what should you definitely check before you buy it?

The electric car is becoming an increasingly visible component in the market; an ever-increasing share, but new electricity remains expensive. For daily trips, the second-hand market is an option because the purchase price is lower.

In addition, if you scrap your current vehicle, you can even benefit from state aid (1,000 euros in organic bonus) and a conversion bonus that fluctuates according to your family quotient (a simulator is available to you at www.service-public.fr) .


In addition to the condition of the battery, it is imperative that you inspect the wear parts. These include tires, brakes, wiper blades and others. Check the rims, because when they are damaged, the bill can increase. Photo DR

Electricity is specific

You do not buy a 100% electric vehicle as a thermal car, even though the body condition, the chassis, the cabin condition are among the classics, one must not forget.

Verification of maintenance (invoices) must also be performed; however, an electric one is not so greedy in relation to consumables (oil, spark plugs, etc.).

Even the blocks are less stressed due to the use of regenerative braking. On the other hand, with torque available immediately, the tires can be put to the test. We will therefore address the specific points.

The significance of the battery

The battery is the crucial point. With most manufacturers, the battery is guaranteed for eight years. Depending on the age of the car you want, the condition of this important accessory should be checked.

After a few tens of thousands of kilometers traveled and a number of years, the battery life may not be the same as new.

Actual autonomy can vary enormously depending on the model, mileage, number of charge cycles performed. The battery loses capacity when recharged, fast or not, or its technology, and especially its cooling system.

The workshops of all the different brands are able, during a trip to the suitcase, to tell you how the health condition of the battery is.  Some models, like the Nissan Leaf, even show it on the dashboard in the form of beams.  Here the guarantee plays an important role.  Photo DR

The workshops of all the different brands are able, during a trip to the suitcase, to tell you how the health condition of the battery is. Some models, like the Nissan Leaf, even show it on the dashboard in the form of beams. Here the guarantee plays an important role. Photo DR

Battery certification

You can ask the seller to certify the vehicle’s battery (Soh / Health Mode); it is easy for a professional, but a person can go through the platform “My beautiful battery”, which will certify the health condition of the battery.

The test kit consists of a small box to be inserted into the vehicle’s OBD connector and then sent back to the company.

After inspecting the data, the latter establishes a certificate describing the health condition of the battery (in percent), its remaining manufacturer’s warranty and an estimate of the current autonomy. For everyone’s safety, the seller can take advantage of this.

The electric motor does not need much maintenance because there are far fewer moving parts than in a heat engine.  In general, it is advisable to choose a used model that shows less than 10,000 km on the odometer.  Photo DR

The electric motor does not need much maintenance because there are far fewer moving parts than in a heat engine. In general, it is advisable to choose a used model that shows less than 10,000 km on the odometer. Photo DR

Take care of old batteries

Note that although the vast majority of electric cars use lithium-ion batteries, this is not the case for everyone. For example, the Bolloré Bluecar and Bluesummer as well as the Citroën e-Mehari are equipped with lithium metal polymer (LMP) batteries.

They have the special feature of requiring them to be kept at a temperature of between 60 and 80 ° C, which requires a significant electrical consumption, even when stopped.

Condition of cables and sockets

The seller must provide you with the vehicle’s charging cables; there may be more when the car can be plugged into a slow wallbox-type socket or a quick CCS-type socket.

They must not be damaged. Due to the intensity of the current used, especially at fast charging stations, this would be dangerous. The sockets (on the vehicle and at the level of the cables) must be free of nicks, cuts, traces of twisting and obviously not stripped.

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