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Don't Think You Can Afford to Go Electric? Think Again: The Used Chevy Bolt EV

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Peter Glenn

If you've been putting off joining the electric vehicle revolution because you thought it was too expensive, we've got news that may change your mind. Thanks to new incentives and smart financing options, drivers from all budgets can now realistically afford to make the switch to driving electric—and surprisingly affordable options like the used Chevrolet Bolt EV are leading the charge.

While there are plenty of premium electric vehicle prices that can still induce sticker shock, taking advantage of deals on slightly older EVs and leveraging existing incentives can make the switch to electric an achievable reality for the average consumer. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why the used Chevrolet Bolt and other pre-owned EVs are making the electric car future more affordable and accessible than ever.

The Dollars and Sense Case for Driving Electric

The long-term financial and environmental benefits of joining the EV revolution are too substantial to ignore. From the metrics on fuel and maintenance costs to the impact of environmental factors, making the switch to driving electric rather than burning gas makes complete sense for your wallet and the planet.

Save Money By Skipping the Gas Pump

Let's start with the financial perks of driving any EV, used or new. Sure, the upfront costs may be higher than those of a gas-powered vehicle, on average. But the long-term savings from bypassing the gas pump and avoiding constant oil changes quickly add up to thousands back in your pocket over the years.

According to an analysis by Consumer Reports, the average EV driver can expect to save between $6,000 to $10,000 over the life of the vehicle compared to an equivalent gas-powered model. With electricity costs far lower than gasoline, a single EV can save a household over $1,000 per year just on fuel costs alone.

Lower Maintenance Costs for EVs

Maintenance costs for electric cars are generally lower, too, since EVs have fewer moving parts than their gas-powered counterparts. No spark plugs, timing belts, or transmission to worry about. Fewer components to replace over time means scheduled maintenance visits are often quicker and less frequent.

Electric Performance

Beyond the savings you can expect at the pump and the shop, there are also the awesome performance benefits, like instant torque for zippy acceleration and nearly silent cabin noise—not to mention that fuzzy feeling of knowing you’re doing your part to reduce emissions. Dipping into the used EV market lets you enjoy all those perks without eating the heavy depreciation that comes with driving a brand-new car off the lot.

Why the Used Chevrolet Bolt EV is a Smart Option

We know, we know—the premium sticker prices on many shiny new EVs can be enough to make your eyes water. But driving electric doesn't have to be a luxury reserved for those with Buffet-level bankrolls. The trick is getting an awesome deal on a lightly-used EV that's just a couple of years old. And few used options pack as much value per dollar as the well-equipped Chevy Bolt.

With an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range, the Bolt provides plenty of driving flexibility for daily needs. Even for a small car, the spacious hatchback design offers 16.6 cubic feet of cargo room and comes standard with driver assistance technology like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and pedestrian detection. Safety is also a major plus, with the Chevrolet Bolt earning top safety ratings from NHTSA and IIHS.

Beyond the fundamentals, Bolt drivers enjoy the conveniences of remote smartphone connectivity, heated seats, backup camera, and the popular one-pedal driving mode for intuitive speed control in stop-and-go traffic. While not Tesla-level luxury, it's a very well-equipped and comfortable ride.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is a reliable do-everything vehicle well-suited for daily commuting, running errands, road trips, you name it. Yet two or three-year-old models can frequently be found for well under $20,000 at many dealerships—and even less when you apply any of the numerous federal, state, and local EV incentives and smart financing options available.

2024 EV Tax Credit and Other Incentives

The revised federal EV tax credit now allows for up to a $4,000 rebate to be applied at the time of purchase if you buy a qualifying used EV under $25k from a participating dealer. No more waiting to file taxes—that rebate comes right off the price tag at the point of sale.

To give you an idea of the potential savings, Kelly Blue Book lists the average price of a used 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV with under 30,000 miles at around $18,000 out the door from a certified dealership. After the $4,000 rebate, their final cost was just $14,000. Considering new 2021 Bolts start around $37,495, that's one heck of a deal on an electric car with all the latest features and plenty of miles still left on the battery warranty.

And that’s just the start. Beyond the federal EV tax credit, there are also plenty of state and local incentives to help drivers save in a variety of ways, from grants and vehicle exchange programs to home charging installation and energy rebates.

More Affordable Used EV Options to Consider

While used Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles offer excellent value, they are certainly not the only affordable options out there for budget-conscious buyers looking for an EV. Several other models from recent years can frequently be found at attractive price points under $20,000, many of which also qualify for the used federal EV tax credit.

2017 Nissan Leaf

One of the pioneering mainstream EVs, the Nissan Leaf has long been an affordable electric option, both new and used. The 2017 Leaf comes with an EPA-rated range of 107 miles from its 30 kWh battery pack. While not as high as newer EVs, that's still plenty of range for basic commuting needs.

With its compact hatchback design and punchy acceleration, the Leaf is both fun and practical. On the used market, you can typically find 2017 Leaf models for the fair price of around $9,000-$12,000.

2016 Chevy Spark EV

For those looking to go electric on a minimal budget, the 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV could be the answer. This pint-sized city car offers a modest but useful 82 miles of range along with the typical perks of electric power like zippy acceleration.

Thanks to its small footprint and tight turning radius, the Spark EV is perfect for urban driving conditions. Used models can frequently be found advertised at dealers for around $6,000-$10,000, making them eligible for the maximum federal EV tax rebate. Just know that at those rock-bottom prices, the vehicles likely have higher mileage.

2019 Kia Soul EV

For those wanting something a bit more roomy and modern, the 2019 Kia Soul EV could be an affordable used pick. This fully electric version of Kia's iconic Soul wagon offers 111 miles of range and substantial cargo space for its size.

The Soul EV offers a surprisingly premium interior for its price point, with available heated seats, leather upholstery, and Kia's suite of driver assistance tech. With average prices in the $12,000-$18,000 range for 2019 models, the Soul EV can take advantage of the used federal rebate while still delivering newer amenities.

How to Maximize Your Savings with EV Life Financing

Here's where EV Life financing really helps stretch those savings to the maximum. When you pre-qualify for a loan with EV Life, we help you find, apply for, and bundle every incentive program available to you into one low monthly payment.

Here’s how it works:

  • Pre-qualify for more than financing. When you pre-qualify for a loan on your used EV, we help you maximize your federal and state tax credits and other incentives you’re eligible for. We then help you apply for all the paperwork with our easy-to-use “Turbo Tax-style” incentive filing tools.
  • Bundle charging. EV Life can also help you get an instant quote for EV charging equipment installation and bundle it into your auto financing—all with one lower monthly payment.
  • One low payment. Once we’ve determined every available dollar you’re eligible for, EV Life will gather all your savings and apply them directly to your loan, significantly reducing your monthly payment.

The Affordable Electric Future is Here

By shopping smart upfront for a well-kept used EV like the Chevy Bolt at the right price point, leveraging the federal EV tax credit and other incentives, and financing the rest through EV Life, driving electric is well within reach for the average car buyer's budget these days.

Get pre-qualified today to discover how much you could save on your pre-owned Chevy Bolt—and start saving the planet while saving your pocketbook.

Maximize your savings with hassle-free EV financing

We're on a mission to make buying an EV easier and more affordable than a gas car

Maximize your savings with hassle-free EV financing

We're on a mission to make buying an EV easier and more affordable than a gas car

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