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young man steeping into a blue electric car saving money on petrol
  • Jul 7, 2022

  • 5 min read

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Can an electric vehicle save me money?

We get it - the cost of living increase has made us all have a serious think about what we spend our hard-earned pennies on. The rising cost of fuel is a major concern for many. But have you thought about how making the switch to electric could help bring down that cost?

If you're already considering what the right vehicle is for you, switching to an EV could save you money, and getting it through a salary sacrifice scheme could save you even more. You can save on things like maintenance and petrol (or lack thereof!), tax, congestion charges and sometimes even parking.

How much can I save on petrol costs by going electric?

The cost of charging an EV is pretty much always cheaper than fuelling a petrol or diesel equivalent. But to get a definite number on how much you can save, it depends on a few factors, like which car you had before, which car you’re switching to, and how you plan to charge it.

We’ve compared what it would cost at the time of writing this article to fill up two cars of a similar size, one using petrol and the other electric charging on a public network or at home on Intelligent Octopus.


We know what you’re thinking. That tank of petrol will take you far and wide to places that a fully loaded car battery might not. You’re not wrong, you’re in fact very clever.

A Tesla Model 3 RWD has an average range of 317 miles, while the BMW 3 Series with a full tank can go up to 560 miles. But even if you only took into account the cost to drive 317 miles in the BMW 3 Series, you’d still save up to 90% on ‘fuel’ by switching to the Tesla Model 3 RWD and charging it at home with Intelligent Octopus.

“But EVs cost more to buy, so do the savings on petrol add up in the long run?”. Hold your horsepowers, as we have even more in store on how you can bring that price down.

How much money can I save by getting an EV through salary sacrifice, compared to buying an EV?

Up to 40% is the short answer.

When you get an EV through salary sacrifice, you agree to exchange your salary for a brand new EV, which is a non-cash benefit. The amount you give up to pay for the car, you won’t have to pay any Income Tax or National Insurance on. So the savings you can make depend on the car you choose and your tax bracket.

If you bought an EV without salary sacrifice, you’d pay for the EV and full tax on your income. With salary sacrifice, some of that tax goes towards your vehicle instead - more car for your buck!

But the savings don’t end there, with the Octopus Electric Vehicles Salary Sacrifice Scheme you get a whole EV package at no extra cost - things that would otherwise be added to the full cost of driving an EV.

These include:

  • A home charger for your EV, installed by expert Octopus engineers
  • 5,000 miles of free charge for your EV
  • Servicing and maintenance
  • Breakdown cover for an EV
  • Damage Waiver for an EV
  • Insurance for an EV
  • Chatting to the nice Octopus Electric Vehicles team when you want: priceless

Anything else you can save those pennies on? Sure! If you switch to Intelligent Octopus, you’ll get super-low off-peak energy rates when you charge overnight, that’s when energy is cheapest and greenest.

With our EV salary sacrifice scheme, there’s also no upfront cost. Still thinking of buying that almost-scrapyard-ready car from Gumtree to cover your transport needs? Think again.

How can I make running my EV even cheaper?

Many people charge their EV overnight, as energy is cheapest and greenest in off-peak periods (when most people are using less energy). Intelligent Octopus is a specific EV tariff from Octopus Energy can save you as much as 90% of the charging cost compared to charging during peak hours during the day - check the EV charging rates for your area here.

  • Can I charge my EV using solar?

Yup. With an EV charger that’s compatible with solar you can harvest your own energy from solar panels, charge up your car and then sell back any excess to the grid at peak cost hours. Has a petrol station ever paid you for topping up your car? Didn’t think so.

Salary sacrifice helps with budgeting

We’re well aware that EV salary sacrifice comes with some nitty-gritty details that can get confusing, but there’s only one monthly cost. No surprises, no pop-up costs, no need for an emergency fund if your car breaks or you need to call a mechanic. You’ll get a breakdown of how much you pay and when every month - no Excel sheets needed.

I’ve done the maths. How do I get a quote for EV salary sacrifice?

Brilliant, happy to have you on board! Like all employee benefits, we need your company to join the salary sacrifice scheme as this is how they can make those all important salary deductions to realise the tax benefits. They can read up on the scheme and get you on the road in your brand new EV through this link. If they’ve already joined and ready to literally roll, you can sign in and start browsing electric vehicles.