By 2030, there will be a ban on the sale of new fossil-fuel cars and vans- meaning that sales of new and used electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to rise rapidly.

Over the last few years, the UK saw a substantial increase in the number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold. Indeed, according to the latest UK car sales, they increased in 2021 by 76.3% on the previous year.  

What is the EV market like in the UK?

The electric vehicle market is growing at a rapid rate – with many automotive professionals now suggesting that the sale of fossil-fuel cars and vans has already peaked in the UK.

As of February 2022, there were more than 420,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads and over 780,000 plug-in models. With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars set to be banned in the UK by 2030, sales of EVs are likely to rise exponentially as the UK government plans to make the country carbon-neutral by 2050.

With growing consumer demand, increased interest in electric vehicles, and ongoing government support, if you are thinking about selling your electric vehicle, now is certainly a good time to find a great offer. The used EV market is growing fast as demand from buyers surges.

With so many drivers making the switch to electric cars, it might feel like an odd time to sell – but with such high demand, you could get a good return if you chose to sell now.

Why should you sell your EV?

There may be many reasons to sell your electric vehicle. With EV performance improving all the time, perhaps you’re looking to upgrade to an electric model with greater range? Or, perhaps, your battery has degraded, and your EV is no longer performing as you’d like? You might even have decided that you would prefer to make the switch back to a new petrol or diesel car ahead of the 2030 ban?

With demand on the rise, you can expect a healthy price selling a used EV. However, selling an electric car can be tricky at times, with a few elements to consider, depending on how you bought it.

How is selling an EV different to selling a fossil-fuel car?

Typically, when you buy – or take out finance on – a traditional fossil-fuel vehicle, the sale will include the car or van’s batteries. Whereas, with many EV sales, there is the choice to either buy or take out finance on the whole car, or to pay for the car and lease the battery separately.

If you decided to lease, it means that if the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery degraded significantly, the company that you leased from would replace it. However, it also means that whilst you own the car – you do not own the battery pack.

When you come to sell, however, having a car with a leased battery may make it problematic. The resale values of pure-electric cars are not generally helped by some car manufacturers, like Renault, retaining ownership of the car’s battery. Many EV car advertisements are not clear about whether the asking price of the car includes the battery – or whether it must be leased. Naturally, this can be frustrating for potential buyers.

For some car brands and models, battery leasing is not an option. Teslas and BMW i models, for example, will always have the battery pack included. Other models, such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe will typically be purchased with a battery leasing deal – although some owners will choose to buy the battery outright.

The cost of lithium-ion batteries – traditionally the most expensive components of electric vehicles – have seen a dramatic fall in price in recent years. Energy sector researchers Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) maintain that the drop in lithium-ion battery pack prices between 2010 and 2019 was a huge 87%. If this trend continues, EVs should reach a price parity with new fossil-fuel vehicles sometime between 2025 and 2029 – just in time for the electric switchover.

Do electric vehicles hold their value well?

As with fossil-fuel vehicles, EVs are subject to depreciation. In the UK, the drop in value of EVs varies between makes and models but generally represents a loss of value between 15-35% in the first year and up to 50% by the third year. This rapid depreciation then slows after year three. 

As with fossil-fuel vehicles, the main factors that will cause this depreciation will be age and mileage. Unless it is a classic car, as a rule the older a car is the less its market value will be. Similarly, a high-mileage car will typically be worth less than the same model with less miles on the clock, simply because mileage is a key indicator of a car’s overall condition. 

EVs typically hold their value better than petrol cars, which usually depreciate faster. However, diesels have seen the quickest depreciation in recent years, in part due to the controversy surrounding the diesel emissions scandal.

However, for those in the market for a used electric car, depreciation can be a good thing as it means they can pick up a three-year-old EV model that is in great condition – but which will have lost a large percentage of its original market value.

Is now a good time to sell an EV?

The take-up of EVs in the last year is likely to continue (and grow), but for a true mass market, it requires commitment from automobile manufacturers to provide a more diverse range of electric vehicles at more affordable prices.

Though the Tesla 3 was the UK’s top-selling car last year, the model is not affordable for many car buyers, and the car manufacturer that gains the most market share in the next decade will probably be the one that produces efficient, eco-friendly models – and manages to close the affordability gap for those on a tighter budget.

In the short term, the high cost and limited production of EV models means that there has been a distinct lack of trickle-down to the used car market – which helps keep EV values high. Consequently, for owners putting to market practically any model of EV, it remains – at least for the time being – a seller’s market.

Where is the best place to sell an electric vehicle?

With demand high, it’s now simpler than ever to sell your electric vehicle – and find a great price.

It’s quick and easy to sell your electric car with Motorway, and they will help you every step of the way. Simply enter your EV’s reg on their website and you’ll be provided with an instant valuation. They’ll then ask you a few easy questions about your car and guide you through the photos you need to take to complete your vehicle profile. This can usually be done from your phone and in a matter of minutes.

Your electric car will then be entered into an online daily sale, where it will be shown to Motorway’s nationwide network of more than 5,000 verified car dealers – who will compete to give you their best price.

In as little as 24 hours you will receive your best offer – and, if you’re happy to go ahead with the sale, your car will be collected for free from your home, and the money will be quickly transferred to your bank account.