While new cars come with retail prices that are determined by their respective manufacturers, market forces ultimately dictate how much a given used vehicle is worth. These include supply and demand, regional preferences, historical data, the vehicle’s condition, the number of miles it’s been driven, and in the case of electric cars, its operating range on a charge.
Historically, EVs tend to suffer below-average resale values. This can largely be attributed to the federal one-time tax credit that effectively slashes an EV’s transaction price by as much as $7,500, along with comparatively weak marketplace demand, and the limited range of older models. However, more-recent EVs that can be driven for over 200 miles on a charge, especially models from Tesla that are in particular demand, are holding their values the best in the resale market.
So how can you determine what your EV is worth if you’re looking to trade it in or sell it outright? The best way to start is by checking the listings here at MyEV.com to get a general idea of what sellers are asking for comparable models. For a more specific valuation, you’ll want to consult online sources like Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com), Edmunds.com, or NADAguides.com.
With databases that are updated frequently, these sites base their estimates on data collected from wholesale auctions, used-car dealers, car rental and other fleet customers, leasing companies, and private party transactions. They also take into consideration historical trends, economic conditions, industry developments, and both seasonal and location-based supply and demand. All you’ll need to do is enter your EV’s make, model, color, and trim level, the number of miles on the odometer, added options, your Zip Code, and, most importantly, the car's overall condition.
Be as specific – and honest – as possible, with regard to the latter consideration. For example, Kelley Blue Book considers a car in “excellent” condition that will bring the most money to be one that “looks new and is in excellent mechanical condition,” while a vehicle that’s in “very good” shape is considered one that “has minor cosmetic defects and is in excellent mechanical condition.” KBB says one that’s in “good” condition “has some repairable cosmetic defects and is free of major mechanical problems.” You’ll get less money if your vehicle is in “fair” condition, which is described as having, “some cosmetic defects that require repairing or replacing.”
Fortunately, because EVs eliminate over two-dozen components found in a conventional auto that will eventually fail, they tend to hold up well mechanically. The most important issue in this regard is the condition of an EV’s battery. All electric vehicle batteries will degrade somewhat over time and lose a bit of their ability to maintain a full charge. Older EVs with shorter operating ranges can suffer quicker deterioration than newer models that can travel further on a charge. That’s because draining most or all of a battery’s charge on a regular basis tends to cut into its capacity more quickly over time. You’ll want to take a picture of your vehicle’s state of charge (SOC) gauge when fully charged that shows it at 100% to verify for a buyer how many miles of range your car’s battery can deliver.
Be aware that exterior dents and dings, worn or torn upholstery, non-functioning accessories, and other physical defects can eat into a model’s resale value significantly. It pays to have minor repairs addressed before offering a vehicle for sale. At the least you’ll want to give it a thorough wash and a fresh coat of wax, vacuum out the cabin, and freshen the seats and carpeting with upholstery cleaner. You might also want to consider taking it in for an extensive “detailing” that can bring the interior and exterior back to like-new condition.
Valuation sources typically provide multiple price estimates for a given vehicle. The first will be its “trade-in value,” which is what you could expect to receive from a car dealer, whether you’re trading it in or selling it to them outright. This is usually the lowest price estimate given, as it assumes a dealer will have to mark up the price and perhaps recondition the vehicle before putting it on sale.
The second prediction you’ll see is the “private party value,” which is what you can expect to receive by selling it to an individual on an “as is” basis. This would be the price you should consider listing a used EV for sale here at MYEV.com. Listings are 100% free to sellers and can be seen by buyers nationwide.
The third valuation estimate you’ll find is the vehicle’s “retail value,” which is what you can expect a dealer to ask for a car that’s sitting on the lot. This amount will usually be higher than that given for private party sales, and you’ll notice it will be much higher than a specific car’s trade-in value.
It’s a good idea to check multiple sources when determining what your EV is worth as they’ll often come up with slightly different figures. For example, Kelley Blue Book says a 2016 Nissan Leaf SV located in Chicago that’s in excellent condition and been driven 36,000 miles is worth $11,617 in a private-party transaction and $9,351 as a trade-in. Edmunds.com says it’s worth $12,755 in a private sale and $11,039 traded in. It would be up to you whether to ask for the higher amount or split the difference, but pricing an EV fairly will help expedite its sale.
Finally, keep in mind used-vehicle valuation estimates are just that – estimates. Whether you trade in your EV or sell it to a private party, the buyer and seller ultimately determine its value, and that figure is always open to negotiation. Never accept a lowball offer, but on the other hand, don’t expect top dollar for a car that’s in need of work or has a seriously depleted battery.
ABOUT THIS ARTICLE:
2019 Kia NIRO EV Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a battery instead of a gasoline tank, and an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE).
Aurora Black Pearl 2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium FWD 1-Speed Automatic 201HP AC Electric Motor Free Car Washes for Life!, Loaner Car for Scheduled Maintenance!. Recent Arrival! 123/102 City/Highway MPG Price excludes tax, tags, certification and processing fee. Please call our Internet Sales Depart...Price: $38,985 Mileage: 18,311 Location: Bowie, MD Above average: $3,060 Total Range: 239 Mi Trim: EX Premium Range 239 Mi Mileage 18,311 Location Bowie, MD Trim EX Premium Price $38,985 Above average $3,060
2019 Tesla Model 3 Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a battery instead of a gasoline tank, and an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE).
This DGDG Certified 2019 Tesla Model 3 with one previous owner and only 34,301 miles (under 9k miles per year) was meticulously inspected and reconditioned by our service team. DGDG Certified Used Cars offer a 12-Month/12,000-Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty, a 3-Day/250-Mile Money-Back Guarantee, a...Price: $44,990 Mileage: 34,301 Location: San Jose, CA Below average: $2,729 Total Range: 240 Mi Trim: Standard Range Plus Range 240 Mi Mileage 34,301 Location San Jose, CA Trim Standard Range Plus Price $44,990 Below average $2,729
2018 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a battery and an electric motor. However, like gasoline vehicles, PHEVs also have a gasoline tank and an internal combustion engine (ICE).
Clean CARFAX. Silver 2018 Toyota Prius Prime Premium FWD CVT 1.8L 4-Cylinder DOHC 16V VVT-i Aluminum Wheels, Backup Camera, Bluetooth, Power Package, 15" x 6.5" Aluminum Wheels, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 6 Speakers, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, Alloy wheels, AM/FM radio: SiriusXM, Auto High-beam Headlig...Price: $32,900 Mileage: 48,935 Location: San Diego, CA Above average: $875 Total Range: 594 Mi Trim: Premium Plug-in Hybrid Range 25 Mi Mileage 48,935 Location San Diego, CA Trim Premium Plug-in Hybrid Price $32,900 Above average $875
2018 Chevrolet VOLT Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a battery and an electric motor. However, like gasoline vehicles, PHEVs also have a gasoline tank and an internal combustion engine (ICE).
***LEATHER SEATS***, ***BACKUP CAMERA***, ***CLEAN VEHICLE HISTORY***, ***EV ELECTRIC VEHICLE***, 1.5L VVT DI DOHC 4-Cylinder Range Extender, LT Driver Confidence Package, Preferred Equipment Group 2LT, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Sensor Indicator, Rear Park Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert w/Lane Change...Price: $26,395 Mileage: 68,331 Location: Vincennes, IN Above average: $4,993 Total Range: 420 Mi Trim: LT Range 53 Mi Mileage 68,331 Location Vincennes, IN Trim LT Price $26,395 Above average $4,993
Change Your Location
FREE ONLINE APPRAISAL