How much does it cost to run an electric car?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are a young technology. Over the past decade, they’ve gotten progressively cheaper and more powerful.

The cost of running an EV vs a petrol or diesel car comes down to:

  • Initial purchase cost
  • Running costs
  • Insurance
  • Government assistance

Remember, the UK government plans to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

The cost of buying an electric car

EVs are typically more expensive to buy than traditional petrol or diesel cars. This is due to the technology still developing, as well as lower overall demand. An average family petrol or diesel car might cost around £20,000 new, compared to roughly £25,000 for a new EV. Second-hand cars, as usual, will cost less.

At the higher end of the price scale, this difference is less noticeable. A premium family car might still cost around £30,000 whether it’s petrol, diesel, or electric. As time goes on, the price of EVs is likely to come down. Advancing technology is lowering production costs, and a growing second hand market means more chances to get a great deal.

The cost of running an electric vehicle vs petrol

If you’re using a home charging point, charging an EV could be much cheaper than filling a traditional car with petrol or diesel. The cost of charging an EV might increase if you’re using a public charging station, but could still be less than petrol.

Because EVs have fewer moving parts than petrol or diesel cars, they typically require less routine maintenance.
Low-emission vehicles may also be exempt from some taxes levied on traditional cars. Check the GOV.UK website for more information.

Insuring an electric car

Talk to your insurer about their approach to insuring EVs. Because they’re less powerful on average than traditional cars, EVs could be seen as less of an insurance risk. That means lower premiums for you. However, there are fewer technicians qualified to work on EVs and their technology is newer. This might balance out the cost of insurance.

You might be able to save even more on your car insurance by switching to an insurer who specialises in EVs.

Government grants for electric vehicles

Because the government is phasing out traditional petrol and diesel cars in favour of EVs, special grants are available to early adopters. The GOV.UK website has the latest information on what grants you might qualify for.

These grants are likely to decrease in value as we get closer towards the 2030 target for phasing out traditional cars.

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