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Is running an electric car really cheaper?

Will an electric car save me money?

The total cost of owning a car – electric, petrol or diesel – is about far more than just the cost of buying or leasing it. We’ve outlined the running costs you need to consider, you'll find in most scenarios an electric car will save you money. 

Fuel vs electricity costs (and home charger installation, if required)

Servicing, maintenance and insurance costs

Vehicle price

Financial support
(no tax, clean air zones, potential free parking)

Electricity costs

Electric cars are much cheaper to run based on fuel costs alone. You can also make further savings by charging your vehicle at home, with an EV focused tarrif. We have developed a tool which allows you to compare the cost of electricity vs fuel so you can take a look at what this may mean for you.

Electric cars have quickly become an appealing alternative vehicle to petrol or diesel, however there are often concerns about how much it will cost to charge in reality.

With the average UK electricity price now sitting at around 17.2p per kWh and under the assumption an electric car will travel 3.5 miles per kWh on average, to travel 100 miles would cost around £5 or 4.91p per mile.

Taking into account comparative petrol and diesel costs per mile, the same length journey would cost approximately £15 or £13 in a petrol or diesel car respectively. At Volkswagen Financial Services UK we believe it’s reassuring that electric charging remains a viable option to running an ICE (internal combustion engine) car. 

View our cost of energy blog post to learn more, or our potential savings by switching to an electric car article.

Servicing and maintenance costs for electric cars

Electric cars have fewer moving parts compared to petrol or diesel cars, which means you can save money on servicing and maintenance costs as there is less to go wrong. It is important to keep your electric car regularly serviced and in good condition. The Volkswagen ID range have a fixed service schedule (like a petrol or diesel car) with the first inspection due after 2 years. Find out more about servicing and maintenance for an EV.

If you already have an electric car, you might be interested in our electric car service plans.

How much is Road Tax for an electric car?

Road tax is calculated based on the CO2 tailpipe emissions of your vehicle, its list price and its year of registration. Electric cars emit no CO2! This means fully electric cars are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) or 'Road Tax' costs.

This can be a big saving compared to other types of vehicles. As an example, the fully electric Audi Q4 e-tron is free from any Road Tax costs, whereas the Audi Q5 TDI emitting 164-174g/km of CO2 costs from £555 per year in the first year, then £490 for the next 5 years. 

What is a clean air zone?

There are a number of pollution reducing schemes and initatives in the UK. A couple of well known ones are the Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) and Clean Air Zones (CAZ). These zones are usually near the centre of larger cities, and vehicles entering these zones are reviewed based on their polluting factors, and charged accordingly.

To find out more about where there are clean air zones and what charges may apply (depending on your vehicle) click here.

Use our handy tool to compare the fuel costs for a range of petrol, diesel and electric cars, to see how much you could save.

Fuel Cost Comparator
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