Searches for Electric Cars on CarMax Rising as Interest in Affordable Used EVs Grows
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Searches for Electric Cars on CarMax Rising as Interest in Affordable Used EVs Grows

Searches for Electric Cars on CarMax Rising as Interest in Affordable Used EVs Grows - VW ID.4
  • Searches for used electric vehicles are steadily rising on online used car market CarMax. 
  • On average, the top ten models in the CarMax electric cars search list cost $3,000 to $5,000 less than a year ago. 
  • The number of non-luxury used EVs in the top ten list is rising, lowering the top price paid by $26,000. 

Used EVs are a great option for the budget-minded shopper to go electric and, judging by the latest CarMax report, consumers are getting the word.


Not only are searches for used EVs growing on the online used-car marketplace, the number of electrified models being searched is expanding. And, those used EVs are getting cheaper!

The monthly CarMax search volume for electric cars increased by 177% from January 2021 to February 2024.

Breaking Down the Searches for Electric Cars on CarMax

Image care of Chevrolet

In February of 2024, searches filtered for “electric vehicle” accounted for more than 0.5% of searches. Back in February of 2021, that number was only 0.2%. 

While that might seem small, consider that millions of searches occur each month on CarMax, for all kinds of cars. (I know, “millions” is pretty broad. But CarMax wouldn’t get more granular…)  And the trend is clear. 

The biggest spike in the percentage of searches that included “electric” — to more than 0.7% — occurred from February to March 2022, when the average price of gas in the U.S. rose rapidly due to the conflict in Ukraine, CarMax said.

The top models being searched didn’t change much in the last year. The Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, and Nissan Leaf are still the top three. But the price of those three models has dropped a lot; in 2024 they cost from $3,000 to $5,000 less than in 2023.


For example, in 2023 a used Model Y would have set you back $37,000; in 2024 that dropped to $34,045. A Nissan Leaf dropped from $23,963 to $18,465 on the CarMax electric cars list in the latest CarMax report.

That corresponds to a decrease in the number of luxury used EVs on the top ten list, which dropped from six to four. The average price for the top used EVs is now between $22,000 and $46,000. That’s a huge drop from last year’s list, where the average price was $22,000 to $72,000.

Used EV Tax Credits

Image care of Nissan

The lower average price was helped by the Tesla Model X falling off the list and a lower price for the Model S, CarMax said.

Neither of those models would qualify for the used electric car tax credit in 2024. To qualify for the used EV tax credits, an EV must be bought from a licensed dealer for $25,000 or less. The buyer’s adjusted gross income may not exceed certain specified levels. The tax credit is 30% of the sales price to a maximum of $4,000.

Two fully electric cars on the 2024 top ten list — the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Bolt — would qualify.

There is also a used plug-in hybrid tax credit of $4,000. A used regular (non-plug-in) hybrid does not qualify for the used EV tax credit, however.


Best Used Electric Cars

Image care of Jorgen Hendriksen

The term “best” is so relative. I mean, if you are a soccer mom, the used Tesla Model Y probably appeals because of its third-row seats. If you’re a starving student, the Nissan Leaf is a better fit.

If you aren’t sure what the best EV to buy in 2024 is for you, CarMax has a page to help you figure it out.

In any case, probably because the number of new EVs on the market is growing, there are some new additions to the CarMax most-searched EV list. The Volkswagen ID.4, the Audi e-tron, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are all new to the top ten.

Meanwhile, the Tesla Model X, the BMW i3, and the Jaguar I-Pace fell off the top ten list. Indeed, only four luxury brands made the top ten list this year compared to six in 2023.

So, it seems that as more EVs come to market, consumer interest in buying a used EV is growing as well. And, used EVs are becoming increasingly affordable, making them a good option for a wider range of consumers.

One thing is for sure is that your choices for the best used EV to buy in 2024 are growing in number. And it looks like the price you will pay is going to be lower.



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