2015 Nissan Leaf
Some of us are perpetually on the hunt for a bargain, yet sometimes our preconceived notions get in the way of saving money on big purchases.
Take car buying for instance.
Many buyers will opt for a used car because we believe a new car is too expensive, but the truth is many new cars can be had for less than 1 or 2 year-old used cars when you include financing and incentives.
That's not the only aspect of car buying consumers are getting wrong.
According to a survey conducted by Autolist, car buyers greatly overestimate the cost of used electric vehicles, too.
The survey asked 1,249 vehicle owners for their estimates on the average costs of quality used gas and electric vehicles. Autolist then compared that with a live market analysis of 17,738 vehicles.
Autolist survey respondents perceive EVs to be about $5,000 more than gas cars
The result? Public perceptions trended toward electric vehicles costing about $5,000 more on the used market than their gasoline-powered counterparts.
However, the reality is electric vehicles are competitive in price and mileage on the used market versus gas models.
For 2015 models included in this analysis, the Nissan Leaf was more expensive than the Ford Focus, but cheaper than the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. The Chevrolet Volt was the most expensive of the surveyed lot.
Of those same vehicles, the electric options tended to have less accumulated mileage. The used Nissans had only accumulated 25,400 miles on average while the Corolla had turned nearly 10,000 miles more.
Autolist analysis finds used EV prices and mileage comparable with gas models
The survey also queried buyers on their top concerns when it comes to owning an EV. Aside from range, which the survey ignored as that's a typical response, 41 percent of respondents said reliability was their number-one concern.
Meanwhile, Autolist users placed the Nissan Leaf in first place for reliability amongst the same comparative set of vehicles, narrowly edging out the Honda Civic. The Ford Focus placed last, well under the average rating.
(Charging time was the second most-common concern of survey takers at 28 percent.)
A survey last year saw used electric vehicles were selling quickly even though new EV sales remained flat. Used models spent an average of 29.2 days on the market and prices dropped 15.2 percent versus the year prior.
The sole outlier in downward pressure on used EV prices may be Tesla, specifically the Model S.
Tesla's luxury sedan—which is often shopped against fossil-fuel counterparts from Audi, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus—was selling on average 5-percent faster than competitors.