Jun 112011

Government Grant
Aside from the maximum £5,000 government grant that is offered on many UK electric cars, there are a lot more financial benefits that apply when buying and owning a non-combustion-powered vehicle. Since January 2011, the government has introduced a 25% discount for those buying a new electric car, which means a Nissan LEAF, worth £28,000, will only cost £23,000 as it qualifies for the full £5,000 reduction.  Why not read our Nissan Leaf Review.

Nissan Leaf - Electric Car

Nissan Leaf - Electric Car

No Congestion Charge
If you live in or commute into London, there is a hefty £10 Congestion Charge to pay. That can be financially crippling for many motorists and there is no way around it other than using public transport, which can cost a similar price for a day ticket – or to use an electric car. Electric vehicles have the benefit of being exempt from paying the Congestion Charge and there are discounts for parking as well. In some cases, parking is free or at least heavily discounted. Parking is constantly being re-evaluated in the UK and many councils make changes in their policies on electric cars and parking. One more point for the electric car then!

Low Running Costs
The running costs of electric cars can be hugely lower than that of combustion-engined cars. With fuel duty rising week-in week-out, visiting the petrol station for many people is a depressing time. As driving in city centres is one of the least fuel efficient ways to drive, filling up is a regular occurrence, especially as cars have grown larger and therefore heavier, which also affects fuel efficiency. If you’re running around in an electric car the only thing you have to keep an eye on is the remaining charge on the battery. With charging points cropping up in more and more places these days, owning an electric vehicle suddenly has become much more of a viable option.

Less likely to break down
The day-to-day costs can be as low as 2p per mile, in terms of the equivalent electricity charging costs – or around 15-times lower than even the most frugal of petrol cars. Electric cars have fewer moving parts too, which makes them less likely to break down, although renewing a battery can be very expensive and if something does go wrong, not many mechanics will be clued up on how to deal with the problem, so it’s a dealer-only fix.

No Annual Road Tax
Yet more financial benefits of running an electric car include the annual road tax fee. Even with rules and regulations changing regularly on road tax, having an electric car means that you are free from road tax. No emissions equals no tax.

Cheapest Company Car Tax Bracket
A similar scenario is in play for company car drivers too. Electrically-powered cars fall into the cheapest band of the company car tax bracket, which means they qualify for a 6% discount on the usual 15% tax. If your company car is electric then you only have to pay 9% tax on it, which is a huge saving over fuel-based rep-mobiles.

Insurance Costs
One area still under development is the insuring of an electric car. At the moment, it is not as straight-forward as a regular car but as the market progresses, more and more companies are accepting policies.

In summary
• Save £5,000 with the Government Grant
• No commuter charge in London
• Less likely to break down
• No VED Car Tax
• From as low as 2pence a mile
• Cheapest company car tax bracket.

Yes, they are expensive to buy outright! At £28,000 minus the 5K it will cost £23,000 to buy one of these new.

Remember it costs about 2pence a mile to run an electric car, compared to approximately 12p to 13p a mile with a car that does about 50 miles to the gallon.

Deposit      Remaining to be paid      No of Years      APR      Monthly Cost
None          £23,000                               5                         9.9%     £487.55
None          £23,000                               3                         9.9%     £741.07
£5,000      £18,000                               5                         4.9%     £338.86

According to those calculations you would have to do more than 3,800 miles a month to begin saving on fuel costs. However depending on your own circumstances, such as car business tax, use of the London congestion route and no annual road tax having an electric car may be a much more affordable option.

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