How To Sell An Electric Car: The Ultimate Guide


The popularity of electric cars is on the rise. Electric vehicles are constantly evolving and developing groundbreaking technology, and as the demand for them grows, selling becomes more profitable too.

Selling an electric car can be very worthwhile, especially if certain criteria are met. Overinflating should be avoided unless it is a collector’s edition item. The car should be as pristine as possible when the time arrives, and all the paperwork should be arranged, along with other preparations.

If you’re interested in selling your electric car, read on to let us guide you through the process so that you can get the best results from it.

Do Electric Cars Have Resale Value?

The resale value of electric vehicles is currently better than ever, and it is improving all the time.  This surge has been helped by the reliability of current electric car models on the market. These models tend to have a range of at least 200 miles per charge, which is why electric vehicles are maintaining their value.

The resale value is trending up overall, so keep an eye on it to make sure that you are asking the best price for your car before you put it up for sale.

Despite the top reselling positions usually going to Tesla electric vehicles, they are far from the only ones. Let us take a look at the electric vehicles predicted to have the most residual value after three years. If you have one of these models, you’re in luck. If not, you can take a look at what makes their value this stable.

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range version has a range of 310 miles, making it one of the best in the electric vehicle industry. This constantly has it topping the bestseller lists, and it manages to retain 64.3% of its original price after three years of use. 

Compared with a traditional vehicle, the current prediction for the best resale value in the same timeframe is the Toyota Tacoma. This popular pick-up truck stands at 69.4% of its original price. The difference between these two percentages is marginal.

The Model 3 is a favorite primarily due to its safety, handling, and aesthetic appeal. It also benefits from the Tesla over-the-air updates, which constantly upgrade the car long after the purchase. This also helps maintain its resale value.

Jaguar i-Pace

The i-Pace is Jaguar’s first SUV that’s also all-electric. It has a range of up to 292 miles, and it’s a highly practical five-seater car that includes the performance of a sports vehicle. The i-Pace is expected to maintain 52.8% of its value after three years of use.

The i-Pace’s cutting-edge technology and design are behind these numbers, as well as the prestige of the brand name. It also includes a 90kwh battery built to have a long life even if it is frequently used at maximum power. Even if the car was driven often, it will still have a well-performing battery that boosts range.

Tesla Model X

While Tesla’s other bestseller, the Model S, doesn’t have definitive data for its resale value, the Model X continues to appear on the best charts for resale value alongside the Model 3. On standard versions of the Model X, the range can now reach up to 371 miles. It retains 52.7% of its original value after three years.

This Tesla SUV has excellent performance and handling, and it includes a groundbreaking infotainment system. It also benefits from the Supercharger network, Tesla’s widespread charging system. This is another plus if you’re selling because buyers will be looking for something they can charge in most places if they need to.

Audi e-Tron

The Audi e-Tron keeps 52.5% of its original value at the end of three years. Audi is a powerful brand in the industry, and this is their first all-electric SUV. Buyers are always looking for the quality of established brands, and the e-Tron is no exception. This electric vehicle has a range of over 240 miles. 

It’s spacious, beautifully designed, and enjoys the bonus of the Audi-patented Quattro four-wheel drive that is so well-known to Audi fans around the world. The e-Tron also enjoys the benefits of this fantastic technology and charging capabilities.

Porsche Taycan

The Taycan is currently one of the electric vehicles on the market with the slowest depreciation rates, staying firmly at 37.1% of resale value during the three-year timeframe. The Taycan reaches up to 270 miles in some of its versions, and it has sportscar performance. 

The brand name also carries a lot of weight when it comes to selling. If you have a Taycan in good condition, you may have it up for sale for a very short time before an excited buyer snatches it up.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is one of the best electric vehicles in the under-50%, ranking at 35.5% percentage of its original value. This is primarily due to its reduced range, as it can only reach up to 124 miles per charge. 

Nevertheless, the newer versions of the Ioniq are planned to reach a range of 193 miles, and it is currently one of the fastest-charging electric vehicles on the market. It’s a very convenient and practical choice for urban areas, and it has been designed with beauty and efficiency in mind.

As you can see, the lower-range cars do lose some resale value, but they are still sought-after models that can find buyers. Other options in this range are the Nissan Leaf (34.3%, 150 miles) and the Kia Soul (29.9%, 111 miles). 

These two also have new models either recently released or in production that will see them go above 200 miles, which will boost their resale value when the subsequent studies are made.

How to Sell an Electric Car

Selling an electric vehicle is a big decision that can take some time to come to fruition, but the current climate is perfect for getting your car on the market and for having it gain attention from prospective buyers. 

People are very motivated by climate change and willing to change lifestyles, and they’re looking for electric vehicles in increasing numbers. Many can’t invest in brand new electric cars, so they’ll be looking for the right kind of deal to come along, which can create a mutually beneficial relationship between you as the seller and them as the buyers.

Below, we’ll delve into more details about how the process unfolds. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be more prepared to take on this challenge and be successful at it.

When to Sell

If you’re starting to think about selling your electric car, but aren’t sure about whether it’s the right time, here are some tips for when it would be best to go ahead with that plan:

If It’s Outdated

Electric cars have evolved massively in the last decade. While the ones made before were groundbreaking pioneers in the industry, they cannot compete with the current technology and battery power. If you purchased an older electric vehicle, you might notice that it’s not giving you the kind of performance you’re seeking.

The numerous electric vehicles currently on the market may tempt you with their long ranges, futuristic features, and comfort. At this stage, you can start thinking about a replacement, especially if it’s becoming financially inconvenient to continue keeping a car that isn’t performing well, especially when compared to other options. 

If Severe Depreciation Is Happening

Depreciation refers to the residual value of a product like an electric car from its new price to its sale as a second-hand item. Some depreciation is to be expected, but if you’re noticing a worrying crash, you may find yourself losing a lot of money on a sale. If you’re noticing a snowballing downward trend that’s not recovering, you may wish to sell before it gets worse.

If Your Circumstances Have Changed

Like with any other type of car, you may buy a specific electric vehicle when you have a certain kind of lifestyle that can very quickly change. If you’re growing a family, the electric car may become unsuitable for your needs, especially when size is considered. If you move from an urban to a rural area, you won’t be able to depend on a short-range car.

At this point, you may consider getting a more family-friendly model or one that can cover a more extensive area without depending on a recharge. In some instances, you may even find that a car is a costly and unnecessary item, especially if you’re living somewhere central and with decent public transport.

If your circumstances have changed in a way that surpasses your current electric vehicle, you should go ahead and put it up for sale. There will most likely be buyers looking for something like it, and you will be able to put changes in place once the sale is made.

If the Battery Warranty Is Expiring

The battery is one of the most essential elements of your electric car. It is built to last and keep the best performance for a long time, but it may occasionally need replacing, which can be a costly process.

Your battery warranty should be carefully picked when you first buy the car, but if you see that it’s reaching its end and you’re not sure if it will last much longer, you can play it safe and put the car up for sale as it nears the final days of coverage.

Battery prices continue to fall, so it doesn’t have to be a massive investment if you want to keep your car after everything is more settled. You can take your electric vehicle to be checked by professionals if you have any doubts, and if you are ready, you can put it up for sale (disclosing the state of the warranty) and wait for it to be claimed by others.

You can then focus on getting another electric car with a longer battery warranty or even one with a better battery range.

If There Are No Charging Stations

The infrastructure for electric cars is as important as the vehicles themselves. Even if you can charge your car at home, you will still feel safer knowing that you can stop at a charging station whenever you need it. If you change your area and find yourself living somewhere with no chargers in the proximity, you may need to find a different option.

Some areas with great population numbers will have plenty of charging stations and other amenities for electric vehicles. In contrast, others will have a full absence of them, especially in rural areas. This will have a significant impact on how comfortable you feel in your car, especially if you’re going on a longer trip.

Bear in mind that Tesla’s Supercharger network is currently the most widespread, but it is not the only one. There are plenty of options for charging stations across the country. Still, if you have nothing available within a practical distance, you will have to consider selling your car for something that suits your needs as they evolve.

If It Needs Expensive Maintenance

We’ve mentioned hints of this before, but if there comes a time when you feel you’ve been sinking money into the electric vehicle at a rapid pace without any signs of that expenditure slowing down, it may be time to sell. You should never have to spend enormous amounts of money on a vehicle, especially if you’ve already had to invest plenty when you purchased it.

This is usually a rare situation for electric vehicles, as most of them are still relatively new and wear and tear hasn’t set in fully, unlike with traditional cars. There are also fewer factors that can go wrong with electric cars. There’s no need for oil changes, brakes are helped by regeneration, and there are no traditional engines.

The most frequently encountered problems in this category will be issues with the battery or the powertrain, or perhaps even software. If you find yourself faced with a bill for anything of the sort that exceeds the investment you’ve made on the car, it is time to consider selling, even if you have to reduce the price according to the issues it has.

As long as your pricing covers as much as possible, you won’t have to worry about what options you’ll have after the sale is finalized. You will find another suitable option and won’t have to continue spending money on a never-ending project.

What to Avoid

Selling electric cars isn’t extremely difficult, but there are some complexities and pitfalls that should be avoided as much as possible. Let’s take a look at what practices you should avoid when trying to sell an electric vehicle. This will save you time and will ensure that you present the car in a favorable light.

  • Don’t overinflate: You may feel tempted to ask for a higher price than the car is currently worth in a haste to make a profit, but this only serves to push potential buyers away. Honesty is one of the biggest draws when it comes to selling electric cars, and opting for that will help your chances instead of hindering them. This rule can be ignored if you are selling a collector’s item.
  • Don’t omit facts: Buyers will be interested in factors like battery range, top speeds, and safety. Double-check with the manufacturer if you have any doubts about these, and then include all this information as factually as you can when you’re selling the car.
  • Don’t forget about the buyer: With all the options around, buyers can be picky about what they’re looking for in an electric vehicle. Make sure to mention all the features and all the perks that it has while also alerting them to the quirks it can sometimes have.
  • Don’t forget about the market: During the pandemic, electric vehicle sales took a hit, but they are quickly recovering. New car models are also contributing to the depreciation of the previous ones. That’s why you should use important keywords when selling, to let everyone know what your car can do better than others.

Biggest Selling Points

Speaking of what to focus on, here we’ll take a look at what will make electric vehicles attractive to buyers. These are the biggest selling points to mention when you’re listing your sale. Even though it’s a used car, your electric vehicle has plenty to offer to new owners, and everyone should be aware of it when you advertise.

When selling an electric vehicle, you can extoll all the virtues you had in mind when you purchased it. You should remind potential buyers of how their lifestyles would change thanks to this sale. They will be able to have a zero-emissions car and feel like they are doing something to combat climate change.

Even though buying an electric car is an investment, whether it’s new or second-hand, it will still involve a lot of cost-saving in the long run. Electric car owners will spend a little more on electricity but significantly reduce fuel costs and maintenance costs in the long run. Electric vehicles require fewer parts to run, and therefore they are less likely to break.

Fuel is a huge factor not only when it comes to polluting less, but also to the amount that is spent on it with traditional cars. An electric car can be a huge lifestyle change, and it will immediately become apparent how much is being saved and not thrown away on fuel. The electricity required for electric vehicles to run is nowhere near as expensive.

The zero-emissions lifestyle will make electric vehicle buyers feel more productive in the climate change fight, and it’s demonstrably making a considerable impact. With luck, the number of traditional cars will be significantly reduced, which will allow for pollution to decrease. Until then, this is a great first step.

Select a Sale Method

When selling an electric vehicle, you should choose the most convenient method for you, especially if you’re trying to arrange phone calls around a work shift. Here are some of the methods you can consider using when it’s time to sell:

  • Traditional car-selling websites: Online service providers like eBay, AutoTrader, or even Craigslist are full of car sale offers, but they are more geared toward fuel-powered cars. These are options that will most likely get you as many views as possible.
  • MyEV: If you’d rather stick to websites that are only for electric vehicles, this is the most popular choice. Sites like MyEV will lead you directly to buyers of electric vehicles only, so you won’t have to sift through anything. It also makes it more likely that your car will be seen by someone looking for exactly that type.
  • The decades-old sign on the car: You can always opt for what has worked for ages and leave a sign on your window or windshield with a for sale message and your contact details. It’s not the trendiest way of doing it, but it will get your car seen wherever it goes.

Prepare Your Electric Car

Before you put your electric car up for sale, make sure it is in as perfect a condition as you can make it. Do a deep clean of the interior and the exterior, buff any scratches or blemishes, check the mirrors and the headlights, and apply some wax for a beautiful shine. Check under every seat to make sure every potential debris has been removed.

You shouldn’t leave this stage for the last moment, and it is advisable to give it a good clean before you take the photographs. If you continue to use the car daily until it gets sold, it’s best not to have to do all the work the day before, and you can simply focus on maintaining the cleanliness.

Your buyer will be impressed if the car looks new and like it’s well-maintained. This will immediately improve their opinion and make the sale more likely.

Use Photographs Correctly

It’s best to put up an ad for the electric car with some photographs attached, and those photographs should be well-taken to display everything at its best. You should use photos as a tool to get the sale done quicker. Always take them as high-quality as you can, and focus on important aspects of the car.

If you have an infotainment system, the photos should show it on and in focus. If you have a dashboard display, also take a photo of it when the car is running to show that everything is in order there too. Photograph aspects of the interior and the exterior, like the tires and any potential dents in the paintwork. 

If you’ve just waxed your car, make sure to highlight its shine when you take the photos. Give the finished photos a bit of editing when you’re on your computer, just to deepen colors and highlight the contrast. 

While you should never film yourself driving, you can take potential buyers on video walkthroughs of the car when it is stationary. This allows them to get a better look at it in real-time before having to make an appointment to see it in person first. This can also convince some of those who are on the more hesitant side of the quality of your car.

Take Time to Sort Paperwork

There will be plenty of paperwork to deal with before a sale can be done, and it will be different from location to location. You will usually need at least a bill of sale ready to go, as well as the title of the car. If your bank is nearby, you can ask for assistance on the matter. They will be able to help with the process of the paperwork and also the money.

Whenever possible, you should avoid getting paid in checks. A bank transfer is ideal, and if you get paid in cash, you should ask your bank to confirm that the entire sum is acceptable. It may seem overly cautious, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to car sales and a larger amount of money.

Meet Potential Buyers

This stage takes place right before the sale is made, and it will involve some time spent with the potential buyers interested in your ad. This part of the process will involve lots of talking on the phone or video chat and arranging convenient meetings for all involved. 

Try and screen as much as possible over the phone and meet up only with those who are genuinely interested. They may ask for a test drive that you should do with them to see how the car handles. You may be subjected to lots of questions, but that will help both you and them. Give them every detail about the car they ask for and be as factual as possible.

Conclusion

It is an excellent time to sell an electric car, as there is much more demand for them than ever before. If you decide to sell, the process doesn’t have to be very stressful. Advertising correctly and being prepared for the sale will make this a straightforward event.

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