How to Get the Most Value When Selling a Used EV

A Helpful Guide Through the Sales Process

You were way ahead of the curve when you invested in your first electric vehicle. But now your life has changed and you’re ready for an upgrade. What should you do with your old car?

You could trade your vehicle in at the dealer. However, you might get more if you act as an independent seller. You’ll have cash in hand to put toward another car or something else.

That said, you have to be savvy. Here’s how to get the most value when selling a used EV.

charging EV; selling a used EV
EVs–new and used–are hot right now

Understanding the Valuation Process

Do EVs depreciate like traditional gas-powered cars? They do, and they lost value more quickly at first before market demand caught up with the emerging technology. However, high-end models like Mercedes and Teslas hold their value quite well today—don’t sell yourself short. Kelley Blue Book is still a useful guide, but it’s also smart to see what a dealer would give you.

Another method for the valuation process is to do a VIN search. You can get a valuation report that gives you an instant portrait of what your list price should be.

Although the vehicle’s value is the most important thing to know when setting your list price, there are other factors to consider:

  • Your need to sell: If you need quick cash, a lower price usually results in a faster sale.
  • Your desire to help: There’s nothing wrong with selling your EV to your nephew for a discounted price for his 16th birthday.
  • Your local dealer’s prices: You’ll have a hard time selling your car if buyers can find a comparable model at a dealer for less. Few EVs have modifications justifying a higher list price—the technology is too new.

Highlighting the Unique Features

2020 Nissan Leaf SL Plus
Talk up your model & the big picture

EV buyers will have questions that you otherwise wouldn’t face when selling a gas-powered car. For example, they’ll undoubtedly want to know how far they can travel on a single charge and where the nearest charging station is. Be ready to answer their queries, backing up your answers with real-life experiences.

Furthermore, prospective buyers might have questions about claiming the new used electric vehicle incentive credit on their taxes. Be prepared to answer their questions on battery capacity and provide proof of sale to back up their filing.

Emphasizing Sustainability

It’s beneficial to discuss the sustainability perks that come with EV ownership. For example, many people consider buying an EV to green their carbon footprint. Have your paperwork handy to demonstrate the lack of emissions and how switching to this technology can help the planet.

Furthermore, you should remind prospective buyers that their purchase is sustainable in more ways than one. Their investment could remain viable long after gas-powered cars become obsolete. Some California cities have already banned the building of new gas stations amid climate change concerns, and other jurisdictions will likely follow suit.

How to Get the Most Value When Selling a Used EV

You love your EV, but it’s time to part ways. What can you expect when you sell one versus a traditional model?

Follow the above guidelines to get the most value when selling a used EV. The more money you reap from your sale, the more cash you have to put toward purchasing your updated ride.