Although the final totals are far from in, it’s not hard to see the effect the pandemic has had on different parts of the economy, with costs for some items rising at an alarming rate while many of us are struggling with lower incomes.
Nobody in British Columbia needs to be reminded of our overheated real estate market forcing those hoping to buy a home to both dig a lot deeper and budget more stringently.
But even if you just want to do some repairs, lumber prices are up almost 300% and there are supply issues driving up the prices of other goods as well.
And the car market is not immune to these problems either. An international chip and semi-conductor shortage has already led Jaguar/Land Rover to stop production at two English plants, while Mercedes is “pausing” production at two more in Germany.
Meanwhile, Renault is redirecting the parts they source to their more expensive models and Volvo has ceased truck production altogether as it rations its chip supply among its passenger vehicle fleet.
Meanwhile, right here in Victoria, we have confirmed stories of local dealerships charging up to $15,000 over MSRP (the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) for vehicles high in demand and short on supply.
Does that mean that somebody trying to stay on a budget, stuck with a gas-guzzling beater costing them dearly to keep on the road or who will need a car once they can get back to work — is out of luck?
In a word – Nope!
Because there’s one segment of the car market where the prices not only haven’t gone up, they’ve actually dropped a little. And that’s the market selling used electric cars.
If the word “used” elicited a groan, allow us to educate you a little on used electric cars.
For starters, electric cars don’t depreciate in value the minute they are driven off a new car lot. While industry surveys say an ICE vehicle (with an Internal Combustion Engine) lose 15-25% of their market value each year; they also say electric cars retain up to 75% of their original value after three full years on the road.
What’s more, they take far less money out of their owners’ pockets while they are being driven. And those savings continue for drivers who purchase them used.
The average Canadian owner of an ICE car spends approximately $1500/year on gasoline. The average owner of an electric vehicle (EV) spends $200 for the electricity to drive the same distance.
That’s $1300 right there that could go toward that down payment you’re trying to save, braces for one of the kids or a chunk of money off your student loan.
On top of that, you won’t be paying for oil changes, spark plugs, fuel filters and a lot of other things that regularly break on an ICE car, because compared to them and their thousands of moving parts, you can count the moving parts on most EVs without having to take your shoes off.
What’s more, the chances of any EV needing a brake job in the first decade of its life are slim to none.
As for that big battery driving an EV, it has a federally mandated eight year or 100,000-mile warranty and will likely never need to be replaced.
In brief, we have members of the Victoria EV Association still driving cars they purchased in 2011, whose only maintenance in the past decade has been a couple of sets of tires and windshield wipers.
That means a whole lot more money staying in your pocket.
The bottom line is this. If money’s tight or you just want to improve your cash flow. If you need a car but can’t get the new one you want. There’s never been a better time to buy a (Used) electric vehicle.