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Ditching the diesel? Here’s a buyers guide to purchasing a second-hand electric vehicle

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A new investigation from Admiral car insurance reveals more than half of British motorists (52%) are considering buying a used EV for their next car, with a similar number (55%) looking to switch to a second-hand electric vehicle within the next five years.

With the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars being introduced in 2030, many motorists are considering making the switch to electric.

But, the insurer found the cost of a brand new EV is the biggest barrier preventing motorists from making the switch, with almost half (45%) admitting a new EV is too expensive, while others (37%) simply said they don’t want to pay for a new EV.

To help drivers considering a second-hand EV instead, Admiral has created an online tool which highlights how much they would pay on average for a second-hand EV in cities round the UK and how far they’d have to travel to get the best deal. The tool also shows how many of the most popular second-hand EVs are available in their area.

Nissan LEAF

Buying second-hand

For people opting to go down the second-hand route, Admiral’s investigation revealed Brits believe the most important factor to consider is the condition of the battery (31%), followed by the vehicle’s charging range (28%) and the total running costs (20%).

Yet, the more traditional checks and considerations like how the vehicle drives, how much it costs to insure and depreciation of value were less important and failed to make the top five. Rank Top five considerations before purchasing a second-hand

RankTop five considerations before purchasing a second-hand EV%
1Battery condition31%
2Charging range28%
3Running costs20%
4Electrics work correctly19%
5Vehicle mileage18%

To help motorists purchase a second-hand electric vehicle, Admiral has worked closely with top automotive expert Professor Peter Wells from Cardiff University who offers his tips on what to look for when choosing the right second-hand electric vehicle.

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Professor Peter Wells said: “In many respects, buying a second-hand EV is like buying any second-hand car and prospective buyers need to think about the vehicles’ age, mileage, overall conditions, price and expected depreciation.

“The main unknown for second-hand EV buyers is the condition of the battery and how much capacity is remaining. However, long manufacturer warranties on battery packs help reduce some of this risk. Plus, as a battery pack has a high value, the end-of-life price of a second-hand EV is higher than a traditional petrol or diesel car.”

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Addressing motorists concerns around range anxiety, Professor Peter Wells added: “For most people who drive electric, range is not an issue. The majority of drivers cover less than 100 miles per week or 5,000 miles per year. In this instance, EVs will only need charging once a week. If the driver has a charging point installed at their home this equates to annual ‘fuel’ costs below £100.

“For those who travel further, the network of public charging points is growing daily. Many places like supermarkets and shopping centres are installing charging points while for really long trips, motorway service stations with charge points are being amplified by new concepts like ‘Electric Forecourts.’

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“In the not-too distant future, range anxiety won’t be something EV drivers will have to worry about.”

BMW i3

Try before you buy

When it comes to picking where to buy a used electric vehicle, Admiral found more than half (53%) of motorists would prefer to visit a garage or dealership rather than a private seller or using an online company. Being able to take the car for a test drive is the most popular reason for opting to shop in person (37%), closely followed by having the opportunity to check the condition of the car (35%) and speak to a professional (34%) before making a deal.

Surprisingly, Admiral identified that drivers would spend the same amount of time looking into a second-hand electric vehicle as they would a petrol or diesel alternative. This is despite 65% confessing to not feeling confident about buying a second-hand EV and 35% admitting to not knowing anything about used EVs at all.

For motorists who are used to driving a more traditional petrol or diesel vehicle, Admiral would recommend taking the EV for a test drive as it’s a very different driving experience.

Professor Peter Wells said: “In terms of driving style, EVs offer a more defensive approach. Electric vehicles deliver high torque from a standing start and deliver very rapid acceleration from rest.”

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How far will you go?

Admiral found that more than half of motorists (57%) admitted that the location of the seller is a crucial factor when deciding whether to buy a car. Of those, a quarter (24%) wouldn’t travel far from where they live.

As part of the investigation Admiral explored the availability for the most popular electric vehicles it insures2. The research revealed that second-hand EVs aren’t as easily accessible to motorists as their petrol or diesel alternatives and as a result some people will have to travel further for a wider selection of second-hand electric cars to choose from.

The insurer found that Brits living close to cities like Bristol, Cardiff and Newcastle will have to broaden their search and be prepared to travel at least 100 miles to find the most popular second-hand EVs on the market.

Volkswagen ID3

Despite this, Professor Peter Wells thinks this is likely to change in the next few years: “I believe there will be a strong growth in EV sales from now onwards as many cars will be returning to the second-hand market after 24 to 48 months.

“The market for second-hand EVs is currently dominated by the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, BMWi3 and Tesla. However, companies like Volkswagen are entering the new EV market while premium brands like Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo have pledged to go all-electric by 2025.

“By 2022/2023 the second-hand EV market will be firmly established, with drivers having a much greater choice of what car to buy and how and where to buy it.”

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Forking out to go electric

Admiral also explored the average prices for these same six second-hand EVs and found that the most affordable used electric vehicle is the Renault Zoe costing £16,684 on average.

RankSecond-hand EV make and modelsAverage cost
1Renault Zoe£16,684
2Nissan Leaf£18,945
3BMWi3£24,197
4Volkswagen ID3£34,850
5Tesla Model-3£47,824
6Mercedes EQC£63,870

Meanwhile, a fifth of Brits (21%) would only be willing to spend between £5,000 to £10,000 for a second-hand EV which is 40% less than the lowest average cost available on the market.

In fact, only 5% would be willing to pay a higher price of £25,000 to £35,000 which is on par with the average cost for a BMWi3 or Volkswagen ID3.

Tesla Model 3

Professor Peter Wells said: “Second-hand EVs seem to be holding their value and long warranties on battery packs offer additional comfort for buyers.

“They are cheaper to run in comparison to petrol and diesel equivalents with electricity costs being as little as five pence per mile in a small, efficient second-hand electric vehicle.”

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Clare Egan, Head of Motor at Admiral said: “With the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars being introduced in less than 10 years’ many motorists who are currently looking for a car may be wondering whether now is the right time to make the switch to an electric vehicle.

“Our research shows that many Brits don’t want to fork out for a brand new EV and so a second-hand model could be a better alternative. Unsurprisingly, the second-hand market is currently not as developed as for petrol and diesel used cars and motorists may find they have to travel further than they’d ideally like to find the right car for them. The prices are also often higher than many drivers would like to pay but as Professor Peter Wells points out, the second-hand electric cars hold their value.

“If you’re considering buying a used electric vehicle, we’d recommend doing your research to find a make and model that suits your needs and is within your budget. Like any car you purchase make sure to check the age, mileage, overall condition and expected depreciation of the vehicle before signing on the dotted line.”

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Pembrey & Burry Port

Pembrey Country Park most awarded Blue Flags in Wales

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Pembrey Country Park has won more Blue Flags than anywhere else in Wales.

Cefn Sidan has secured the prestigious Blue Flag status once again making it the most awarded Blue Flag site in Wales since 1988.

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It has won on consecutive years since 2009, apart from 2020 when the awards were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cefn Sidan was also the first Welsh beach to win the international accolade.

The Blue Flag award is only given to beaches, marinas and harbours that have the highest quality of water, environmental education and management, safety and services. It is an is an indication of a world class visiting experience and attraction site for local people and visitors to Carmarthenshire.

The popular tourist attraction has also won the Green Flag award for the last four years for its inspiring green space, having the highest possible standards, being beautifully maintained and boasting excellent visitor facilities.

Carmarthenshire County Council Cabinet Member Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John said: “I am delighted and proud that we continue to achieve these standards year on year. Pembrey Country Park and Cefn Sidan Beach is one of Wales’ top tourist attractions and has something to offer everyone. This award symbolises quality and provides assurances to visitors and tourists when looking for a place to visit.”

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(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Welsh Government

Independent review of floods announced to help Wales adapt to climate change

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An independent review of flooding events across Wales during the winter of 2020-21 has been launched, the Welsh Government has announced.

Led by one of the UK’s leading barristers, the review will help ensure Wales learns from previous flooding events and embeds good practice for the future.

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The review, which is part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, will consider evidence from investigations carried out by local authorities and Natural Resources Wales, as well as other relevant reports.

Since Storm Dennis wreaked havoc across the country in February 2020, Wales has experienced a rapid increase in the frequency of storm and flood events than at any other time in recorded history.

Heavy rainfall and storms are likely to become more frequent as a result of climate change.

The Minister for Climate Change has appointed Professor Elwen Evans QC, one of the UK’s leading barristers, to lead the review.

Professor Evans will be tasked with establishing key findings, shared concerns, lessons learned, successes and good practice, as well as identifying areas for improvement.

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Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: “The terrible flooding we have witnessed in Wales in recent years is a stark reminder of the challenges we face from climate change. These increasingly frequent, powerful weather events create widespread trauma, disruption and financial loss for families and businesses.

“We have put a thorough flood strategy in place and recently announced the largest ever package of investment to reduce flood risk across Wales, with more than £214m over the next three years to help protect at least 45,000 homes from flood risk.

“It is vital we learn from previous events to prepare us for the future, and I am delighted Professor Evans, who brings substantial experience and authority, has agreed to lead the independent review.”

Designated Member, Sian Gwenllian said: “We have seen the devastating impact flooding can have on our communities and businesses. Alongside taking action on climate change and ensuring Wales plays its part to tackle it, addressing flood prevention and learning from the devastating 2020-21 floods will make a difference to people’s safety and peace of mind across Wales.

“I have been working closely to develop the scope and approach to delivery of this important review as part of the Co-operation Agreement, and I look forward to the findings.”

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The announcement of the independent review follows the record £214m investment in flood risk as part of the Co-operation Agreement between Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, which will protect at least 45,000 homes.

This will support Flood Risk Management Authorities, accelerate the delivery of prevention schemes, and build resilience in the system as climate change intensifies.

(Lead image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

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Cadle Heath is alive with the sound of critters

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From endangered bats to moths, beetles and unusual critters, a Swansea suburb is giving locals an opportunity to discover exactly what’s living on their doorstep.

The Cadle Heath BioBlitz event funded by the Swansea Nature Partnership on Saturday, May 14, is a day packed with scavenger hunts, guided walks, opportunities to learn about the wildflowers, bugs birds, reptiles and mammals and help to gather important nature data by recording the unusual species living in this urban heath.

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This nature reserve is one of Swansea’s best kept secrets and stretches from behind Swansea Community Farm on Carmarthen Road, to popular shopping-destination, Pontarddulais Road Retail Park.

The event, which is organised by Swansea Community Farm, South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre and Penderi Green Regeneration project, will take place between 10am and 3pm at the farm. Followed by a bat walk at 8.30pm, giving people the chance to listen for the elusive, red-listed, Lesser Horseshoe Bat in its natural habitat.

Kate McCabe from Pobl, leading on the Penderi Green Regeneration Project, said: “This is an exciting event for us. Cadle Heath is one of the best examples of urban heathland in the country and we are proud to have such a rich, exciting space for nature in the heart of Swansea’s Penderi region. The fact that the heath is home to a red-listed bat species is something we should be really proud of and something we should protect and celebrate.”

“Cadle is in such a highly populated part of Swansea that it is often overlooked, and people don’t often realise the hidden haven that exists for local wildlife. This family-friendly event will really bring the area to life, giving people a unique opportunity to really explore the area with the guidance of passionate scientists and nature experts.”

Katharine Aylett, from Swansea Community Farm, said: “We are proud to be hosting such an important and exciting event for the area, and to be partners of Pobl’s Penderi Green Regeneration Project. At Swansea Community Farm, we know the positive effect activities like this have on the community and local wildlife; it’s about raising awareness of the natural world and bringing people together, outdoors. 

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“The Penderi Green Regeneration Project itself, is vital to the area and is already having a clear impact on this part of Swansea. We’re looking forward to working with them on future events and initiatives.”

The Penderi Green Regeneration Project is an initiative to support local people in their desire to improve green spaces in their area which will help boost health and wellbeing. Through a series of physical and educational opportunities, the initiative will bring the wider neighbourhood together to regenerate green spaces in the Penderi area of Swansea.

Funded by UK Government, under the Community Renewal Fund (CRF), Pobl Group is able to deliver the Project with the help of key partners, Swansea Environment Centre, Room To Grow and the Conservation Team at Swansea Council.

For more information on the free event, visit: www.swanseacommunityfarm.org.uk

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