The True Cost of Running an Electric Car

Are EVs Cheaper to Run?

author image-cai
By Cai Bradley
Updated on Tuesday 10 November 2020

A woman charging her electric car

Electric cars (also referred to as electric vehicles or EVs) are becoming increasingly common on UK roads, but they remain a relatively unknown quantity to many.  

We have been driving petrol and diesel vehicles for decades, so we generally have an idea of how much they cost to run, but EVs are less clear at the moment.  

Here, we give a brief breakdown of the costs associated with running an electric car, from insurance to charging.  

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The cost of charging an electric car 

The cost of charging may be the expense that most people are wary of before getting an electric car, as it can be difficult to directly compare the price of diesel and petrol with how much it costs to charge an electric car.  

The cost of charging an EV varies depending on the charging method you use, whether you do so at home, at work or at a public station.  

A typical electric car with a 60kWh battery and a 200-mile range would cost around £8.40 for a full charge at home. 

Generally speaking, your electricity bill will increase slightly every month if you use a Pod Point at home, but it should not surpass how much you used to spend on petrol or diesel. 

Read more: Which Fuel Makes Insurance Cheaper? - Diesel or Petrol?

How much does it cost to insure an electric car? 

Most electric cars on the market are relatively new models, meaning that their value will be higher than most other second-hand vehicles. This can lead to more expensive car insurance, as the expensive tech and parts will cost more to repair or replace in the event of an accident or damage. 

However, the cost of your car insurance varies depending on a range of factors, including:

  • Your age and driving experience 
  • How many miles you drive per year 
  • The car you drive 
  • Any previous claims, accidents or penalty points 
  • Where you live 
  • Your occupation 
  • Your no-claims bonus 

For more information, check out our guide: How is Car Insurance Calculated? 

This means that there are also many ways to make your car insurance cheaper, and premiums will vary considerably between each driver. 

Read more get your electric car insurance quotes in our full guide to EV and Hybrid Car Insurance 

Electric car tax 

You should make a considerable saving on road tax if you own an electric or hybrid vehicle. 

Fully electric cars are exempt from road tax in the UK if they receive electricity from an external source (a plug-in station) or an electronic storage battery that isn’t connected to any source of power while the vehicle is moving.  

Road tax is calculated on your CO2 emissions and the age of your vehicle, so if you buy a new electric or hybrid vehicle (both of which have low or zero CO2 emissions), you should save money on road tax. 

Vehicle maintenance 

Electric vehicle maintenance can be more cost-effective and generally more straightforward than internal combustion engines, as they have less ‘parts’, such as pistons, timing belts, spark plugs, and so on.  

They are generally more efficient vehicles, thanks to features such as regenerative braking, which means that they avoid some of the wear and tear.  

Cap HPI, an automotive data website, has reported that service and maintenance costs for electric cars are, on average, 23% cheaper than they are for petrol or diesel cars. 

For more information on car insurance and costs, be sure to check out our related guides: 

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