Quality Verified | Posted October 17, 2023

Top 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying an EV

Consider the total cost, your driving habits and available infrastructure among other things.
Nicole Wakelin
Nicole Wakelin

AAA Staff Writer

There’s a lot to think about when you buy a car. If that car is an EV, then there’s a whole new list of things to consider. Here are the top 8 questions to ask yourself before buying an EV.

How Much Range Do You Need?

Electric vehicles come with driving ranges that are typically 250 to 300 miles per charge, however, some come in shorter or longer ranges. Think about how much you drive in a typical day and how many miles you want to be able to drive before you need to stop and charge. 

Can You Charge at Home?

If you want to charge at home, then you’re going to need to have an EV charger installed. Pricing for a home charger varies depending on the model and the electrical setup at your home. Speak with an electrician before buying an EV to be sure you’re prepared for the installation cost.

Can You Charge on the Go?

Think about how much and where you drive, and then check out the availability of public chargers in your area. Make sure the charging network in your area will serve you well, especially if you can’t install a charger at home, whether due to the cost or because you live in an apartment.  

How Often Do You Take Road Trips?

This is one of the biggest challenges when you own an EV, since long road trips will require more time to stop and charge. They will also require more planning since EV chargers aren’t as readily available. If you take road trips often, be sure you’re comfortable with the additional time and planning required for the adventure. Our EV road trip planner makes it easy.

Do You Qualify for a Tax Credit?

There are lots of incentives available for those who purchase electric vehicles. These can help make buying an EV more affordable, but they vary depending on where you live and the specific vehicle. Make sure you look at what’s available before you make your purchase. 

Should You Lease or Buy?

Leasing can make getting into a new EV more affordable and give you the flexibility to change vehicles in a few years. If you want to give EVs a try, but aren’t sure how much you’ll like the experience, then consider a lease. 

Should You Buy New or Used?

As with gas vehicles, used EVs are more affordable, but they aren’t eligible for tax credits and older models often have lower ranges than newer models. Still, their lower price can make them a great option for those on a budget who are ready to make the move to an EV. 

How Much Will It Cost to Insure?

Depending on your insurance and the vehicle you choose, an EV may be more expensive to insure than a comparable gas vehicle. Reach out to your insurance carrier before you purchase an EV to make sure that any increase to the insurance premium is within your budget. 

AAA’s Recommendation: Whether you own an electric vehicle or a gas-powered car is up to you – and you should consider lots of factors in making that choice. No matter what type of vehicle you’re choosing, we recommend visiting a dealership, test driving one, and asking as many questions as possible to make an informed decision.

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