Just as with petrol and diesel vehicles, the cost of buying and driving an EV varies widely depending on the vehicle’s make and model. The great news is there’s a rapidly expanding range of new models to choose from, plus a maturing secondhand market, so increasingly there are realistic switching options for all.
While the headline cost of EVs can certainly appear high, prices are reducing as the market develops. When taking decisions it’s also vital to remember that:
- increasingly many people choose not purchase a car outright, but rather opt for a monthly lease agreement
- the true lifetime cost of the vehicle needs to be worked out based on how it will be used, including the fuel cost for recharging, insurance, tax and maintenance
UK car tax – officially termed Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – is based on a car’s official tail-pipe CO2 emissions. Since April 2020 zero emission EVs (BEVs) are zero-rated standard tax for both the first year and all subsequent years, meaning that you won’t pay any road tax on a pure electric vehicle.
Finding EV insurance has become far easier and more competitive than when the plug-in car market was first emerging, no longer relying on cover from only a handful of specialist firms.
Electricity costs are much less than petrol or diesel, so there are significant ‘fuel’ savings while driving the vehicle. Where and when you charge determines how much you’ll pay. While home charging is undoubtedly the cheapest for drivers able to benefit from off-street parking, costs for public chargepoints can vary considerably based on speed and location, so it certainly pays to plan ahead to get the best deal. EV drivers can also benefit from reduced or zero fees for entering congestion zones or ultra-low emission zones in urban areas, offering yet another saving.
When it comes to maintenance, there are also considerable savings to be gained. While powering a car using a motor and battery might seem like new technology, it’s actually a relatively simple set up. Unlike an internal combustion engine, EVs have very few moving parts, so there’s no oil to change, no gaskets or spark plugs to replace, no valves to clog up and so on. So that’s all less to go wrong!