As with any new tech, many of the early reasons to be cautious about taking the plunge often centre around the price. When electric cars first came to market about 10 years ago, car makers had to spread the huge development costs of state-of-the-art batteries and electric powertrains across just a handful of models – and not many owners.
That meant, just like buying one of the first big flat-screen tellies, the early adopters of electric were paying a premium to be first on the scene. And while the outright cost of an EV is still higher than that of a comparable petrol or diesel model, the prices are now coming down as more and more car makers get in on the growing demand for new, zero emissions models – and the government offers grants to offset £2500 of the price of cars costing less than £35,000.
So while an electric car might still be more expensive to buy outright for now, the ability to lease it for an agreed monthly rental payment and then enjoy the significantly lower costs of running an EV (fuel, maintenance, road tax and so on are ALL far less than a conventional car) means that the lifetime running costs can actually work out lower overall.
Why It Doesn’t Pay To Pay Upfront
The simple fact is, if you’re buying outright, then electric vehicles are more expensive. The upfront cost can be quite a lot higher than a petrol or diesel car – as much as 30% or more for a standard family hatchback.
Take, for example, one of the best small electric hatchbacks: the Renault Zoe. It’s top spec model – the GT Line R135 is listed at £33,495 (before the government grant).
An equivalent petrol-engined Renault Clio, an S Edition 130 auto, would set you back £21,495.
But remember, very few new cars are bought outright any more, with leasing becoming an ever more popular way to get behind the wheel of the most advanced and exciting new models.
With a car lease you make fixed monthly ‘rental’ payments for an agreed length of time and, once the lease has ended, you simply return the car. It’s hassle-free and by paying monthly you can often afford to choose a model that would be out of your budget if you were buying outright.
So leasing can be a great way to get behind the wheel of a brand new car, but make sure you budget properly when you’re doing the maths. Don’t forget to account for extra costs like insurance to work out your total cost of ownership over the duration of your contract.
Cheaper To Run, Maintain And Refuel
In almost all instances, charging an electric or hybrid vehicle is cheaper than fuelling a traditional petrol or diesel model.
Where you charge your vehicle will almost definitely have an impact on the cost of the charge: with charging at home being the cheapest method and rapid chargers – like you’d find at a motorway service station – being the most expensive.
The UK domestic electricity rate is about 14p per kWh, which means you’ll be able to charge the average 60kWh electric car from flat for less than a tenner. Way less than a tank of petrol or diesel.
And you can get that cost even lower by charging overnight on cheap night-time tariffs – some EV drivers have said they can drive for about 2p per mile by doing this (cheaper than the 12p per mile average cost of running a diesel or petrol car). The final cost will, of course, depend on the car you’ve chosen and your electricity provider.
To make all of this easier Vanarama will provide you with either a Free Home Charger or if you already have one or cannot charge at home then we have arranged 8000 miles of free energy from BP Pulse not to mention access to the cheapest rates around on the largest network of its kind.
Generally, electric motors are cheaper to service than petrol or diesel motors because they have fewer moving parts. So you’ll never have to worry about oil changes again or fork out for a new cambelt or clutch on an EV.
Repairs can, in theory, cost more because the technology involved is more advanced, but all cars leased with Vanarama will have a full manufacturer warranty that runs for the lifetime of the lease, ensuring that any genuine mechanical or electrical failure that is no fault of the owner will be covered.
Electric car insurance
Generally, electric vehicles fall into higher insurance and so, on paper, can cost more to insure. But that is becoming less clear cut with insurers offering more and more competitive quotes for EVs – particularly as they are discovering that EV drivers tend to be safer on the roads!
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