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  • Sep 1, 2022

  • 7 min read

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Electric car cost - everything you need to know

Electric cars are becoming more and more popular each year — and for good reason. Many people are making the switch because EVs are more environmentally friendly and cost less to run. With the cost of living on many people's minds right now, we break down how much EVs really cost.

Here are the headlines:

  • Electric vehicles are 21% cheaper to run
  • They cost up to 85% less to refuel
  • You won't have to pay road tax!

Electric car prices

Electric car prices have come down in recent years, as technology has improved and production has increased. The average price of a new EV in the UK is now around £44,000, at the time of writing this.

The average may still be more expensive than some petrol cars, but there’s a wide range of EV prices with an electric car for almost every budget. A standard electric vehicle can cost as little as £17,000, while the average price of a luxury electric car can be around the £80,000 mark.

While the initial cost of buying an electric car can be higher than for non-electric vehicles, this is offset by the lower running, recharging and maintenance costs. There are many ways to get on the electric car bandwagon, without breaking the bank. With leasing contracts like our ultimate EV package, you won't have to worry about the up front cost, or servicing, maintenance, repairs, spare tyres or breakdown assistance as it all comes part of the monthly cost. Plus, with Octopus, you get a free home charger (installed by the pros at Octopus Energy Services) and 5,000 free miles of charge with Intelligent Octopus - the top EV energy tariff. If you're not able to get a home charger we'll give you 5,000 free miles of public charge from Octopus Electric Universe.

Electric car running costs

EVs are cheaper to run than petrol cars. The cost of electricity is much lower than the price of petrol, so it costs less to charge an electric car. Electric cars also generally require less maintenance, meaning they are typically cheaper to own and operate than petrol cars.

Studies show that typical annual running costs average £1,742 per year (£33.50 per week) for an electric car, which is 21% less than the running costs of a comparable petrol vehicle, which comes in at £2,205 per year (£42.40 per week). Over the course of a year, an electric car could save you an average of £463 in running costs.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

How much it will cost to charge your EV will depend on the size of the car battery, and where you’re charging it. Luxury electric vehicles generally have larger batteries so it costs more to charge them. But you'll need to charge up less regularly as these cars have longer ranges. All in all, you'll find that you're spending between 7.5p to 9.1p per mile and have annual refuelling costs that are 58% less than for petrol cars.

When it comes to electric car charging, one thing to consider is where you'll plug in your car. Using a public charge point might be more costly, especially if it's for fast charging. For example, Ionity ultra-rapid EV charging costs 63.29p per kWh, which is more than four times as much as home charging. The good news is, they haven't increased their prices despite the rising electricity costs.

Even better news? With EV specific tariffs like Intelligent Octopus you can get smart charging every night at a super low rate when it's cheapest and greenest, saving you as much as 85% on fuel costs compared with petrol cars.

Don’t have a home charger? How about 5,000 miles of public charging for free? It's included with our ultimate EV package (a type of personal hire contract - but so much better). Whatever you need, we’ve got you covered.

How much do servicing and maintenance cost for EVs?

Electric cars have fewer moving parts than gas cars, so they require less maintenance. This means that servicing and maintenance costs are typically lower for EVs than petrol cars. Electric vehicle costs for annual maintenance (including MOTs and servicing) are 49% lower than for petrol vehicles. This averages at £227 per year, compared to £443 for non-electric vehicles. Even better, with our personal contract hire, the ultimate EV package, all this is included! Servicing, maintenance, repairs, spare tyres every 20,000 miles and AA breakdown assistance.

Do I have to pay road tax on electric vehicles?

No, you do not have to pay road tax on electric vehicles in the UK. Electric cars are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax), a tax that is paid on petrol and diesel cars. This exemption applies to all electric cars, regardless of their price. This is one of the many benefits of driving an electric car.

Do I have to pay road tax on electric vehicles?

No, you don’t have to pay road tax on electric vehicles in the UK. Electric cars are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax), a tax that is paid on petrol and diesel cars. This exemption applies to all electric cars, regardless of their price. This is one of the many benefits of driving an electric car.

Leasing vs buying: the costs

Another option to consider when looking at EV costs is leasing compared with buying. Many people choose to lease an electric car as it can be a more affordable option than buying. When you lease an electric car, you make monthly payments and at the end of the lease, you can either return the car or in some cases, you can buy it outright. This helps to spread out the cost of the car over time, or you can choose to switch to a different car at the end of the lease term. Many people choose leasing EVs for this reason. So they can keep up to date with the latest, most exciting tech that the newest EVs come with, which is of course changing all the time.

With the ultimate EV package we have a range of electric cars for any budget and there are plenty of extras included to make your EV ownership as smooth as possible. We'll cover your maintenance costs, so you won't need to worry about repairs and MOT or servicing. So you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the drive.

Why not browse electric cars to get started? From the MG ZS EV to the BMW i7, we have plenty of options for you to choose from.