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Caring for your electric car

Service and maintenance for electric cars

Having an electric car serviced, and maintaining one, is a new experience for most people. So naturally you want to know if it will be more complicated and more expensive than it is for a petrol or diesel vehicle. And the short answer is: no.

Servicing and maintenance of an electric car is different, but in a good – and less expensive – way. That’s because an electric car has far fewer moving parts than a petrol or diesel model, so there’s less to wear out or break down. The result is, maintenance costs can be around 50% less.1 (eDF Energy 

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What is different?

It’s not only under the bonnet where things are simpler, and therefore easier and less expensive to take care of.

Even brake pads and discs need to be replaced less often, because electric cars don’t rely on only the brakes to slow them down. Regenerative braking uses the vehicle’s electric motor to reduce the speed (a little like changing down a gear to slow down a petrol or diesel vehicle). That means braking is more efficient and pads and discs wear less quickly.

Add these differences together, and servicing and maintenance combined can cost at least 30% less for an electric car.2 (BuyaCar.co.uk)

Even the biggest difference about an electric car – its battery – is not going to make your life more complicated or more expensive. Most electric car models now come with a battery guarantee of around 100,000 miles, which will give the average driver about 12 years3 before you even need to think about the battery. 3 (Battery university)

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What's the same?

Of course not everything about an electric car is different.

It still has tyres and windscreen wipers which wear, tyre pressures which need to be checked, and brake fluid which needs to be topped up and changed. And it will still need an MOT, once it's three years old.

However, because an electric car produces no emissions, there’s no emissions test element to its MOT. Which is not just good news  for you, it's good news for the planet too.

Taking care of an electric car does require some specialist knowledge and equipment.

Major electric car manufacturers have expert technicians with all the right tools in their servicing workshops, and more technicians are being trained all the time.

Dedicated roadside assistance for electric cars is also available, with some able to provide on-the-spot battery charging if required. 

Already have an electric car? Check out our range of service plans.

View service plans

Insurance reassurance for electric car drivers

In many ways, insurance for an electric car is exactly the same as for any other vehicle. The way the premium is worked out is the same. Most of the risks are the same. Even the insurance companies are the same. But there are a few differences you may want to know more about.

All vehicle insurance policy premiums are based on a calculation of the likelihood of a claim being made, the risks to be covered, and the costs of covering those risks. You may feel you want to choose a specialist electric car policy, but with many insurers there’s no need to. When you provide the make and model of the vehicle, they will simply take into account the fact it is electric for calculating the premium and including the few additionalnelectric car covers for “the differences”

Because some electric cars are more expensive than some petrol or diesel models, you may expect the premium to be higher. However, your age, address, annual mileage and many other factors which apply to all vehicle policies will also be taken into account, and may reduce the premium. Furthermore, many electric cars are fitted with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which can further reduce the premium.

Insuring the differences

When you drive an electric car, you will want to know that you are insured for the things which make it different. These include the battery, the need for recharging (rather than refuelling) if you run out of charge on a journey, and the charging process.

The battery

Some electric car batteries are leased under a separate agreement from the vehicle itself, while some are owned. Either way, an insurer should cover the battery against damage resulting from an insured incident, fire, and theft.

Charging

Charging cables, the charging installation and adaptors should all be covered for accidental damage, fire and theft. The cable can be a trip hazard so you will need to be sure that any policy includes cover for personal injury.

Charging can, in exceptional circumstances, also be a fire hazard. In the unlikely event of home charging causing a fire, the vehicle’s fire insurance will cover the claim if the fire resulted from the vehicle. If your home’s wiring caused the fire – even though it was while the vehicle was being charged – then the claim will be against the home insurance policy, as it would be with a petrol or diesel vehicle.

Roadside Assistance

If the insurance policy includes roadside assistance, your electric car will need specific support in the event of a breakdown or running out of charge.

Some electric models cannot be towed, as the motor cannot be disengaged from the wheels and will be damaged if the vehicle is towed along. This means the roadside recovery cover must provide a flatbed truck for transporting the vehicle.

If the battery has run flat, the vehicle will probably have to be taken to the nearest charging point. However roadside recharging is possible with certain roadside recovery operators, and you may want a policy which has this option included.

If your insurance policy doesn’t cover roadside assistance, check if this is included with any warranty you have on the vehicle, else you might want to take out a stand-alone roadside assistance policy to cover this eventuality.

Shopping around

As with any insurance premium, it’s worth shopping around for the best deal for electric car cover. As more people start to drive electric cars, more insurers will offer policies, and the competition between them will help to reduce premiums.

At the same time, as more repairers start to work with electric cars, and parts become cheaper, this will also help to bring down the cost of insurance.

You can start to get an idea of the current cost of insuring an electric car by taking a look at the vehicle insurance websites below.

Did you know we offer insurance for our vehicles too?

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