Overlay
Sustainable travel ideas

Buying an electric car

Is it time to buy an electric car?

A quarter of consumers in the UK are planning to buy an electric car in the next five years (source: Ofgem, May 2021, 4,608 respondents).

With savings on running costs, servicing and a range of grants available, switching to an electric car could save you money.

13 ways an electric car could save you money

Running costs

1. Low cost per mile

With one of the most energy efficient medium or large cars, it could cost as little as 7.3p per mile when charged at home (source: Which, May 2022). This will vary depending on the model of car, so work out your daily mileage to see if an electric vehicle (EV) will meet your needs.

2. Electric v petrol

It's cheaper to run an electric car according to research by Compare the Market (March, 2022). The research found the average cost to run an electric vehicle for 12 months is £1,264 compared with £1,843 for a petrol vehicle – a difference of £579. The research analysed the cost of insurance, fuel, and road taxes.

3. Zero-rated vehicle tax

Zero emission electric vehicles are zero-rated for standard vehicle tax. Meaning you won't have to pay any vehicle tax on a pure electric vehicle. You could also save on congestion charges too as zero emission vehicles are currently exempt (source: Gov.uk, 2022).

Charging

4. Home charging

Charging an electric car at home is one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to charge. Installing a home charge point could also add value to your home (source: Which, May 2022).

5. Off-peak tariffs

You could reduce the cost of charging further by getting an electricity tariff designed specifically for electric cars. Some energy providers will offer off-peak or smart off-peak tariffs, which could cost you less but is most cost-effective if you charge your car overnight (source: Compare the Market, 2022).

6. Public charge points

Unlike conventional cars, you could charge an electric car for free using public EV charge points. According to ZapMap, there are over 1,000 free chargers across UK supermarkets alone. Zap-Map has mapped over 95% of the available chargers in the UK (no one has 100%).

Servicing

7. Electric motors are less complex

With fewer parts susceptible to damage an electric car could go much further before it needs serviced. Costs are around half what you’d pay for a petrol or diesel car and some electric car service plans are less than £100 per year (source: Direct Line, 2021).

8. Energy-efficient braking

Regenerative breaking uses the electric motor to slow the vehicle whilst putting some electricity back into the battery. This reduces wear and tear on brake disks and pads, meaning you could spend less by replacing these less often (source: RAC, 2021).

Range and battery

9. Go further with electric

You can currently expect between 100 and 300 miles of range from a fully charged electric car, depending on the model. So, with 95% of all car journeys in the UK less than 25 miles, an electric car will comfortably manage the average commute and only need charging up a couple of times a week (source: RAC, May 2022).

10. Better batteries

Advances in battery technology and manufacturing will increase the range of an electric car in the years ahead, and also help lower the cost of new electric cars too (source: RAC, May 2022).

Financial support

11. Help to buy an electric car

If you’re considering leasing an electric car through your employer, there’s a Benefit-in-kind (BIK) rate of 2% from April 2022. (source: Gov.uk).

12. Home charge point discount

The EV chargepoint grant provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle smart chargepoints at domestic properties across the UK.

13. Car salary sacrifice scheme

If your employer offers an electric car salary sacrifice scheme, this could be a more cost-effective way to buy an electric car. Check with your employer to find out if it’s an option for you (source: The Times, 2022).

See if an electric car is right for you

We’re supporting the  EV8 Switch app which can suggest EVs based on your driving habits and current vehicle. 

 

Using 14 days worth of your driving data, the EV8 app can provide you with independent, personalised insights, specific to your driving behaviour. It also identifies your closest charge points and shows how switching to electric could work for you.

Download the EV8 Switch App

Search: EV8 Switch or click below to download the EV8 Switch app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Octopus Energy home charge point offer

We've teamed up with Octopus Energy to make purchasing an EV charger for your home easier (eligibility criteria applies).

Top questions about electric cars answered

Has this article inspired you to take action?

Great, thank you for your feedback

Looking for ways to live more sustainably?

Take a look at the everyday habits you could adopt to use the car less and make use of other forms of travel to get around. 

Can you tell us why?

Thank you

Your feedback helps us to better understand what we're doing well and where we could improve.

Thank you

Your feedback helps us to better understand what we're doing well and where we could improve.

Thank you

Your feedback helps us to better understand what we're doing well and where we could improve.

Are you ready to buy an electric car?

If you are, then you could borrow between £7,500 and £14,950 at

Representative 5.9% APR

Other amounts available at alternative rates. Our rates depend on your circumstances and loan amount and may differ from the Representative APR. To apply, you must be 18+ and a UK resident with a NatWest current account (held for 3+ months)