With $12,600, should you buy an electric car or a second-hand petrol car?

By Tri Phan   July 31, 2023 | 03:19 pm PT
You don't have to worry about regular maintenance with a brand new electric car, while with a petrol car, you don't have to look for a charging station.

The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV has been launched in Vietnam, and VinFast is set to launch its VF 3 electric car next year, both for a price of around VND300 million (US$12,600).

Many people have wondered whether they should take a brand new EV, or stick to the familiar petrol car, although they will have to settle for a second-hand with that price.

An electric taxi cab of VinFast is parked near petrol cars in HCMCs District 7, July 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Nga

An electric taxi cab of VinFast (L) is parked near petrol cars in HCMC's District 7, July 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Nga

As a person who use both, I think it depends on each person’s living conditions and travel needs.

If you choose a second-hand petrol car, you can totally afford those from 2016-2017. The obvious pros of petrol car are it can run on rough countryside roads and you do not have to worry if it is fully charged for the road. The major con is that the car’s quality is not guaranteed, unless you buy from a trustworthy source. You may have to spend big money fixing it later. Maintenance for second-hand cars also cost more than electric cars.

If you choose an electric car, you will have a brand new, clean one. It is compact and suitable for driving in cities. However, it takes a long time to be fully charged. If you do not live in a separate house, you have to make sure you can charge it in your apartment building’s parking lot, or at your workplace. It’s a big infrastructure problem.

So what should you buy? If your family already have a car, you only need an extra to pick up the children from school or go shopping, and you live in a separate house or in a building with the charging station, you should by an electric car.

On the other hand, of this is your family’s first and only car, and you plan to drive it out of the city, to visit relatives in the countryside, you should buy a petrol car. Make sure you check its origin and quality carefully.

There’s no best option, the important thing is if the choice suits you.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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