Used Electric Cars are More Affordable Than Ever

Laurance Yap
December 5, 2023
With demand slowing for electric cars due to high interest rates and concerns about charging, there are some great EV deals to be had out there. The best deals are for used EVs, whose prices have dropped by thousands in the last year. What are the best EV deals? Read on to find out.
Black Polestar 2 exterior view

Used EV Prices Dropping

In a post-pandemic world, dealers are struggling with slow-selling vehicles, meaning that all cars are lingering on dealer lots longer than they used to – meaning better deals if you are in the market. And according to a recent study from iSeeCars, an industry data aggregator, used electric cars have experienced the biggest price drop since last year. In fact, used EVs are, on average, almost 34 percent less expensive than they were in October of 2022. That’s compared to average used vehicle prices, which are down just over 5 percent compared to last year.

Why the big drop in used EV pricing? A number of factors are contributing to that number, including higher interest rates, concerns about public charging infrastructure, and general reticence about new technology. But by far the biggest factor has been Tesla’s numerous price cuts on its new EV vehicles – which have forced dealers to reduce prices on used electric cars to compete. Several rounds of price cuts, the most recent earlier in November, have brought some Tesla models below the $35,000 mark, once the federal tax incentive is applied. And because so many of the nation’s used vehicles are used Teslas, prices on those vehicles have dropped by thousands as well.

The net result is a huge improvement in relative affordability. A year ago, average prices for used electric cars were over 60 percent higher than other used cars – $52,821 compared to $32,627. In 2023, the gap between used EVs and other used cars had dropped to 13 percent – $34,994 versus $30,972. Don’t forget that there’s also a $4,000 federal incentive available for some used electric cars, as well.

Kia Niro EV exterior side profile

What Used EVs Have the Best Deals?

With EV sales slowing, deals are getting better, and the deals will be best on the slowest-selling EVs. iSeeCars’ ranking of the slowest-selling EV models are:

  1. Kia EV6, average 95.9 days in inventory
  2. Ford F-150 Lightning, average 78.4 days in inventory
  3. Polestar 2, average 73.4 days in inventory
  4. Volkswagen ID.4, average 73.3 days in inventory
  5. Kia Niro EV, average 72.2 days in inventory
  6. Hyundai Ioniq 5, average 67.2 days in inventory
  7. Ford Mustang Mach-E, average 66.7 days in inventory
  8. Nissan Leaf, average 62.3 days in inventory
  9. Audi e-tron, average 61.7 days in inventory
  10. Hyundai Kona Electric, average 61.4 days in inventory

If you’re shopping for one of these models, you may be able to get a great deal on a low-mileage, current-generation vehicle. On the other hand, Teslas, the Chevrolet Bolt, and Rivian R1T are the fastest-selling used electric cars.

Tesla Model S driving towards a tunnel

What Used EVs Had the Biggest Price Drops?

Not surprisingly, with its new-car prices dropping significantly in 2023, used Teslas got a lot more affordable this year. Three of the top five price drops were Tesla models:

  1. Nissan Leaf – average price of $19,649, a drop of 30.6 percent
  2. Tesla Model 3 – average price of $33,455, a drop of 30.5 percent
  3. Chevrolet Bolt – average price of $20,398, a drop of 28.7 percent
  4. Tesla Model X  – average price of $61, 424, a drop of 26.2 percent
  5. Tesla Model S – average price of $56,655, a drop of 24.7 percent

What’s even better news for potential buyers is that the Leaf and Bolt prices come before the federal $4,000 incentive, which applies to used EVs below $25,000.

Hyundai Ioniq parked by a street

New Electric Vehicle Discounts

Among new cars, five EV models were being sold at below MSRP, compared to all new cars, which are still sold at 8.4 percent above MSRP on average. These EVs included:

  1. Kia EV6 – average discount of 3.1 percent
  2. Hyundai Ioniq 6 – average discount of 2.7 percent
  3. Hyundai Ioniq 5 – average discount of 0.9 percent
  4. Volkswagen ID.4 – average discount of 0.6 percent
  5. Kia Niro EV – average discount of 0.3 percent
Toyota Camry Hybrid front facing exterior

Hybrids Among the Fastest-Selling Cars

Interestingly, demand for hybrid vehicles is exceptionally strong, and hybrid models have not experienced the drop in sales – or prices – that EV models have. The fastest-selling used car at the moment is the BMW X5 plug-in hybrid, followed closely by the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is also a fast seller.

On the new-car market, seven of the top 10 fastest-selling models are hybrid vehicles. The Ford Maverick Hybrid, Kia Sportage Hybrid, Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid, Lexus RX450h, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, and Lexus NX350h all sold nearly twice as quickly as the average new car.

What Does This Mean for Shoppers?

iSeeCars’ study looked at transactions for over 2.3 million new and 1- to 5-year-old used cars sold in October 2023. Overall, their findings showed that there were still very few deals to be found on the new car market – but that those shopping for some new EVs will find some discounts out there.

If, on the other hand, you’re shopping for a used EV, now may be the best time ever to buy.

Front view of a Tesla Model 3 driving through canyon roads

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