‘I’m a mechanic – I’d never buy an electric car at auction’

A popular motoring influencer has warned drivers to never buy an electric vehicle at a used car auction or they might face expensive repairs.

Scotty Kilmer has been a mechanic for over 55 years and regularly posts videos to his YouTube and TikTok pages to give advice to motorists.

In one of his most recent videos, Scotty explained why drivers should avoid buying their next EV from an auction.

He said: “Never ever buy an electric car at an auction. Electric cars are so expensive to fix, and if it’s at an auction there’s some serious problem.

“And if the battery is degraded, they’re expensive, a new one costs a fortune. Now you can get remanufactured ones for a couple thousand, but they’re just repaired old batteries. Maybe it’ll last a year, maybe not.”

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According to the Bloomberg New Economic Finance (BNEF), the typical price for an electric vehicle battery is about $135 (£118) per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

As a result, a 57.5kWh replacement battery for a Tesla Model Y, the world’s most popular car during the first quarter of 2023, would cost £6,785.

Whilst very few owners of electric vehicles have yet to replace this battery due to age, the high cost may be more than the value of the car in some cases.

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However, whilst Scotty was completely opposed to viewers getting an electric vehicle from auction, he also gave advice to any motorist considering buying an EV from a private seller.

He explained: “Now, if someone’s selling it used, you could pay a guy like me, with a $6,000 [£4800] electric car analytical computer, to plug in and analyse.

“You can’t do that at an auction, they don’t let you check them out with a mechanic and a machine. Stay away!”

In the UK, rising sales of new electric vehicles has caused used prices to fall to their lowest levels on record.

According to the vehicle marketplace Auto Trader, in July 2023 the average cost of a used electric car was £31,567, a drop of over £9,000 in 12-months.

However, whilst it is possible to save considerable amounts of money by buying an electric car used, it is important to check the condition it is in thoroughly.

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