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From costs to charging — your guide to electric cars

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At comparison site Mustard, electric car insurance is quick and easy to find. Simply answer a few questions and you’ll be able to compare a wide range of quotes from different insurers — enabling you to get the best value for money. But it’s not just insurance you’ll need to budget for, here’s what else you’ll need to consider when it comes to EVs (electric vehicles).

How much do electric cars cost?

Like most cars, there’s a huge variation in price depending on the make and model, but overall, electric cars tend to cost more than their petrol or diesel equivalents.

To give you an idea of cost, one of the cheapest EVs on the market is the Smart EQ Fortwo which starts at £20,725 . Electric versions of popular cars like the Vauxhall Corsa, Mini and Fiat 500, range between £23,000 – £31,000).

At the other end of the spectrum are the larger, pricier electric cars which cover more miles on a single charge. Needless to say, these also come with much higher price tags, for example, you won’t get much change out of £50,000 for a basic Tesla Model 3.

Also, don’t forget that to get the fastest charging times, you’ll need to invest in an EV charger. Small, less powerful 3kW chargers could set you back up to £500, while more efficient 7kW units can cost up to £800.

If you live in a flat or rent your home, and you have off-street parking, you could be eligible for the government’s EV Chargepoint Grant. This covers up to 75% of the cost of a new charger (up to a limit of £350). Sadly, since April 2022, the scheme does not extend to homeowners living in other types of accommodation (bungalows, terraces, semi, or detached houses).

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

There’s no easy answer to this as it depends on a number of factors. If you’re charging at home, it’ll be down to your energy tariff, battery size and the type of charger you have. If you charge up at public charging spots, it will depend on the prices set.

The good news is that some energy companies now offer EV specific tariffs. These either give you two prices for your electricity (usually one price for the day and another overnight). Others still charge a flat rate for electricity but will give you a discount for having an electric car.

If you’re out, charging at public stations like Pod Point (available at some supermarkets), costs just £6-£7 for a 30 minute top up,  giving you a range of about 100 miles.

Is an electric car cheaper to run compared to petrol or diesel cars?

In terms of cost per mile, yes, electric cars are significantly cheaper to run. Again, a large part of this will come down to your energy tariff but calculations show that electric cars cost less than half the amount to run per mile than a petrol or diesel car.

For example, figures from energy firm EDF, reveal that driving 100 miles in an EV will cost just under 5p per mile (4.91p) based on an average electricity tariff. In an equivalent petrol car, it  would cost 12p per mile.

But while EVs cost less on the road, you’ll need to consider the fact that electric cars lose their value quicker compared to petrol or diesel cars, which will affect resale value. Plus, despite EVs having less moving parts to break down, when they do, parts can be expensive. Not only that, a lack of experienced EV mechanics means the cost to service cars is pricier too.

How much is electric car insurance?

Car insurance premiums are affected by a whole host of factors, for example, your age, address and job title. For example, young drivers pay much higher than average premiums simply because under 25s are statistically more likely to be involved in a car accident.

Insurers also take into account your claims history with claims made in the last five years increasing what you pay. Similarly, having penalty points also raises premiums.

As well as being influenced by all these factors, electric car insurance is also just more expensive generally. One reason for this is that EVs cost more to buy and service. Insurers also have relatively little data on EV accidents and claims compared to petrol and diesel cars, making them more cautious when it comes to pricing premiums. Nevertheless, as the technology evolves and EVs become more mainstream, insurance costs are likely to fall further than they already have.

To find great value electric car insurance right now, head on over to mustard.co.uk where you can compare quotes from leading UK insurers.