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Green car insurance

Compare green car insurance policies and deals

If you've chosen a car that's kinder to the environment, you could benefit from cheaper car insurance

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 14 November 2019

Electric car charging whilst parked on street

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What is green car insurance?

With the UK government’s target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there are lots of incentives to go green when choosing your car insurance.

Some providers offer lower premiums to green vehicle owners. The main reasons being that eco cars are smaller and less powerful – and therefore safer. Others insurance companies will offset the pollution caused by your car with schemes such as planting trees or contributing to environmental charities’ funds.

What makes a car ‘green’ or ‘eco’?

A vehicle is considered green:

  • If it uses less petrol or diesel than conventional cars, therefore producing fewer harmful fumes
  • If it’s a hybrid that combines electric and oil-based power sources
  • If it uses renewable sources such as bio-fuels

Government plans to ditch the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in 2035, together with the wider choice and greater availability of eco-friendly alternatives, has made going green a much easier choice.

You can get a discount on the price of some brand new low-emission cars through a grant the government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. The maximum grant available is £3,000 and is based on a sliding scale of how much CO2 your car produces.

Why should I choose an eco-car?

Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK, with between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year* attributed to long-term exposure. Regular petrol and diesel cars emit a combination of gases from their exhausts and we all need to do our bit to help reduce the pollution from our own cars.

*Public Health England, 2019 report.

Is car insurance cheaper when you go green?

It will depend on your policy, your car and how you drive. Some car insurance companies do offer lowers premiums and deals for green car insurance, so do your research before choosing a policy.

There are some specialist green car insurance providers, but you can go with any provider you choose for your eco car. All providers will consider your car’s performance when giving you a quote and a less powerful eco car may attract lower premiums and tax.

What type of eco cars are available?

Eco technology is advancing all the time, but some eco-friendly cars you may have heard of include:

  • Electric carsThese use an electric battery to run, make almost no noise and need to be plugged in to recharge
  • Hybrid cars: These have both a conventional yet smaller fuel engine (petrol or diesel) which runs alongside an electric battery-powered engine
  • Biofuel cars: Biofuel cars use fuel made from plants and even old cooking oil, along with a bit of regular fuel like diesel or petrol. In the UK, they aren’t available as passenger cars but are used for some commercial and agricultural vehicles
  • Hydrogen cars: Still rare on UK roads, hydrogen-fuel cell cars create zero emissions, burning hydrogen to create just oxygen and water

What are the most popular electric cars?

Using MoneySuperMarket data, we found the most popular model of electric car to be the Telsa Model-3, with an average premium of £1,045.

 

Most popular types of electric cars

Is it easy to charge your electric car?

There are now twice as many electric vehicle charging devices compared to petrol and diesel filling stations in the UK. This means charging your electric car should be simple. 

Electric vehicle charging points vs petrol stations

There is uneven geographical distribution of charging devices within the UK. Some UK local authorities have bid for government funding for charging devices, while others have not. Most of the provision of this infrastructure has been market-led, with individual charging networks and other businesses (such as hotels) choosing where to install devices.

London has the highest level of charging device provision per 100,000 of population and is slightly above average in terms of rapid charging device provision. Scotland is above average in total devices per 100,000 and has the highest level of rapid device provision.

How many charging points are in the UK

 

How many rapid charging points are in the UK

Can I help the environment if I drive a regular car?

There are still things you can do to lower the impact of your petrol or diesel car’s emissions. Here are some things to think about if you want to help the environment, and potentially save money:

  • Do I need to drive? Could you combine two trips into one journey? Could you walk or cycle? Could you share car journeys? All these things can help reduce emissions and save you money
  • Watch your driving: Changing gear earlier, not exploring the upper reaches of the rev range, braking sooner and slowing down will reduce wear and tear, while maintaining efficiency
  • Car size: The bigger the car, the higher the emissions and fuel costs. When choosing a car, try and pick the size you really need. There’s no need to have seven seats, if there are only two of you for example
  • Car weight: The lighter the load, the less fuel you need. Simply emptying out the boot and back seats, half filling your fuel tank if you’re only making short journeys and losing the roof rack could all help reduce emissions and your spending
  • Keep it clean: Adding a cleaning agent into the fuel system will help remove the deposits and lower the emissions. It’s worth considering using a premium fuel that already contains these additives
  • Check your tyres regularly: Under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption. Check your tyre pressures in line with manufacture’s recommendations or at least once a month

How to save on your green car insurance?

When choosing a green vehicle, drivers should pay attention to the car insurance group ratings of each car to ensure they are getting the cheapest possible deal. Cars in the lower groups will have cheaper insurance premiums.

However, there are a number of other ways to slash the cost of your car insurance:

  • Reduce your mileage: The more miles you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident – and the more expensive your green car insurance premium will be. Consider limiting your mileage, but make sure the figure you quote to your insurer is accurate to avoid the risk of invalidating your policy
  • Increase your excess: Your green car insurance policy will come with a compulsory excess, which is the amount you are liable for in the event of a claim. This is usually set at £200. You can also volunteer to pay an additional excess in return for a lower green car insurance premium. However, make sure you can afford the combined excess in case you have to make a claim
  • Drive carefully: If you can avoid making a claim you should be able to build up a healthy no-claims discount. This can dramatically reduce your car insurance premium
  • Security: Boosting the security measures on your car – alarm, immobiliser, steering wheel lock, tracking device - can deter and thwart thieves and save you having to claim for theft
  • Consider telematics: Another option is telematics car insurance. This is where a tracking device is fitted into a car to monitor driving behaviour. You premium will then be based on your actual driving performance

Compare green car insurance online

You should always shop around for green car insurance quotes and compare deals from a wide range of providers on MoneySupermarket’s price comparison website. However, the cheaper green car insurance quote might not necessarily be the most suitable for you – so check the fine print to make sure your insurance policy fits your needs.

 

 

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