What level of cover do I need for my electric car?
As with all types of motor insurance, you’ll be able to get three levels of cover:
Fully comprehensive car insurance
Fully comprehensive policies provide the highest cover level and are usually the cheapest option. They protect against damage, repairs, medical expenses, fire damage, and theft. Plus damage to someone else, their car or property.
Third-party only car insurance is the minimum legal requirement you need, and it’s also usually the most expensive type of cover. It covers injuries to other people, and damage to their vehicles and property.
Are electric cars cheaper to insure?
Traditionally, electric cars and electric vans have often been more expensive than petrol or diesel engine-vehicles to insure because of the cost and availability of spare parts, and the common need for specialist repair works. But that differential is all but disappearing, as electric and hybrid vehicles have become more common. As the government’s 2030 impending ban on new petrol and diesel cars approaches, the cost of insurance is falling.
In 2021, electric car insurance cost on average £1,238 a year – but in 2022 average premiums fell by £141 to £1,097 a year. In comparison, in 2022 on average, diesel cars cost £1,119 to insure, while petrol cars cost £1,0872 – still, for the moment, slightly cheaper.
2Based on fully comprehensive electric car insurance policies with one driver holding a full UK licence. MoneySuperMarket data collected between January 2021 and July 2022.
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Our expert says
If you buy an older electric car you may have the option to lease the battery for your vehicle, which was designed for those worried about batteries losing power. If you do so, check to see if you get insurance as part of the deal. If so, tell your insurer the battery is covered under your lease: you might then be able to save some money on your car insurance.
What extras can I get for my electric car insurance policy?
As well as standard protection for car insurance extras like personal accidents and breakdowns, an electric car insurance policy should also offer cover for:
Battery: This will cover any damage done to your battery
Portable charging cables: If your cables are lost, damaged or stolen whilst in your car or in use at a garage
Legal cover: In case, for example, someone trips over the charging cable whilst in use
What do you need to get a quote?
Details of the car
The car’s registration number if you know it. If not, the make and model is fine. We’ll also need the car’s age and any modifications you’ve made.
Your details and your licence
Including your job, age and your address - the same for any additional drivers you may have. We'll also need to know what type of licence you have, how long you've had it, your claims and driving history
What you’ll use the car for
Social, commuting or business, and how many miles you’ll do in a year. You’ll also need to say where you’ll keep the car at night for security
No-claims discount (NCD) history
Details of your no-claims discount will help lower the prices you get. Use our no-claims discount tool to find out how many years’ no-claims discount your insurer will honour
Electric cars are powered completely by batteries, which are connected to an electric motor. This motor drives the wheels as well as supplying all other functions. These cars are charged by being plugged into a mains supply rather than filling them up with fuel.
Car insurance is a legal requirement, whatever your engine type. If you own or drive a car in the UK, the law says you must have at least third-party only insurance. You must have insurance, even if you don’t drive your car, and you keep it parked on a road, driveway or in a garage. This applies to all drivers, and you can find car insurance for:
Using an electric car can offer several benefits over using a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle, including:
Cheap to run: The maintenance and running costs of electric cars are significantly cheaper over the full lifetime of the vehicle. There are a lot fewer moving parts than in other cars, so with less to go wrong, repairs are likely to be required less often
No road tax or congestion charges: Due to zero emissions, you don’t have to pay road tax on your electric car if it costs less than £40,000. This also means that you don’t have to pay London congestion charges
Better for the environment: Fully electric cars have zero emissions and therefore create less pollution than petrol and diesel cars. If you use renewable energy sources or use a supplier who does, this will further lower your carbon footprint and allow you to charge your car sustainably
Free and preferential parking: There are increasingly more local councils who offer free parking for those driving electric cars. Car parks, supermarkets and service stations also tend to locate charging points next to the main entrance, which is very convenient
Easy charging: Charging your electric car is just like how you would charge your mobile phone. Once you park up at home, you simply plug your car into your home charging port. You can leave it on charge overnight and top up during the day if necessary
Residual value: Electric cars are currently holding their value better than their internal combustion equivalents. Used electric vehicles are going up in value year on year, so if you sell, you’ll get more of your money back
Some low-emission vehicles will be eligible for a grant from the government, which go towards the cost of buying a new vehicle.
The maximum grant is £2,500 for cars and is applied to the cost of the new vehicle at the dealership when you come to purchase. You don’t need to apply for it – however, only cars that cost less than £35,000 new are eligible.
The amount you get towards the cost of your new vehicle depends on the category the vehicle is in.
You can view the full list of eligible vehicles on the government website.
Like every type of car, reliability will depend on the make and model of the car you have. One thing that all electric vehicles have in common is that they use a battery and a motor instead of an engine. This means fewer moving parts, so less things that can go wrong, and less maintenance.
You do not pay road tax on a fully electric car.
Most mainstream insurance companies now offer electric car insurance, and some specialist car companies also offer policies for electric cars and eco vehicles.
However, not all providers will offer cover. Whilst electric cars have been around for a number of years, they are still considered a new prospect for the industry. With limited previous data to base premiums on, some providers refuse to offer insurance for electric cars.
However, this is changing as time goes on. With more information readily available, the confidence around electric cars is growing and more providers are entering the market.
At the moment electric cars are still a little more costly to insure than standard vehicles, and this is true for drivers of all age – however young drivers still pay even more than most for cover. In fact, between January and March 2022, the average annual premiums for a young driver with an electric vehicle were £1,878 – compared to £1,431 for a petrol car and £1,582 for a diesel car.*
*Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver holding a full UK driving licence. MoneySuperMarket data collected between January and March 2022, accurate as of April 2022.
At the end of April, there was over 31,000 electric vehicle charging points across the UK. A good few thousand of these will be free – you can use Zap Map to find charging points all over the country.
If you’re charging your car and you need to run the cable across the pavement to reach your vehicle, there may be a risk of someone tripping over the cable and injuring themselves. Issues like this are never cut and dry, so it’s always good to make sure what level of liability cover you have as part of your policy – the best way would be to speak to your provider directly.
The cost of recharging your electric vehicle will depend on the kind of vehicle you have, your location, the type of charging point you use, how much charge you need and, if you’re charging at home, your home’s energy tariff. You can generally expect fast and rapid charging points to be more expensive than slower points.
There are also some across the country that offer vehicle charging at no cost, but these might not work for every car.
You should be able to install two separate charging points in your home if you need to.
If you have an electric car and you charge it at home, you’ll likely see an increase in your energy costs. There is usually an installation cost to have a charging point fitted in or outside your home, but after this you’ll only pay for the energy you use to charge your car.
It will depend on the tariff you’re on to work out how much charging will cost, but it’s worth keeping in mind that some tariffs like Economy 7 charge a lower rate for overnight usage. What’s even more, some providers offer tariffs specifically for electric vehicle drivers, that charge even less in the evenings.
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