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  • Aug 1, 2023

  • 6 min read


"The team were so helpful and everything is in one place"

We rely so much on our cars to get around, whether it’s going to visit family or commuting to work. That’s why switching to electric can feel like a big move if you’re used to petrol or diesel cars. But fear not - we’re here to make that switch as hassle-free as possible with our salary sacrifice scheme. Not only can you save big on a brand new EV, but the package also includes servicing, maintenance, tyres and insurance - and helps towards a greener future.

We spoke to Michael Pickles, Business Development Executive at Aldermore, about his switch to electric last month. Michael swapped from a Vauxhall Astra to a VW ID.4 after his company joined the salary sacrifice scheme.

Here’s what Michael thought about joining the electric revolution

What made you want to switch to an EV?

“My petrol Vauxhall Astra was due for its MOT and was going to cost me a fortune to get it fixed up as it was definitely going to fail! Aldermore adopted this scheme and it felt like the perfect time to look into EVs.

One thing that really appealed to me about this salary sacrifice scheme was the whole package that’s offered. Everything’s included, car, servicing, maintenance, tyres, insurance which makes it super convenient and cost-effective. I didn't have to worry about separate expenses for fuel, maintenance, or even road tax. I could just make one payment, have a great car and not worry about any surprise breakdowns or repair costs.

I'm paying about the same amount for the VW ID.4 as I was for the Astra over the year, taking into account repairs and insurance. That made switching to electric the best decision for me financially.

Cars are such a big part of our lives. They get my kids to school, help me commute to work, and just make life easier. If something went wrong with the car, I’d be completely lost. That's why the idea of a salary sacrifice scheme that could meet all those needs while being more environmentally friendly really caught my attention."

“It’s the best car I’ve ever had”

Do you use home charging or public?

“I mainly charge at home but for longer trips I rely on the public charging network.

When I first got my electric vehicle, I didn't have a charger at home for a couple weeks, so I had to use public charging. During that first week I was all over the place and had to get help from someone, but everyone was so helpful.

But now, we've got a charger at home so it’s really convenient. Octopus installed it a couple weeks after the EV got delivered. We couldn’t get it in prior as the car came so quickly that we weren’t able to.

As long as I’m organised there’s no problem with charging. If I know I'll be taking a long trip I charge it up overnight to make sure I’m fully charged. Along the way, I may stop at service stations to charge the car. The prices might be a bit higher there, but the charging spots are reliable, and there's loads of them at the service stations, so I don't have to wait around much. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to stop for a snack.

To find public chargers, I use apps like Electroverse and Zap Map. They help me locate the nearest spots when I'm out and about. I'm planning a trip to the middle of nowhere in Wales soon so I can use the route planning feature to find the best charging stations.

As for how often I charge, it's usually just once a week. My EV has great range so that's usually enough for my regular daily use.”

What has been the biggest benefit?

“I'd say the biggest benefit for me has been the combination of reliability and convenience.

Having a home charger has been a game-changer. I don't have to worry about a thing. I simply plug in the car overnight, and by the time I wake up, it's fully charged and ready to take the kids to school. It's so convenient.

Another aspect that has been a significant benefit is the size of the car. While I initially had my heart set on an SUV there weren't any available at the time of ordering and I needed the car as soon as possible. However, with the help of the super helpful Octopus Electric Vehicles team, we managed to secure a cancelled VW that still suited our needs perfectly.

Also, the fact everything is in one package really appealed to me. I didn’t have to set up my own insurance, breakdown cover is included and if it ever needs servicing or any maintenance the price is all included in my monthly lease.”

How have you found the whole process?

“The process has been good and the Octopus Electric Vehicles team was so helpful along the way. They adapted to the circumstances as there was a long wait for the specific car model that we initially wanted. However, they found a suitable alternative that worked for us, so we adjusted our expectations and went for it. Now I couldn’t be happier!

We had some issues with charging on the public network but someone helped me figure it out and it’s been fine ever since.

All in all, the experience was smooth and much quicker than I expected, going from signing the quote to receiving the car in less than 2 months. It’s great having everything in one package so no need to worry about failing MOT’s anymore!”

Having everything you need to hit the road makes switching to electric driving with salary sacrifice a no brainer. By adopting our salary sacrifice scheme, Aldermore Bank has helped their employees not only get behind the wheel of a brand new EV quickly but it’s removed a lot of the hassle by offering a package that includes insurance, maintenance, tyres, servicing; all with our excellent customer service. Our salary sacrifice scheme can help you improve employee wellbeing and retention, and it empowers you and your employees to be part of creating a greener, fairer future.