Essential Tips for Buying a Used Electric Vehicle in Canada

by Jun 22, 2023Car buying, Electric cars0 comments

If you’re considering buying a used electric vehicle in Canada, it’s important to be well-informed before making your purchase. Buying used electric vehicle can result in significant savings over time, which is probably why you are thinking about doing so. While buying used can save you money and allow you to test out EVs, there are a few key factors to consider that differ from buying a used gasoline vehicle. This article aims to provide you with essential tips to help you make the right choice and get a great deal on a used electric vehicle in Canada.


Before diving into the used EV market, it is vital to conduct thorough research and develop a well-structured plan. Here are some key aspects to consider when buying a used EV:


Understanding Your Needs When Buying A Used Electric Vehicle in Canada

Define your requirements and preferences regarding the electric vehicle you desire. Consider factors such as driving range, charging infrastructure, size, and budget. Evaluate your budget and determine how much you are willing to spend on a used EV. Keep in mind that while used electric vehicles tend to be more affordable than their brand-new counterparts, they still require a significant financial investment.


Once you narrow down your options and make a more focused search, identify the most reliable EV models available in the Canadian market that meet your requirements. You should look for models with good overall performance, dependable battery life, and don’t forget to check consumer reviews. You may also consider consulting expert opinions and seeking advice from experienced EV owners.


Used Electric Vehicle in Canada


Check the Battery and Warranty 

The battery in an electric vehicle degrades over time, similar to the battery in your mobile phone or laptop. Factors such as high temperatures and repeated charging can accelerate this degradation. When purchasing a used EV, it’s crucial to be aware that you may not get 100% battery life. The battery range of a used EV plays a significant role in determining its value since it affects how far you can drive. It’s difficult to assess these details just by looking at the vehicle, so it’s advisable to consult service professionals at an EV dealership who can provide a comprehensive battery health evaluation. Keep in mind that not all EV batteries are created equal, with some automakers, like Tesla, offering batteries that can preserve more than 90% of their capacity even after covering long distances.


It’s also recommended that to look for a used electric vehicle with a valid manufacturer’s warranty. Most battery warranties expire after eight years or 250,000 kilometers, whichever comes first, from the date of purchase. While many used EVs in Canada still come with warranties, not all of them are transferable to new owners. Contact the automaker with the vehicle identification number (VIN) to determine when the warranty expires and whether it can be transferred.


Check the Maintenance History

Always inquire about the maintenance history of a used EV, just as you would when buying a used gasoline vehicle. While there may be fewer maintenance records for EVs due to their lower maintenance requirements, it’s still important to gather information from the previous owner or the dealer. Electric vehicles typically have longer-lasting brakes since they recover energy during braking, which reduces wear.


Used Electric Vehicle Inspections

Despite having fewer moving parts and requiring less maintenance, it’s recommended to have a prospective used EV inspected by a trained mechanic. Ideally, choose a mechanic experienced in working with electric vehicles, although this may limit your options and increase inspection costs. While the inspection may incur a few hundred dollars, it can save you money in the long run by identifying potential issues and giving you an idea of the remaining life on components such as brakes and suspension.


To assess the car’s exterior condition thoroughly, it’s important to do more than just a quick glance. If inspecting the used electric vehicle yourself, carefully check for dents, difficult-to-open doors, and tire wear. Pay attention to even tread wear across the tire width and consistency on both sides of the car. Inside the car, sit in all seats, examine the upholstery, and test the functionality of the driver and passenger controls. Give special attention to the instruments and controls, and take a few minutes to review any car-specific guides or features.


Used Electric Vehicle Depreciation

One advantage of buying a used electric vehicle is that the initial owner has already taken the heaviest hit from depreciation. Generally, the range an EV can hold is the most significant factor influencing its value. Data suggests that used EVs tend to depreciate more slowly than traditional cars, with top-tier models from brands like Tesla and Mercedes holding their value even longer.


Electric Vehicle Charging

Understanding EV charging options is essential. There are three levels of EV charging:


Level 1: Uses a standard three-prong plug, similar to those for your phone or computer. Level 1 chargers are commonly found at home. However, they charge slowly, increasing a Tesla Model 3’s range by about 10 km per hour. Level 1 charging may be suitable if your daily mileage is limited.


Level 2: Preferred by most EV owners, Level 2 chargers require a 240-volt power source, like an electric dryer outlet. These chargers significantly speed up charging rates, increasing a Tesla Model 3’s range by about 60 km per hour.


Level 3: Also known as DC fast chargers, Level 3 chargers provide the fastest charging speed. They are typically available at public charging stations and can add 250 kilometers to a Tesla Model 3’s range in just 30 minutes. Charging to 90% capacity takes around 40 minutes. However, Level 3 chargers often come with a fee.


Considering the availability of public charging stations and your personal charging needs, you should determine whether you require a home charger or can rely on public charging options.


Accessories for Charging

Ensure that the seller includes the necessary charging cord and accessories with the used EV you choose. Charging accessories can be costly, typically ranging from $400 to $700 in Canada. You may also negotiate with the seller to purchase their Level 2 charger at a discounted price if you have a compatible 240-volt outlet.


Incentives for Used Electric Vehicles in Canada

The Canadian government’s Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles Program (iZEV) provides incentives of $5,000 for purchasing new electric cars. While the iZEV program does not cover used electric vehicles, various provincial incentives are available depending on your location. While some incentives extend to used EVs, most are applicable only to brand-new ones. For example, in Ontario, Plug ‘N Drive, a non-profit organization, offers up to $2,000 in rebates for used fully electric vehicle purchases when combined with a scrappage incentive. Research and find out the specific incentives available to you before finalizing your purchase.


Used Electric Vehicle FAQs


Are there any incentives or rebates available for purchasing a used electric vehicle in Canada?

Yes, there are certain incentives and rebates available in Canada for purchasing a used electric vehicle. The specific incentives vary by province and may include rebates, grants, or exemptions from certain fees. It’s recommended to check with the provincial government or local authorities to determine the incentives applicable in your area.


What is the average lifespan of the battery in a used electric vehicle?

The average lifespan of an electric vehicle battery varies depending on factors such as usage, climate, and battery chemistry. Generally, most EV manufacturers provide warranties for battery performance and capacity loss for a certain number of years or kilometers. However, with proper care and maintenance, EV batteries can last well beyond the warranty period, often exceeding 10 years.


How do I determine the condition of the battery in a used electric vehicle?

To assess the condition of the battery in a used electric vehicle, you can ask the seller for battery health reports or maintenance records. Some EV models also provide diagnostics that indicate the battery’s state of health (SOH) or capacity. If available, it’s advisable to have an independent inspection conducted by a qualified EV technician who can provide a comprehensive analysis of the battery’s condition.


Does the used EV come with a warranty?

Some used EVs may still have an active warranty from the manufacturer, especially for the battery. Inquire about any existing warranties and whether they can be transferred to you as the new owner.


How long does it take to charge the vehicle?

Charging time can vary based on the charging station and the EV model. Inquire about the charging options and the estimated time to fully charge the vehicle using different charging methods (e.g., Level 1, Level 2, DC fast charging).


What are the key factors to consider when purchasing a used electric vehicle in Canada?

When purchasing a used electric vehicle in Canada, consider the following factors:

  • Battery condition and remaining warranty.
  • Range and charging capabilities.
  • Maintenance history and vehicle condition.
  • Availability of charging infrastructure in your area.
  • Local incentives, rebates, and grants.
  • Vehicle history report and any past accidents.
  • Warranty coverage and options for extended warranties.

More from Carnex Blog:

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Buying a Used EV in Canada: What You Need to Consider

Should you charge your electric vehicle every night? Here are what you should know

Will Buying an Electric Vehicle Save You Money?

Learn more about the benefits of buying from Carnex. We believe that all clients deserve to know the good and bad of what they’re buying. Because we wanted to know these when we bought cars. That’s why at, we will proudly display every detail every step of the way. Browse all the best cars, automobile buying tips, auto insurance, young drivers, driving techniques, auto industry trends from Carnex Blog.

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Who is Carnex?

Carnex is an online EV dealer built for Canadians to buy and sell electric vehicles. Our mission is to provide Canadians with an alternative and transparent way to buy and sell used electric vehicles and to accelerate the transition to a sustainable green future. is Canada’s first e-commerce platform for used Electric Vehicles. Carnex is the leading Online Car Dealership in Ontario, with the company’s headquarters located in Toronto, Ontario.
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Carnex is trusted by over 18 million buyers to find amazing discounts on used EVs and new EVs in their neighbourhood. Carnex specializes in electric vehicles, and we make the effort to make sure your EV purchase from us will be worry-free. Our skilled EV technicians perform a comprehensive diagnostic on all of our electric vehicles at Carnex because your satisfaction is very important to us. will help you find the best EV bargains among the listings across Canada, and we’ll provide you with the vehicle history and comprehensive reviews for each EV.

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