Buying a Used Electric Bike? Pros and Cons

Last Updated on July 13, 2023 by Igor Karni

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We commute every day and it is our wish to do so, using various vehicles that conveniently bring us from one place to another. An electric bike is a viable alternative to a conventional bike. An e-bike, powered by an electric motor, requires minimal human effort to ride.

What are the pros and cons of buying new vs used electric bike? Buying a used e-bike is usually cheaper, more considerate for the environment and still serves the purpose. Buying a new e-bike brings peace of mind with the manufacturer’s warranty, costs more money while allowing for more flexibility with color and option selection.

During the purchase of an electric bike, many people are caught in between figuring out if they should buy a used or a new electric bike. There are actually a few different choices to make. In this article, we will talk about what you need to put into consideration when choosing between new and used electric bikes.

Pros and cons of used electric bikes

Buying used items is a great way to save money and help the environment, as it significantly reduces the amount of waste. The same argument can be put forward in favor of buying a used electric bike. If someone does not need an e-bike anymore and wishes to sell it out, both the seller and the buyer are of the same interest in completing the transaction.

However, it is necessary to pay attention to what you are buying, in order not to risk buying a poor quality e-bike or an e-bike that is not suited to our needs. Below are the pros and cons that can guide you right when buying a used e-bike.

Read also: How much does it cost to own an e-bike? And, What is the difference between cheap and expensive e-bikes?

The pros of buying a used e-bike:

Usually a cheaper option. One of the significant advantages of buying a used electric bike is that they are cheaper to acquire. Unlike new electric bikes, you will avoid additional costs such as preparation fees, advertising fees, and processing fees. As long as the bike has been properly maintained, it could be a great investment for you.

A wide choice is available. There is a wider choice available where you can shop for used electric bikes. You will find different types of electric bikes at auction, electric bike shops, dealerships, websites, and from a friend. The choice is endless.

Still easier to use than a conventional bike. Long distances are covered in a shorter time with a used electric bike. Sloppy or steep areas can help get things to move faster. It can help you get to any destination in a shorter time using a speed up to 15-20mph. These are the reasons why it is worthwhile to purchase an electric bike.

Will pay less for insurance. Another perk of buying a used electric bike is that you will pay less for insurance. This leaves you with a whole lot of money to save and use for other things.

Some warranty may still be available. You can be entitled to some warranty depending on how many years are left of it. Some buyers of used electric bikes are fortunate enough to have some warrant especially electric bikes that are not above five years old. During the purchase, the warrant is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Will pay less tax. A used electric bike costs less than a new one and therefore attracts lower tax payment (where applicable). The lower the value of the e-bike, the lower the money you will have to shell out to the government annually.

Read also: Why are e-bikes so expensive? And, What is the difference between cheap and expensive e-bikes? And, Will e-bikes become cheaper?

The cons of buying a used e-bike:

Will likely have a shorter lifespan. Most used electric bikes do not last longer than the new ones. The previous owners may manage most pre-owned e-bikes poorly and this can only breed unprecedented issues in the offing. This goes a long way to affect and minimize its durability, therefore, making it a potential loss for the buyer.

Things can go wrong. Many things can go wrong with the purchased e-bike in the future. There may not be any guarantee to help you cover repair costs. An e-bike that is out of warranty means that any additional maintenance and repair that comes up later is on you.

What you see is what you get. With used e-bikes, you do not get any extra features. What you see is what you get. Depending on the size of your budget, you may not be able to find the exact electric bike that you are looking for. There are limited e-bike options up for grabs in the market. Oftentimes, you will have to forgo the color of the used e-bike that you want for the one is in topnotch shape and available.

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Pros and cons of a new electric bike

Everything has two sides like a coin – its pros and its cons. This is also applicable when planning to buy a shiny new e-bike. There are certain questions that should not go unanswered and some things have to be taken into consideration.

Why you may want to buy a new e-bike:

Guaranteed peace of mind. You will be guaranteed peace of mind by buying a new e-bike. This is because it is still new and it’s followed by a manufacturer warranty. If any problem arises such as motor issue, wear and tear, and more will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Read also: Are electric bikes good for the environment? And, Are electric bikes safe?

Eco-friendly models. New electric bikes are highly eco-friendly. This reduces carbon footprints released to the environment making it safe for humankind.

Advanced features. The new e-bikes come with advanced features to enhance user experience and productivity. The advanced technology means that new e-bikes will be able to cover bigger mileages and have better safety measure features put in place.

Higher resell value. In a few years, you may be able to resell the e-bike at a good price. Especially when the warranty has not expired, you can sell the bike for a reasonable price.

Less repair. There will be less maintenance and repair in the next few years after the purchase of a new e-bike.

No past surprises. Owners of new e-bikes will have no issues encountered with the device. They will not have to worry if the previous owner of the bike has changed the tires, battery, or motor. Every part and feature is brand new.

Often easier to ride. New electric bikes are less disappointing and pretty handy to beat traffic. In the urban areas, especially during the rush hours, you can easily leave your house and go anywhere. You can effortlessly beat traffic jam because the electric bike has less space to occupy.

Choose the color you like. You can buy any color of a new e-bike that you desire. Unlike a used e-bike where options may be few, there are many varieties of a new e-bike that you can purchase.

Read also: How to select insurance for your e-bike? And, Does it make sense to buy specialized insurance for an electric bike?

Some cons when buying a new e-bike:

Higher insurance and tax (where applicable). New e-bikes attract high insurance premiums and taxes. The higher the price of the e-bike, the higher the insurance premium and tax.

Some models are heavier. New versions of new e-bikes may be heavier due to the newly installed battery and motor to the bike. They may become difficult to push around when the battery flattens.

More expensive. New electric bikes are generally more expensive than used e-bikes.

Depreciation starts immediately. The value of a new e-bike starts to depreciate the moment it is driven out of the dealership store.

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Closing comments

It is always not an easy choice of selecting between a used and a new model for any type of good that one would like to purchase.

Go for a used e-bike, if you know the previous owner and have tested the e-bike prior to making a purchase. For example, many e-bike rental services sell e-bikes at the end of each season. These models are usually well maintained and are taken good care of prior to the reselling.

Go for a new e-bike, if you have budget flexibility and are willing to try the latest e-biking technologies. Go for a new e-bike if you would like to be able to choose your options, have a specific color, and have peace of mind with the manufacturer’s warranty.

How expensive are new electric bikes? An e-bike costs between $500 and $10,000. An average and good-quality bike can be purchased from $1,300 to $3,500. E-bikes from makers such as Yamaha, Bosch, and Shimano are durable, reliable, and as such usually more expensive.

What should I check when buying a used e-bike? Before you doll out your cash for a used electric bike, you should determine how old the e-bike is. Usually, newer e-bikes are in better condition. Check when last it has been serviced. The battery of e-bikes should be serviced at least twice a year. The worn-out parts should be completely replaced. The worn-out brake system, tires, and more should be replaced with new ones.

Do I need a license? This depends on the region you live in. In the US, for example, as long as the electric bike has a motor power of 750 watts or less and is programmed so that it can’t go more than 20mph without pedaling, there is no need for a license.

Read also: Do you need a license to ride an e-bike? And, Do you need insurance to ride an e-bike?

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