How Much Money Can You Save When Switching to an Electric Car?
With zero fuel costs and free parking perks, it could pay to go electric!
When it comes to making the switch to an electric car, you’ll want to understand its benefits as an owner, and that includes the ongoing cost.
With many motorists opting for a zero emissions vehicle, what’s stopping you doing the same? In this article, we explain the financial benefits of owning an electric car in answer to the question on many drivers' lips; how much money can you save when switching to an electric car?
From fuel costs to government grants, we explore the ways in which you can save money as an electric car owner…
Fuel vs electric charging costs
You don’t need us to tell you that the price of petrol and diesel has skyrocketed in recent months. The cost of fuel is so high that as of July 2022, many drivers can expect to pay around £2 per litre!
As prices continue to soar, many motorists are exploring their options, and this includes making the switch to an electric car. The most obvious perk of owning a zero emissions vehicle is the fuel savings.
Unlike regular combustion engine vehicles, electric cars are powered by a battery that needs charging. The size of the battery and its charging capacity can vary from car to car. However, the average electric car uses a 40kWh battery, but they can range from a mere 17kWh up to a whopping 100kWh in capacity.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car in the UK?
To give you a better idea of how much electricity you’ll be using, we’ve created the table below which compares costs to fully charge some of the most popular electric cars in the UK today.
To work out the average electric cost based on an overnight charge using a commonly fitted home charger, we must first identify the EV model’s battery size and approximate range.
Of course, you need to consider the energy supplier and area you live in, as prices will vary depending on provider and location. On average, the electricity rate in the UK is charged at around 28p per kWh of power used (figure estimated in July 2022).
Average Full Charge Cost
Hyundai IONIQ 5
MG ZS EV
Tesla Model 3
You can see that by comparison, even with a top-end 100kWh EV model, the cost to fully charge the car is far lower in comparison to a petrol or diesel model. Now that the average cost to fill up a tank of fuel for a standard family-sized car is £100, you can save between £80-£90 by switching to an electric car.
In a study by USwitch, it found that UK drivers spend an average of £1,153 on fuel every year, compared to just £309.65 per year for electric car owners to charge their vehicle - that amounts to a huge annual saving of £843.35!
Can you charge your car for free at public charging stations?
The short answer is yes, you can charge your car for free at certain EV charging points across the UK. As of June 2022, there are 5,430 charging points in the country that are free to use - out of a possible 35,000 EV public chargers in the UK, that’s pretty good odds!
Even better news is that our very own South East region has the second-highest number of free EV charge points available, with 844 readily accessible. To discover where these are, check out zapmap.com or download the Zap-Map app and select the ‘free to use’ option during your search.
Our tip is to head to your local supermarket car park, as they tend to have the highest number of free-use charge points. Although free-to-use charge points may be time limited, even a top-up charge could save you a few quid - that adds up over time!
Road tax reductions
Electric car owners can wave ‘bye bye’ to road tax - zero emission vehicles are exempt from VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) charges throughout ownership. By comparison, this can save you hundreds of pounds per year if you drive a petrol or diesel car.
To put the savings into perspective, road tax rates in 2022 start at £20 per year in tax band B (depending on the CO2 emitted from your car) up to £630 if your vehicle falls into tax band M.
Maintenance made easier
Unlike petrol and diesel engine cars, electric vehicles have fewer moving parts which results in less regular servicing and maintenance, which in turn means more savings. As an example, electric cars don’t require any oil or oil filters, so top ups and oil changes are a thing of the past. This could save you around £100 per year.
Electric cars also use a regenerative braking system as standard, so there’s usually very little wear and tear to the brakes - unlike their combustion engine cousins. Equally, EVs have no catalytic converter or clutch, both of which can be costly when it comes to replacement parts. Yet another tick on the list!
Free parking opportunities
Yes, really! As an electric car owner, you can take advantage of free parking across many towns and cities in the UK. Parking to go to the shops or for an appointment can be ridiculously expensive, so make sure you do some research before heading into town.
For example, in London Westminster, the city council has implemented a scheme where it is free to park in certain streets whilst charging your vehicle. These dedicated EV bays allow zero emission vehicles access where you can charge for up to four hours from 8:30am to 6:30pm every day.
The average hourly car park cost in a multi-storey car park is £1.10, while street parking averages £1.65 per hour. Based on four free hours of street parking, you could save £6.60 during one trip into town, so it really does pay to go electric!
ULEZ and congestion zone savings
Did you know that zero emission vehicles such as electric cars, have free access to the Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) and congestion charge areas in London, and other designated areas across the country?
This is a great perk if you’re a commuter to the city, or travel through low emission zones on a regular basis. Non-compliant vehicles are subject to a £12.50 charge to enter a London-based ULEZ area, whilst the congestion charge for non-compliant cars is £15 per vehicle per day - that can add up to some hefty savings.
Government grant towards home chargers
The UK Government has now withdrawn its plug-in grant for cars (effective from 14th June 2022) but EV owners can still benefit from the EV chargepoint grant. Designed for flat owner-occupiers and people living in rented properties, the grant replaces the EVH Scheme (Electric Vehicle Homecharge) which was accessible to homeowners up until March 2022.
What is the plug-in car grant?
More EV owners means more need for drivers to charge their car at home. With this in mind, the UK Government’s plug-in car grant for cars has been set-up to provide a 75% contribution towards the cost of a standard electric charge point and its installation, up to the price of £350 (including VAT).
To be eligible for the plug-in car grant, applicants must fall within certain criteria, which includes:
- Owning a flat or living in rented accommodation.
- Confirming ownership of the property by providing the relevant paperwork, or confirming details of the person or company letting the property if it is rented.
- Applying for one charge point per household only, even if you own a second electric vehicle.
Prices typically start at around £800 to install an electric car charger at home. If you’re eligible, taking advantage of the plug-in car grant will save you at least £450 so it is well worth doing if you can.
Explore the road to an electric car at Wilsons Epsom
If you’re considering the switch to an electric car, then you’ve come to the right place. Here at Wilsons in Epsom, Surrey, we specialise in the sale of new, nearly new and used hybrid and electric vehicles.
Stocking the most popular electric cars on the market, we sell a wide range of hybrid and electric models, including the much-leafed Nissan Leaf, ground-breaking Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the crowd pleasing MG ZS EV to name just a few.
Whether you’re looking for a smart city car or something more versatile, we have the electric car for you. Browse our selection of hybrid and electric cars online, or visit our state-of-the-art showrooms where you can view all the vehicles on one site.