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How Much Does It Cost to Run an Electric Car?

Posted on 23rd March 2023
How Much Does It Cost to Run an Electric Car?

With the ban on sales of new petrol or diesel cars coming into force in 2035, many people might be starting to investigate the electric car market wondering whether it is the best option for them.

Even without the 2035 rules on the mind, many drivers are curious to know the benefits electric vehicles may bring. With the current cost of living crisis causing many of us to look at how to cut corners and save more money, could it be that electric cars are an initial expense that provides a longer-term saving?

With incentives on their use being offered, less engine maintenance required and of course, a saving on petrol, electric cars almost definitely leave you with more cash in your pocket.

How much does an electric car cost?

Before knowing how much it will cost to run an electric car, it may be best to know if purchasing one will be affordable. Thanks to cheap car finance deals, the costs can often be surprisingly lower than you had thought. However, that should not automatically be assumed.

The overall cost of buying an electric car will be significantly higher than that of a petrol or diesel vehicle. It is hoped though that you can start to recoup some of this additional expense through saving on petrol and other expenses that combustion engines take up.

At present, in the UK you can pay anywhere from £22,000 for a brand-new electric car all the way up to £200,000 or more! Compare this to a petrol car and you can already see that you are likely to spend more when you buy an EV. Used car finance on electric vehicles could help you bring this initial expense down so shop around before buying.

Now whilst this car cost is more expensive, you are entitled to a discount. Certain selected vehicles fall within the govt scheme that entitles you to a discount on the purchase price.  A car for example could see as much as £1,500 deducted from its selling price.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

One of the many benefits of electric cars is that you can recharge them pretty much anywhere. This has led to many charging stations springing up, but these are to be treated with caution. Some may charge high rates for electricity, and this could see you spending more than if you were topping up with petrol at a garage. This is especially noticeable where a rapid or ultra charge is provided.

In some instances, free charging is available and in others, you can pay for a set amount of time at a rate much more favourable than using a rapid charging station.

Charging from home is also likely to be something you do often, and this should, aside from the sporadic free chargers, provide you with the cheapest way to charge your electric car.

Ultimately it all comes down to the per kilowatt hour (kWh) charge and how the car processes that charge.  As an example, if we took a Fiat 500e Cabriolet, seen as one of the most economical electric cars, the estimated costs are:

Home charge 34p per kWh=9.5p per mile

Public charge 55p per kWh= 15.4p per mile

Public charge 60p per kWh-16.8p per mile

At the more inefficient end of the electric car charging costs, you can see these per-mile costs almost doubled.

Is charging an electric car more expensive than filling up with petrol?

We mentioned earlier that using the rapid charging stations can see you potentially spending more than if you were filling up a petrol car. Charging at home though should always result in you spending much less than if you were to fill a tank with petrol or diesel.

A recent insight showed that an electric hatchback or saloon will become more expensive than its petrol equivalent when you charge at 63p per kWh. A slightly smaller hatchback or coupe will lose the economic benefit of electricity when you are charged 55p per kWh.

This is why no matter where you charge, you should always look at the rates for the kWh charge. Even at home, some tariffs aren’t as favourable as you would like. So you should investigate your kWh charge and shop for the best possible tariff.

To incentivize home charging, the government has set up a home charge scheme that offers up to £350 towards the installation of an electric charging point for your car at home. With cheaper rates typically available at home, having a charging station installed will help you bring your expenses down and illustrate how much cheaper electricity can be than petrol.

Can I charge my electric car for free?

In some instances, you can, and it is most likely at supermarkets and family attractions. The charging points work at between 7-22kW and are made active on your car when you register on a free app.

One thing to be aware of though is that you may be charged for parking whilst using the charging point and may be given a time limit that your vehicle can be there.

How much do electric cars cost to tax?

Electric cars provide drivers with a very welcome saving. With no CO2 emitted, they are exempt from road tax. This can be especially beneficial to drivers of larger or more expensive cars. With surcharges applied to petrol or diesel vehicles that have a list price of more than £40,000 and this tax applicable each year, you can find yourself saving thousands when driving an electric car of the same value.

However, this is not set to stay, from 2025, all-electric cars, vans and motorbikes will be liable for road tax.

Are electric cars cheaper to insure?

Insurance is another expense that car owners often dread having to pay, especially when it just seems to get more expensive.  Within the world of electric cars, it varies. If you have a high-end, premium electric car, you could find that your insurance costs more than the petrol or diesel equivalent.

Some insurance companies offer specialist electric car policies but with more and more people taking up the option of electric vehicles, many companies are factoring them into their regular policies.

The only snag here is that as those policies are drawn up for petrol and diesel cars, they may not cover things like broken charging cables for example. That is why specific electric car policies were created. These will cover a host of things relevant to an electric vehicle. Currently, the average cost is a little under £500 per year whilst on a petrol/diesel car you could expect to pay a little over £400.

Do electric cars cost more to maintain than petrol cars?

Maintenance costs are another burden for many drivers and can, in some cases result in an owner deciding that the car is no longer fit for use. Regular trips to the mechanic to sort out various ailments the car has not only cost a lot to fix but also stop you from doing many of the things you take for granted.

Luckily with electric cars, the maintenance costs are somewhat less than those associated with a petrol car. With fewer moving parts, you can expect to pay as much as 50% less in maintenance costs. Thanks to the smart regenerative braking you will also see less wear to brake pads and discs giving you even more of a saving.

The only thing you may need to spend the same on is tyres. Tyre wear is the same no matter what so remember to factor in that expense as whether your car is electric or petrol, you won’t see a difference in the cost.


Electric v Petrol:  The verdict

You will no doubt spend more on an all-new electric car than you may on a brand-new petrol or diesel vehicle but with no tax, cheap charging options and less maintenance, you should recoup a lot of the outlay you made on the car itself.

Ultimately, the decision is down to you but with the 2035 change coming, selling your combustion engine car now to help you fund new car finance on a vehicle that is future-proofed could be the way forward.


So if you are starting to weigh up the options and think an electric car on finance may be for you, speak to the experts at Euphoria Finance. With access to thousands of vehicles across the country, we can have you getting a quote today but driving away tomorrow.  This even applies to those with bad credit! As a direct lender, we can help anyone secure finance. New drivers car finance or those needing poor credit car finance. Just get in touch!

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