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JT Hughes
1-Apr-2023

Are Electric Cars Cheaper to Run? Let's Do the Math

Are electric cars cheaper to run

Despite the never-ending debate about whether electric cars are cheaper to run compared to petrol or diesel cars, we believe electric vehicles could be an “investment” in the long term and are still cheaper to run.

Let's be real for a moment. It doesn't take a genius to work out our obvious bias towards electric cars at JT Hughes, mainly because our brands, KiaHyundai, Honda, SsangYong and XBUS make some of the best electric vehicles on the market today. 

However, we also understand that making the switch to an electric car can feel like ordering a full English breakfast at 4 pm - it's what you want, but it might not make sense at this time.

But we also know that we have to be honest and give you the same sort of advice that we’d give to family and close friends.

With higher upfront costs, rising energy costs, and a recent drop in the price of fuel, we get it.

So, do the sums still stack up for electric cars?

Yes, they do, but you need to get your calculator out and do some proper sums as we are going to show you what you need to add up to make electric cars cheaper to run.

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Get an Electric Car through a Company Car Scheme

Electric Car through a Company Car Scheme

First, the easy option. If you're getting an electric vehicle through a company car scheme, then it's going to work out cheaper than a petrol or diesel in every situation that we can think of. So, carry on and fill in that order form now.

Getting an Electric Car through a Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Electric Car through a Salary Sacrifice Scheme

You might also be able to get an electric car through a salary sacrifice scheme, which works in the same way as the cycle to work or nursery voucher scheme, where the money is taken out of your pay packet before it's taxed, and that can also save you lots of money.

Buying an Electric Car Privately

JT Hughes Hyundai Telford

If you're buying an electric car privately, it's a bit more complicated. So, grab yourself a calculator and a bit of paper.

What you need to do is compare how much it costs to lease or finance a petrol car and then look at the equivalent electric model.

Then you’re going to get some insurance quotes, work out the annual road tax (which of course is zero on an electric car), and see what comes out cheaper.

Most manufacturer websites will also give you an idea of how much the servicing for a car is going to be.

Let's Start with the Complicated Bit: The Fuel Costs!

Fuel cost Vs electric.

Switching to an electric car means you will never have to visit a petrol station again and are likely to make substantial savings.

To allow you to make an informed choice about the likely cost of charging versus the amount you are currently spending on fuel, Kia, Hyundai, and Electrifying have created handy online calculators, (linked below).

Just enter the number of miles you drive, the electric car size you are considering, and the amount per kilowatt hour you’re paying at home for energy (you can find this on your latest bill), then you need to add other savings such as cheaper parking or entry into congestion zones.

Then add all those costs up and see what the all-important figure is.

  • Purchase/Lease Cost
  • Insurance
  • Servicing
  • Road Tax
  • Fuel Cost
  • Car Parking
  • Congestion Charges (if relevant)

EV Calculators 

EV Calculator

Now, if it's marginal or the EV is more expensive, there are still some things that you can look at to bring the cost down.

Switch to a tariff with a cheaper overnight rate.

EV Charging Tariff

Some energy providers now offer EV-focused tariffs that can cut costs even further.

These are usually dual-rate, where electricity is cheapest overnight when your EV is charging, or single-rate - i.e, the same rate is paid throughout the day, but discounted if you own an EV.

We have listed some of the best energy providers for electric vehicle owners below but do your research as there may be others.

  • British Gas
  • E.On
  • Ecotricity
  • Edf
  • OVO
  • Octopus Energy
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy
  • EV. Energy

Save on road tax (For the moment).

Because EVs emit no CO2, you’ve also got the additional saving of not having to pay road tax for brand-new models if it has a list price of less than £40,000. 

Electric car owners currently pay nothing for VED but that will change in 2025 after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, confirmed that millions of EV drivers will be hit with a new tax as part of the 17 November Autumn Statement 2022.

Best tax-exempt electric cars from JT Hughes 

tax-exempt electric cars

Charge your car at work. 

Charging EV at work.

Plug-in at work (if you’re allowed) or other places you visit such a supermarkets as a lot of public charging spots are often free to use such as, for example, 7kW and 22kW chargers at Tesco supermarkets.(always check first)

Invest in Solar Panels. 

Solar panels for EV savings

If you have solar panels or are thinking about getting them, the cost is going to come down even further.

Pay no congestion charge. 

No congestion charge for EVs

Although a smaller benefit, for those of you who live and work in Shropshire and Wales is being able to drive in low-emission zones that are becoming more common throughout UK cities as well as avoiding the London Congestion Charge.

Green number plates park for free. 

Green Number Plates for Electric Vehicles

Green number plates will help local authorities design and eventually implement new policies to the benefit of electric car drivers. 

Local authorities are considering a number of schemes that would benefit drivers with green number plates, including: 

  • Free entry to clean air zones 
  • Cheaper or free parking 
  • Use of bus lanes 

Cheaper car Insurance 

Electric vehicle Insurance

According to the price comparison service MoneySuperMarket, costs of insuring EVs have fallen in recent years. 

It found that in 2021, the average insurance quote for an electric car was £1,238 a year, whereas in 2022 this fell considerably and you can expect to pay an average of £500. 

All the big-name insurance companies will cover electric cars but there are also a number of EV insurance specialist who have dedicated electric vehicle policies and we have listed some of them below but do shop around and keep these tips in mind to get even more savings.

  • Compare prices from multiple sites.
  • Pay your premium annually to avoid interest.
  • Consider a higher excess, but make sure you can afford it.
  • Provide accurate mileage, especially if you use your EV infrequently.

Car Insurance companies with EV specific polices. 

  • LV
  • Direct Line
  • NFU Mutual
  • Admiral

Cheaper Car Maintenance. 

Electric Vehicle Car Service Costs

When it comes to car maintenance, EVs have fewer moving parts than a petrol or diesel vehicle and are therefore cheaper to maintain and repair.

Average service costs for electric cars from JT Hughes.

Kia EV6 - £334

Kia EV6 GT - £334

Kia Soul EV - £237

Kia Niro EV - £185 (£255 for petrol model)

Hyundai IONIQ 5 - £190

Hyundai IONIQ 6 - £190

Hyundai Kona Electric - £230 (£260 for petrol model)

Honda e - £233

Longer Warranties 

EV batteries also have long warranties – usually eight years – which tends to be more than the warranty for the car itself.

FAQs about the cost of running an electric car

Are electric cars cheaper to run than petrol or diesel cars?

Yes, in general, electric cars are cheaper to run in the UK than petrol or diesel cars, especially if you charge your EV during off-peak hours and take advantage of special energy tariffs offered by energy providers.

What is the average cost of charging an electric car?

The cost of charging an electric car varies depending on the energy provider, the time of day, and the type of charger you use. However, on average, it can cost around £8 to £10 to fully charge an electric car.

Can I charge my electric car for free?

While some public charging points in the UK may be free to use, most require payment either through a pay-as-you-go system or a subscription service. However, some energy providers offer special energy tariffs for EV owners that can significantly reduce the cost of charging your car.

Do I need a special charger to charge my electric car at home?

Yes, you will need a dedicated home charger to charge your electric car at home . This can be installed by a qualified electrician, and you may be eligible for a government grant to cover part of the cost.

What is the range of an electric car?

The range of an electric car depends on the make and model of the car, as well as driving conditions and weather.

However, many modern electric cars have a range of around 150-200 miles on a single charge.

How can I find the cheapest energy tariff for my electric car?

To find the cheapest energy tariff for your electric car, you can use comparison sites that specialize in energy tariffs for EV owners.

You can also consider paying your premium annually to avoid paying interest, opting for a higher excess, and providing accurate mileage information to your energy provider.

Conclusion

In conclusion, switching to an electric car is not only beneficial for the environment but can also be cost-effective in the long run.

By considering the various factors such as purchase/lease cost, insurance, servicing, road tax, fuel cost, and other savings, you can make an informed decision about whether an electric car is right for you.

At JT Hughes, we are committed to providing honest and friendly advice to our customers.

If you're considering an electric car, feel free to get in touch with us, and our team will be happy to assist you in finding the right vehicle for your needs.

Make the switch to an electric car today and drive towards a greener and more cost-effective future.



 

 

 


 

2 comments
Author
Ioan Wittmann More than one year ago
Service may be cheaper, but what do you actually do? Speaking a someone who has spent his entire life as a auto tech and MOT tester I find it hard to justyfy the high "service" costs of an electric vehicle. Apart from looking and checking, there is no engine oil to change, no filters (maybe cabin filter) no transmission oil to change? So come on, £100 at most. Drive it in, put it on the lift, check syspension and steering components, check the brake pads and rorors for wear and tyres. Quick test drive, wash and brush up and all done. I am not getting at JT Hughes here. I have recieved totally excellent service from them. But the trade in general. Chap that appears on You-Tube was charged £1500 (not a typo) for the service on his electric Porsche. When he queried it they gave him a list of stuff they had "checked" they did not do anything to the car. I had ny 2016 Hinda CV-r mot'd this year and it came back 0% emissions. Again, not a typo. The tester did it twice and both times 0%. And that's a diesel. And no, I did not do my own MOT. I am retired and have let my testing lapse. So where is the life-ending polution from my car?
Author
Alan Jones More than one year ago
I have read your article, and I am still not convinced that buying a electric car is a good investments, we are a few yers away still, but in the future possibly worth a try.
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