What is electric car insurance?
Electric car insurance is what you need to cover your car if it has an electric motor. It offers the same kind of cover as a normal car insurance policy.
What is an electric car?
Aesthetically, electric cars are the same as any other car. What makes them different is that they are fitted with a battery which is 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.
What’s the difference between electric cars and hybrids?
Electric cars source all of their power from batteries which drives an electric motor, whereas hybrids use an internal combustion engine alongside the electric motor.
Do I need car insurance for an electric car?
Like with any other car, electric cars are required by law to be covered with at least third-party car insurance.
Does car insurance for electric cars work differently?
Not all providers will provide electric car insurance. 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.
What level of cover can I get for my electric car?
As with all types of motor insurance, you’ll be able to get three levels of cover:
- Fully comprehensive: Fully comprehensive insurance protects you, your car and other motorists from damage. It also covers medical expenses, repairs, fire damage and theft of your vehicle. 97% of electric car drivers looked for a fully comprehensive policy*
- Third-party, fire and theft: Third-party, fire and theft policies cover repair costs for other people, their cars and their property, as well as your own vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged by fire
- Third-party only: The minimum legal requirement, third-party insurance will only cover any damage you cause to other people, their cars and their property. It won't cover injuries to you or damage to your vehicle
*Based on policies with one driver only, holding a full UK licence and driving an electric car. According to data collected by MoneySuperMarket between March 2019 and March 2020, accurate as of June 2020
What policy features can I get with electric car insurance?
As well as standard protection for this 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 liability: In case someone trips over the charging cable whilst in use
How much does electric car insurance cost?
Electric cars are fairly new to the market, and they use technology that isn’t as wide-spread as standard petrol cars – as such they can be more expensive to repair, and therefore also insure.
As an example, the cheapest electric car to insure between March 2019 and March 2020 – the Nissan Leaf – costs an average of £623 a year. This is more expensive than both:
- The cheapest diesel car to insure: This was the Dacia Logan, costing an average of £418 a year
- The cheapest petrol car to insure: This was the MG B, coming to an annual premium of £177
However electric cars becoming more common, which means insurers having more data for their associated costs, and an increase in providers offering cover has driven the cost of insurance down – the average premiums for a Nissan Leaf between March 2018 and March 2019 was £745, over £100 more expensive.*
*Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver only, holding a full UK licence. According to data collected by MoneySuperMarket between March 2018 and March 2020, accurate as of June 2020
How can I get cheaper cover?
There are a number of set factors that are considered when buying insurance, such as your age, where you live, where you’ll be keeping the car throughout the day and where your car is parked overnight. There are also ways that you can lower the price of your policy:
- Reducing your miles: The less you use the car, the lower the risk of being in an accident
- Increase your excess: If you’re willing to pay more in excess, providers are more likely to reduce your premium
- Don’t auto-renew: Make sure you’re shopping around for the best deal before renewing your car insurance policy
What are the benefits of owning an electric car?
Using an electric car can offer a number of benefits over using a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle, including:
- Running costs: The maintenance and running costs of electric cars are significantly cheaper over the full lifetime of the vehicle. There are a lot less moving parts than in other cars, so with less to go wrong, repairs are few and far between. One thing that will need replacing is the battery, but with an estimated lifespan of up to 20 years, you’ll have plenty of time before you’ll need a new one. If you look around, there are tax incentives and government grants which can also ease the cost.
- 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 a lot 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 charge your car sustainably. Technological advancements are also enabling manufacturers to develop more eco-friendly and efficient batteries and motors
- 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
But before you buy an electric car you should also consider the following:
- Leasing the battery: You can pay monthly to lease your battery rather than owning it outright, this means that there is a lower initial cost and you’re covered if anything goes wrong
- How far you need to travel: Electric cars can be a brilliant buy for city drivers or for the daily commute. They may not be as suitable if you’re travelling long distances on a regular basis, as you’ll need to plan your routes via charging points
What are the cheapest electric cars to insure?
According to data collected by MoneySuperMarket, the cheapest electric car to insure between March 2019 and March 2020 was the Nissan Leaf – with policies selling for £623 on average. This was followed by the Renault Zoe and the BMW i3.*
Make and model
*Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver only, holding a full UK licence. According to data collected by MoneySuperMarket between March 2019 and March 2020, accurate as of June 2020
What government grants can you get for electric cars?
Due to their green credentials, if you drive an electric car you may be eligible for a government grant:
If you’re buying a brand new electric car, you may be able to get up to 35% or a maximum of £3,000 off the price through a new government grant. The grant only covers approved cars, which produce CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and are able to travel at least 112km or 70 miles with no emissions at all.
The government run the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) scheme, which funds up to 75% (maximum £350) of the cost of installing electric car charge points at domestic properties. To qualify, the charge point must use ‘smart’ technology, where it can remotely accessed, but can also receive, interpret and react to a signal.
Using an electric vehicle will often see you get preferential parking, whether that’s at the supermarket or in a multi-storey car park. Privately owned car parks such as NCP and Q-Park offer reduced price parking for users too, as well as providing electric charging points. Across the City of London, there are also hundreds of charging bays for those with electric cars, where you can park for free (for the maximum time period) until your car has finished charging.
Compare electric car insurance quotes
Insuring your electric car is quick and easy when you compare car insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket. Just tell us a little about yourself, the electric car you’re insuring and the cover you need, and we’ll search the market for a list of deals tailored to your requirements.
You’ll be able to compare quotes by the overall monthly and annual cost of the policy, the cover you’ll get and the excess you’ll need to pay to make a claim. When you’ve found the one you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.