Electric car insurance

More and more people are opting for electric cars, not only because they’re more environmentally friendly but 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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How much does electric car insurance cost?

Electric cars have historically been more expensive than petrol and diesel models, which naturally makes them more expensive to insure.

But as more of us make the switch to greener vehicles and the market for electric car insurance opens up, you can expect a greater choice when you shop around – and that means you could find a better deal.

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

But it’s not just fuel type that influences the cost of your car insurance. It depends on other factors including your driving history, where you live and the type of electric car you’re insuring.

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

No, not really. You’ll still be choosing between a third-party only, third-party, fire and theft, or fully comprehensive policy. You’ll still be able to choose between the wide variety of policy extras, and you’ll use the same process if you need to make a claim.  

The only 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.  

Do all insurance providers offer electric car cover?

While not every car insurance provider offers electric car insurance, most of them do. 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 emissions, which makes 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

Electric cars, on average, are £528 cheaper to run than petrol and diesel cars. This is despite a £275 year-on-year rise, owing to the sharp increase in electricity prices through 2022[1]. How much you save, though, 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 7,400/yr in 2019 (ONS), petrol £1.38/ltr in Oct 21 & £1.63 in Oct 22 (ONS). Fuel efficiency of 5.40/ltr/100Km (DfT). Electricity @21p/kWh in 21 & 34p/kWh in 22 (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, Oxford or Bristol, you’ll be pleased to learn that electric car drivers don’t need to pay the charge. However, you may need to apply for this exemption as rules vary among cities. 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 level of cover do I get for my electric car?

The levels of cover for an electric car are the same as a petrol or diesel car.

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.

Fully 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.

What optional 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. These include:

Breakdown cover

If you’re unlucky enough to break down, this can get you the help you need to carry on with your journey.

Personal accident cover

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

Motor legal protection

If you need to take legal action against another driver, or defend a claim against you, this could help cover your legal expenses.

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.

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:

  • Will you lease the battery, or buy it outright? 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.
  • Consider how far you usually travel. Electric cars don’t always have the same range on a single charge, compared with a tank of fuel. If you regularly make long journeys, a hybrid car may be a better option.
  • 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 but, 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. You can expect the charger and installation to cost £900-1,400.
  • 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.

If you’re still not sure about getting an electric car, check out Autotrader’s guide to help you decide whether an electric or hybrid car is right for you.

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. Some hybrid engines can even charge their battery-powered motor while driving.

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

Will I be covered for breakdown with my electric car?

Breakdown cover can be added to an existing car insurance policy or taken out separately. A breakdown policy can cover you for:

  • Roadside assistance: if your car can’t be fixed at the roadside, it will be towed to the nearest garage for repairs.
  • At home recovery: if you’re unfortunate enough to break down before you even set off or while you’re still close to home.
  • Onward travel: either by providing you with a courtesy car or by covering the cost of public transport. It may even include accommodation for an overnight stay.
  • European breakdown cover: to make sure you’re protected while away.

What is EV (electric vehicle) 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 the liability for any accidents or injury will be 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 your neighbours and other pedestrians.

Are electric car batteries covered by insurance?

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.

Page last reviewed on 28/11/2022
by Julie Daniels