybrid version saves an average of $1,700 in fuel per year, making it “more profitable” after two years.

To a lesser extent, conventional hybrids are also more advantageous for consumers who want to keep their vehicle for several years. For example, a 2017 Toyota RAV 4 Hybrid has a market value of about $5,000 more than its straight gasoline equivalent, but it saves an average of $770 in fuel per year. The hybrid version of this used car will therefore become economically more attractive after about 6 years.

Have the battery analyzed

Jesse Caron strongly advises consumers to have the battery of the used car they intend to buy analyzed before making a deal.

With age, battery life loses, which is natural, batteries degrade over timestates the CAA automotive expert, specifying that this applies in particular to the first electric vehicles that appeared on the market ten years ago.

It is possible to check a battery’s status by looking at the screen of some electric vehicles, but this method has limitations.

Relying on the bars on the screen might be an option, but it’s better to find a repair shop that will do an inspection with equipment that accurately measures the battery drain percentageJesse Caron emphasizes, adding that you simply rely on the information on the vehicle screen It’s like visually inspecting a vehicle without having it inspected by a mechanic.

An electric vehicle is charged at the Matane fast charging station.

An electric vehicle is charged at the Matane fast charging station.

Photo: Radio Canada / Isabelle Damphousse

If you need to change the battery of an electric vehicle, which is very rareAccording to Jesse Caron, CAA recommends going with the original manufacturer and avoiding using a third party.

According to AutoHebdo, two-thirds of Quebec consumers think their next vehicle will be an electric vehicle. To determine whether the hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric formula is appropriate, it is better to ask yourself about the real needs in terms of autonomy and the type of trips planned. We must also take the time to analyze the subsidies offered by different governments.

In Quebec, only certain models and years of used vehicles may be eligible for the rebate. The subsidies can also vary depending on the value of the vehicle and the capacity of its battery.

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