Electric cars are expensive, at least for the moment. It’s one of the biggest obstacles to those interested in ditching combustion for their first taste of the EV life. It’s easy to be put off by the big price tags on the newest electric model from Tesla or Audi, but don’t fear – there are ways of getting your hands on an electric daily for a lot less.
EVs are cheaper than ICEs Annually
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So we all know that running an Electric car isn’t just better for the air we breathe and that getting one would probably get a very approving nod from David atta if he got to hear about it. Still, it’s also much better for your wallet research released recently from the electric car cost index revealed that the cost of fuel for an EV for 8 000 miles a year works out at 61 cheaper than a petrol equivalent based on 13 models analyzed for the study that equates to an average saving of more than 1000 pounds a year with some models saving you as much as 1700 pounds.
You could buy an electric bike for that, and given the rapidly rising prices of fuel that are only going to grow, not only that but overall costs of running an EV are estimated to be 47 lower than petrol or diesel cars maintenance is cheaper because there are fewer moving parts on an EV and the study even found that insuring electric cars has now become cheaper too. Of course, you don’t have to pay road tax on an EV in the UK either.
So to summarise crucially, the study found that owning and running an Electric car is now cheaper than an internal combustion one. Even when you consider the higher purchase price, an EV will save you an average of almost 4000 pounds over seven years. That’s pretty amazing. You could buy yourself a brand new hot tub or this weird hobbit house for four grand.
The Citroen Ami
It’s no good if you can’t actually afford to get your hands on an electric car in the first place now. Is it because, for many of us, we haven’t got a spare 50 grand lying around to drop in a brand new Tesla, so what do you do well? There are options out there.
So first up, I want to talk you through the cheapest EVs. If you want to go really small, you’ll soon be able to buy the dinky little city dummy in the UK for just over seven and a half grand from new it’s super cute, and that’s super cheap, so what’s the catch? Well, there are three sizes, range and speed.
The AMI is just a two-seater and has a top speed of just 28 miles per hour and a range of 46 miles, so it’s going to be great as a little city run around, but what if you want more what if you’re essentially looking for a like for like replacement for your current petrol or diesel car.
New cars under £30k
There are options out there, and they may be cheaper than a Tesla, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that they’re cheap for under 30k you could have a brand new Renault Zoe, a Peugeot e208, or a Nissan Leaf. They’re still going a voxel Corsa e an mg zs, a mini electric car, or a Fiat 500e.
They will give you all the space, range, and performance you would expect, but they all come at a price. Even the cheapest, the Fiat 500e, will set you back 20000 pounds, which sounds okay until you realize you can get a basic petrol 500 for half of that.
That’s a big difference. It’s the same with the VW’s e up, which surely was named by someone from Yorkshire top, which costs over 5 500 pounds more than the top-of-the-range petrol equivalent. Hence, EVs are becoming cheaper as production volumes increase, but they are still more expensive to buy off the forecourt than their internal combustion ancestors.
How the Government help you
So again, assuming you haven’t got a spare 20k burning a hole in your pocket, what are your options? First off, the government is ready to help you. They want you to switch to an electric car, so by 2030, you won’t even be able to buy a new petrol or diesel car, and the suits down in London are even ready to give you actual money to go electric right now up to 1500 pounds for an EV priced under 32 000 pounds in fact, and that’s great here at Leche heads we’re thrilled that helping people go electric is actual government policy backed by actual cash incentives.
But let’s be honest, 1500 pounds off the price of a 30000 or even 20000 pound car still leaves you needing to find a lot of cash. Of course, you could buy your new EV on PCP, which is a form of finance in your car, which is, after all, how the majority of new cars of any type abort and finance, but that still means you’re paying that premium for going electric and let’s face it there’s plenty of us who simply couldn’t afford the repayments for that bigger financial commitment.
Long term leases
Could get your hands on an even without having to buy one steal it, and instead pick up a new electric car on a long-term lease. I mentioned that we found a deal that would get you that car for an initial payment of just over 2000 pounds and then 205 pounds per month. That car is then yours for three years with a breakdown cover thrown in.
The only thing you have to fork out for is insurance. Of course, charging up also means you get a brand new car but with none of the usual hassles that come with car ownership, and it means you don’t have to deal with selling it on what’s appreciation. Still, there is always a catch you are limited to 5000 miles a year. On most of the lease deals, we found anything over that could incur an excess mileage fee, something to consider if you’re going to be covering a lot of distance on the regular.
Have you heard of Salary Sacrifice Schemes?
A part two to this one that could make it even cheaper that’s right, you heard me remember the cycle to work scheme where an amount is deducted from your salary before tax and national insurance are applied to help you to get a cheap bike well you can do the same thing to get an electric car.
It could save you a sack full of cash; the electric car scheme reckons it can save you between 30 and 60. For example, a standard range tesla model 3 will cost you 570 quid a month on a normal lease or around 550 per month on PCP finance.
But with the tax savings from a salary sacrifice scheme and depending on the tax bracket, that very same car could cost you just 351 pounds a month. The best bit is you don’t have to put down a deposit which is often the biggest barrier for many people who could afford the monthly repayments but struggle to get that big lump sum together in the first place.
So you could get that up for just 161 pounds a month, but again, without finding the initial deposit, it’s pretty good, right? The only catch with that one is you have to work for a company that takes part in this scheme, so check with your employer, and if they’re not sure what to do, then get them.
You could scrap your old car
Here’s another scenario: what if you already have old petrol or diesel car but want to switch to electric? You might be able to use a scrappage scheme which basically means giving them your old car in exchange for a discount on a new EV. Unfortunately, there’s no longer a nationwide scheme in the UK, but we did still find a couple others. It’s good news if you live in London or Birmingham.
Where the local authorities are offering their own schemes which depending on whether you meet the criteria could earn you up to two thousand pounds for your old banger if you don’t live in either city then Renault is actually offering their very own scheme with discounts of up to 1750 pounds depending on the model that you buy.
Growing second-hand EV market
Now there’s one option we haven’t looked at yet: secondhand, which is, after all, how most people buy their cars historically; the secondhand EV market has been fairly small because it’s been such a small segment of car sales overall.
But that is now starting to change. EV sales were up by 76 years in the UK in 2021. That greater volume is already starting to trickle down to create a more viable secondhand market, and here’s the good news most EVs should have fewer potential problems than ice cars.
There’s no engine oil or spark plugs, no clutch that can wear out, and no gearbox to worry about. An EV is so much more mechanically simpler than a petrol diesel car, meaning there’s much less to go wrong or need servicing even on a higher mileage car. The key thing you need to look out for when buying a used DV is the battery.
As a rough guide, you can expect a battery to lose between one to two per cent of its performance each year, so when looking at a car as the owner or garage to fully charge it before you arrive then you can check what the range computer says to see how efficient it is.
Still, again there is good news here because most EVs come with a separate and transferable warranty for the battery, often for an eight-year term or after 100 000 miles or if the range drops below 70 of when it was new, going down this road could save you a lot of money.
You should be able to find a used Kia soul or BMW i3 for under 10000 pounds and a Nissan leaf for around half of that, which is great value when you consider that your running costs will be tiny.
Prices should continue to fall
So there you go. Getting your hands on an EV doesn’t have to cost the actual earth, and there are ways to bring down the initial costs if you are willing to do a bit of legwork; however, it is fair to say that EVs are It is still very expensive, and unfortunately, it might be like that for a few years.
But hopefully, as technology continues to develop and expand into all parts of automotive, we will see the cost of electric cars coming down because, let’s be real, they have to. We’ve got eight years. Oh my god, it’s happening, but how about you at home? Have you managed to buy any of you on a budget? How did you do it? Are there any great hacks we’ve missed here? Let me know in the comments below.