How much does it cost to run an electric or hybrid car?

With sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids increasing year-on-year and the uptake only expected to grow, you might be curious to know why they’re becoming more and more popular. If you’re interested in what hybrid and electric cars have to offer but are unsure about running costs, then look no further than Wilsons for more information. We’ve got the knowledge and industry experience to help you out.

One of the main draws of electric vehicle ownership is how economical they are. They're simply much cheaper to run than traditional cars, especially if you can charge at home. Let’s say your average daily commute is a 30-mile round trip. If your petrol car gives you 43 mpg and you have filled it up with £50 of fuel, that gives you about 420 miles before you’d need to fill up again. Let’s say you work 22 days in a month, drive roughly 660 miles and fill up twice – you’d have to pay £100.

Switch to an electric car, and you’re looking at between £2.50 and £5.00 per overnight charge, depending on your tariff. This would give you 100 miles to play with, meaning that for your commute, you’d need to charge it six times and pay roughly £30 a month in electricity. That’s £70 off your bill and a saving of about £850 a year – a saving not to be sniffed at!

Another major perk of EV ownership is that because they’re greener, they’ll save you money in other areas such as road tax. Most electric cars are exempt from road tax, as they produce zero CO2 emissions. The only exceptions are the more expensive models such as Tesla, which have to pay a reduced tax fee based on the price of the vehicle.

Electric cars are also exempt from the London Congestion Charge, which costs drivers of traditional vehicles £11.50 a day which can add up to a whopping £1,000 a year. All you need to do is register your car with TFL and you’re good to go. EV owners will also avoid the Ultra Low Emission Zone planned which operates in the same area as the Congestion Charge and will cost an additional £12.50.

New Hybrid cars have a small electric motor that works alongside a traditional petrol engine. Some models like the Toyota Prius or Hyundai Ioniq can run for short distances on electric power alone while energy-recovering braking and coasting helps to top up the battery. Other Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) like the Mitsubishi Outlander go a step further with a plug socket and charging leads so you can charge the battery via the mains. These models can run in electric-only mode for 20-30 miles.

With the change in Road Tax laws in 2017, low emissions no longer qualify a car for free road tax. Owning a hybrid car does mean that you'll get a discount, especially in the first year, but from the second year onwards, you'll only pay £10 less at £130 (£440 if the car originally cost more than £40,000). However, if you purchase a used hybrid car registered before 1st April 2017, you will still benefit from £0 annual road tax.

If you think that looking after and charging an electric vehicle is difficult and fiddly, think again. EVs have fewer moving parts than diesel or petrol cars, so not only do you save your hands from getting dirty, you’ll have a car that requires much less maintenance. When it comes to charging, you can do it from home, and most EVs come with rapid charging ability, ideal for those in need of a quick top-up – most rapid chargers can replenish 80% of your battery in just 20 minutes.

Our Wilsons dealership is open seven days a week, and we’ve got a dedicated new and used EV and new and used hybrid cars sales team here to answer any more questions you may have about running costs and EV ownership. Simply enquire online, or give us a call today.

Not convinced? Read here why should you buy a hybrid car and here you can learn more about the differences between electric and hybrid cars.

  • How much does it cost to run an electric or hybrid car?
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Transport For London

Cars need to meet minimum emission standards when travelling in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) or the daily charge must be paid.

Minimum emission standards

Petrol: Euro 4
Diesel: Euro 6

The ULEZ will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age. However:

Information from Transport For London

Check this car on the TFL website before purchasing:

All our vehicles are subject to an Admin Fee. Our Admin Fee covers any additional administration needed during your transaction, including a thorough provenance check (HPI Check). The admin fee also includes the cost to fully valet, register and, if necessary, MOT your vehicle (if less than 6 months left of current MOT).

Our administration fee is a variable fee which covers the additional administration needed when transacting with different categories of customers as specified. Retail Customers £199.00 - (Private buyers - NOT an owner, partner or director of a new/used vehicle sales company). Retail Customers using a finance broker outside our official panel of lenders paying funds direct to Wilsons Epsom - £399.00. All fees are inclusive of VAT.