Buying a used electric vehicle could save owners thousands over the course of ownership when compared with a typical petrol or diesel vehicle.

According to new research, buying a third-hand, medium-sized electric vehicle could see you fork out £5,600 less if you own it for about seven years.

On the new market, electric vehicles tend to cost more to buy, but their running costs are considerably lower.

The numbers from the think tank Green Alliance suggest that implementing a mandate to encourage UV uptake would give lower-income families better access to low-cost vehicles on the used market.

Data from the think tank shows that just 0.3 per cent of the seven million used vehicles sold in the UK last year were EVs. The figures are higher for new car sales, where 16.5 per cent are electric, but that must increase to 100 per cent by 2035 in line with government regulations.

However, it’s unclear whether last year’s sales data is a reliable reference, as both the new and used car markets were heavily disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. 

According to the Green Alliance research, a second-hand EV costs about £2,300 less than a petrol car over five years of ownership, while owning a third-hand car for seven years could save you up to £5,600.

Caterina Brandmayr, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, said: “The government has sent a strong signal to carmakers about the direction of travel, it must now ensure they speed up the transition and help us all to switch by getting more electric vehicles on the road.

“This is especially important to ensure those on lower incomes can benefit from clean cars sooner, as well as cutting carbon emissions and cleaning up our air.”

The think tank’s report suggests the introduction of a mandate similar to that seen in California, which requires car manufacturers to make a proportion of their sales electric.

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