Have you been eyeing a new battery electric (EV) or plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) but shied away because of price?

If so, you should consider looking into the used car market.

Prices for plug-in vehicles, both electric and hybrid, categorized as one to three years-old have dropped precipitously, making them some of the hottest selling and best deals around.

The average price of near-new EVs has dropped $3,830 on average year-over-year, where conventional gasoline cars over the same time period have dropped just $242 according to a new study by used car aggregator, iSeeCars.com.

“The market may have hit a sweet spot where the pricing has dropped enough to make these cars more desirable,” says the company’s CEO, Phong Ly.

Contributing to the large numbers of used plug-in vehicles has been lucrative lease incentives offered by automakers.

That means many of the used plugs-ins available are eligible for pre-owned vehicle programs available from car companies, making them an even better deal.

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For example, a Nissan Leaf can cost less than half of the original $30,000 manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which includes a $7,500 federal rebate incentive.

A near-new Leaf averages $12,533, according to iSeeCars.com’s study of over 2.2 million near-new cars.

The study also found that five of the top 10-fastest selling used cars are electric or plug-in hybrids models.

The fastest mover off of dealer lots is Toyota’s Prius Plug-in, selling in just 19.7 days. That’s more than twice as fast as the average near-new car.

Next is the Nissan Leaf EV, taking 23.3 days to sell, which is followed by the Tesla Model S electric sedan at 26.1 days.

Hybrid models Lexus CT200h (29.4) days and Toyota Highlander Hybrid (29.6) are also fast movers.

This makes it a green car buyer market, and those willing to gamble that “what goes down must come up” could well look like geniuses if and when gas again breaks the $4 per gallon mark.

However, Ly says don’t wait around. “Consumers who are ready to take the leap into a hybrid, plug-in or full EV have a great opportunity to get one at a price that is more affordable than ever.

“But they may face challenges finding the model they want due to lower availability.”

Chicago Tribune