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Electric car insurance

More and more people are opting for electric cars, and it’s not just because they’re more environmentally friendly. They can also potentially help keep costs down as fuel prices creep up. Here’s how to get a good deal on your electric car insurance.

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Is EV car insurance different from other types of car insurance?

Not really. You’ll still be choosing between the same cover levels and the same wide variety of policy extras. And you’ll use the same process if you need to make a claim.

There are a few differences you’d expect from an electric car insurance policy though. For example, you should typically get cover for your battery and charging cables included as standard.

Here are the three levels of electric car insurance to choose from:

  • Third-party only is the most basic level of cover and the minimum required by law. This covers the costs of other people’s damages or injuries, but you won’t be able to claim for damages to your own car or for your injuries.
  • Third-party, fire and theft includes the same cover as basic third-party insurance, but also covers your own car against damage from fire, as well as theft.
  • Comprehensive is the highest level of cover available. Comprehensive car insurance covers both damages and injuries to others, as well as covering you and your own car.

The only other thing to consider is that electric cars tend to be more expensive to buy than petrol or diesel models. This can make them more expensive to insure.

However, it’s expected that the price of electric cars will continue to get cheaper, which means this will become less of an issue.

How much is electric car insurance?

As with other types of car insurance, the price you’ll pay to insure your electric car depends on several factors, including:

  • The price of your car
  • What insurance group your electric car is in
  • The cover level you choose
  • Your age
  • Your postcode
  • Your driving and claims history
  • Your annual mileage
  • Where you park your car overnight.

If you’ve got your sights on an electric car, it’s worth checking its insurance group.

In general, cars in the lower insurance groups will cost less to insure.

Why is electric car insurance so expensive?

Electric cars have historically been more expensive than petrol and diesel models, which naturally makes them more expensive to insure. They were also more expensive to repair, with spare parts harder to come by and specialist repairs commonly required.

But as more of us make the switch to greener vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructure improves, the market for electric car insurance is opening up. That means you can expect a greater choice when you shop around for EV car insurance –  which could mean a more competitive deal.

Did you know…?

The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast that almost half of all new vehicles will be hybrid or electric by 2025.

And from 2035, all sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned, in line with the UK government’s commitments to transition to net zero carbon emissions. This means that going forward, you should see the market for electric car insurance expand dramatically.

What cover extras are available with electric car insurance?

You’ll find many of the optional extras that are available for petrol and diesel cars are also available for electric cars. But there are a few special cover considerations to bear in mind when insuring an electric car. These include:

Battery cover

Electric car insurance policies will normally include cover for a car battery if it’s stolen or damaged in a fire or accident.

When you compare policies, look for ‘battery cover’ and check whether the policy covers owned or leased batteries, or both. If you’re not sure what’s included in a policy, speak to the provider.

Electric car breakdown cover

Breakdown cover designed for electric vehicles should also include recovery to the nearest charging point in case your electric car runs out of battery. Some electric car recovery services even come equipped to charge you on the spot so you can continue your journey as soon as possible.

Portable charging cables cover

Check that your policy covers you in case your charging cables are lost or stolen from your car or while in use out and about. This should normally be included as standard in EV car cover.

Personal accident cover

Could provide compensation if you, your partner and even your passengers are killed or seriously injured in a car accident.

Motor legal protection

Also known as legal cover, this could cover your legal expenses if you need to take legal action against another driver. It could also help defend a claim against you if, for example, someone trips over your charging cable and is injured as a result.

No-claims discount protection

Allows you to protect your no-claims discount.

Courtesy car cover

Provides you with a temporary car to use, if yours is stuck in the garage for repairs after an accident.

It’s worth noting that comprehensive policies may include some of these cover ‘extras’ as standard. So it’s worth comparing different cover levels to see if you could save overall by choosing a different policy.

Always make sure you read the terms carefully, so you understand exactly what’s covered and what’s not.

Do all insurance providers offer electric car cover?

Not every car insurance provider offers electric car insurance but most of them do. And as the demand for electric cars continues to grow, more and more insurance providers are beginning to insure electric cars.

This is good news for you, as it means there are more providers competing, which makes comparing electric car insurance one of the best ways to get a cheaper quote.

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What are the benefits of owning an electric car?

There’s plenty of incentives to go electric:

Reduce your carbon footprint

Electric cars produce zero tailpipe emissions – which means there’s no exhaust to emit CO2, NOx or particulates – making them better for the environment than petrol or diesel cars.

No road tax to pay until 2025

Fully electric vehicles are currently exempt from paying road tax – but from April 2025 electric cars will have to pay the standard rate of Vehicle Excise Duty.

The only exceptions are new zero emission cars registered on or after 1 April 2025. They will be liable to pay the lowest first year rate of VED, then move to the standard rate from the next year.

Remember that you still have to tax your vehicle even if you don’t have to pay.

They’re cheaper to drive

Based on our analysis of data from 2021, electric cars were on average £408 cheaper to run than petrol cars that year[1]. How much you save will depend on the model you drive, your electricity tariff at home and where you’re charging.

Some fast public chargers increased steeply in price during the energy crisis in 2022, but charging at home will be covered by the government's energy unit price guarantee. Some providers even offer special overnight vehicle charging tariffs.

[1] Fuel costs are based on avg miles of 5,300/yr in 2021 (ONS), premium unleaded petrol @ avg of £1.31/ltr in 2021 (ONS). Fuel efficiency of 6.3/ltr/100Km (IEA). Electricity @21p/kWh in 2021 (Ofgem). Fuel efficiency 16.7kWh/100Km (Ctm).

Repair and servicing costs

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than petrol and diesel vehicles, which means there’s less potential for something to go wrong.

No congestion and/or clean air zone charge

If you live in or work around London, Birmingham, Oxford or Bristol, you’ll be pleased to learn that electric car drivers don’t need to pay the charge.

Clean air zones with charges are being introduced more widely across the UK, so it’s a potential benefit that’s growing in usefulness.

Free parking

Some local councils offer free parking spaces for electric vehicles. Others may offer cheaper or subsidised parking.

Quieter engines

Electric vehicles are much quieter than petrol and diesel engines – even though they have an audible running sound to increase safety for pedestrians. For drivers, though, a quieter engine means a more relaxed and enjoyable driving experience.

What else should I consider when buying an electric car?

Here’s a few things to consider when deciding whether to buy an electric car:

Electric car batteries: buy or lease?

Will you lease the battery, or buy it outright? Although it’s less common with new electric cars, if offered by the car’s manufacturer, leasing the battery could make it cheaper in the short term. Just be aware that you’ll have to agree to certain stipulations made by the manufacturer, and you’ll need to budget for paying the lease each month.

Electric car range

Consider how far you usually travel. Electric cars don’t always have the same range on a single charge as a tank of fuel. If you regularly make long journeys, but you want to transition to a greener vehicle, a hybrid car may be a better option.

Charging at home

To charge your car at home, you’ll need to install a charging unit. The government has grants available of up to £350 to help with installation costs. As of April 2022, this scheme is only available for flat owners and those in rented accommodation who have dedicated off-street parking at their property.

Costs vary depending on the brand and type installed, but you can expect the charger and installation to cost £800-£1,500.

Charging point locations

Are there plenty of charging points in and around your local area or places you visit often? Check out the zap map tool to see what coverage is like near places you frequently drive to.

How can I get cheap electric car insurance?

Car insurance is based on various factors such as the risk you pose as a driver, where you live, where you keep your car at night, your age and even what job you do.

However, there are ways to reduce your premium, such as restricting your annual mileage and increasing your voluntary excess.

Check out our advice on saving money on your car insurance.

See if you can save money on electric car insurance by comparing quotes with us. It only takes a few minutes to compare a wide range of insurance providers to find a policy that’s right for you.

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Author image Rebecca Goodman

What our expert says...

“Switching to an electric car is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. And with lower running costs and exemptions from road tax, it could end up saving you money too. As more of us switch to greener vehicles, you’ll see a greater choice in electric car insurance on the market, so it’s a good time to see what’s out there.”

- Rebecca Goodman, Insurance expert

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between hybrid and electric?

An electric car only uses a battery-powered motor, while a hybrid uses both a petrol or diesel engine, as well as a battery-powered motor.

Electric car charging points are still less accessible than petrol stations in some areas, so a hybrid is perhaps a more convenient option.

In terms of car insurance, hybrid car insurance is different from insuring an electric car. We can help you compare that too.

Can I get a government grant to buy an electric car?

No, but there is an EV chargepoint grant. This provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle smart chargepoints at certain types of domestic properties (typically flats) across the UK.

See more about the scheme on GOV.UK.

What is EV insurance excess?

There are two kinds of car insurance excess.

  • Compulsory excess – this is set by your car insurance provider. If you make a claim on your policy, you’ll have to contribute this amount to your claim.
  • Voluntary excess – you choose how much to pay, on top of the compulsory excess. By offering to pay a higher excess, you can get a cheaper premium. But be sure you can afford to pay both the compulsory and voluntary excess.

Can I add additional drivers to an electric vehicle insurance policy?

Yes, you can add additional drivers to your car insurance policy. These are called named drivers.

If you want to add a named driver, just be careful to avoid fronting. Fronting is when you claim to be the main driver of a car, when it’s actually the additional driver who does the majority of the driving. This is insurance fraud and you can be prosecuted for it.

What happens if I’m leasing the battery on my electric vehicle?

If you have a leased electric car battery, you’ll need to make this clear to your insurance provider when you take out a policy.

The idea behind EV battery leasing is to reduce the initial purchase price of electric cars and give buyers peace of mind that the performance of the battery is guaranteed for the life of the car.

If performance drops below a certain amount – normally 60-75% – the battery is replaced or repaired for free by the manufacturer. If the car is sold, the seller can transfer the lease to the new owner without being charged.

What if someone trips over my charging cable?

It’s a good idea to make sure liability for any accidents or injury is covered by your car insurance policy, especially if your car is parked on a busy street.

To prevent anyone from tripping, you can buy a raised cable protector to make it more visible to pedestrians.

Page last reviewed on 15 AUGUST 2023
by Julie Daniels