It’s no secret that buying a car is one of the most expensive purchases you will make. If you’re not paying for it outright, as far as monthly bills go, it’s probably high on your list if you purchased the vehicle on finance.
But with electric vehicles (EVs), well, they’re a relatively new science, and because of that they’ve been slapped with a high price tag right from the start. In a survey we carried out in January 2023 of 2,000 car buyers, we discovered that 71 percent of people want an EV. However, the cost of buying one means they’re out of budget.
We understand this, and when you look at brand new cars and top of the range models, we completely get why many people come to the conclusion that they can’t afford an EV. However, we want to ask this: If you class an electric car as out of your budget, are you looking in the right place? For most of us a brand new car is not affordable, whether that’s a brand new electric or combustion engine. Can you afford top of the range combustion engines? The likelihood is that you won’t be able to afford top of the range, whether you’re looking at electric or not. So where is the tipping point?
Are you looking for a car within your means?
How much is the initial cost of an electric vehicle?
If you’re looking for a new car, you’ll likely have a budget in mind. Fortunately, many brands have an electric car these days, they may even have more than one model – a range, in fact! But what does this mean for you and purchasing your car, if you can’t afford a brand new one? Well, it means there’s a higher chance of you buying second hand.
If you buy a brand new car, the value of it drops significantly when you drive it off the forecourt. Not great for those buying new cars, but for us regular folk who just want to find an affordable electric vehicle, it’s great. Mainly because the people buying brand new cars are on finance or lease deals. It means that in a few years time they will be exchanging their car for a new one.
It’s been a few years since a lot of electric vehicles were released, making it the perfect opportunity to buy one second hand, often with low mileage. While electric vehicles aren’t quite at the value where you can buy a second one outright – unless you’ve got a few thousand pounds saved up – they’re certainly affordable on finance.
You can head into a dealership and purchase an electric car on finance at an affordable rate. We’ve seen some electric cars up for sale between £10,000 and £20,000 with low mileage and in great condition. If you grab a car on a PCP with a large enough deposit, you could buy an electric car for less than £300 a month. We know, it’s not exactly an insignificant amount of money, but it shows that they’re more affordable to buy than they ever have been.
How much does it cost to run an electric vehicle?
If you’ve ever purchased a car before you know that the big price tag at the beginning of the process is just the start of your financial output. Buying a car is one thing, but running it is entirely different. Thankfully when it comes to electric cars, it’s been proven time and time again that they are less expensive to run than a combustion engine.
For many years they have been cheaper to run, with electricity being less expensive than petrol or diesel. Even when electric batteries only ran for one hundred miles before needing to be recharge, you would still pay less to travel further.
But it’s not just the cost of a full charge that’s cheaper. Electric vehicles tend to be made in a fashion that requires them to be fixed less often. Take, for example, the battery versus the engine. An engine will need servicing roughly every 10,000 miles; after 80,000 miles you’ll be looking at replacing a number of parts inside the engine in order to keep the car running. For electric vehicles, some batteries have been known to last up to 600,000 miles without needing much attention. That’ll certainly save you money in the long run.
Other costs, such as road tax and insurance, are also cheaper than a combustion engine – for now anyway. The Government announced in recent months that as of April 2025, electric vehicles will pay the same road tax as the cheapest combustion engines. While the plans are not completely set in stone, it is something to consider. That alongside the price of electricity sharply rising in recent years, you may not be that much better off for being electric. But the environment will be.