Whether you’re looking to cut back on your spending or you’re environmentally conscious and searching for a car that’s kinder to the planet, switching to an electric vehicle is something that you might be considering. With more and more manufacturers turning their attention to EVs and developing a more comprehensive range of options, there has never been a better time to upgrade to an electric car. This guide will discuss everything you need to know about buying and owning an electric vehicle.
The Benefits of Driving an Electric Car
Electric cars are growing in popularity for a good reason – there’s a massive host of benefits that come with investing in these vehicles of the future.
Lower Running Costs
With the rising cost of living impacting almost every area of society, knowing how to get your monthly outgoings down will be vital to your well-being. Electric cars are a fantastic solution to the problems faced when driving a vehicle with a combustion engine, as they have significantly lower running costs in comparison to their traditional counterparts. Because you charge these vehicles at home, your running cost per mile will depend on the energy tariff you’re on with your supplier, but on average, EVs cost around 6p per mile compared to 12p for traditional fuel types.
Electric vehicles also require less mechanical maintenance, so you’ll notice a significant impact on how often you need to repair or replace parts.
Government Schemes to Help You Switch
Several government schemes are available in the UK to help you switch to an electric car. For many people, the cost of installing an EV ChargePoint to their home is one of the biggest challenges of going electric, which is why the EV charge point grant was introduced – with this, you can claim up to 75% of the cost of installing your charger at home as part of the government’s push for a greener future.
For certain vehicles, you might qualify for a grant that gives you up to 35% off the final price to make going green easier on your wallet.
Not only will you have the chance to save money on your initial purchase and running costs when you switch to an electric vehicle, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of some of the other budget-friendly benefits. For instance, if you live in an area with a congestion charge zone, you won’t be liable for these charges and won’t pay any road tax if you drive a fully electric vehicle!
Protecting Our Planet
Opting for an electric vehicle over a car with a traditional engine is one of the best things you can do to make a tangible difference to your carbon footprint. While EV production does use energy during the battery manufacturing process, throughout the entire life cycle of the car, you’ll be responsible for fewer emissions and CO2 air pollution. You might also notice that your new car is much quieter thanks to the lack of a combustion engine, so noise pollution will also be significantly reduced.
These benefits, combined with the increasing lean towards electric vehicles by governments worldwide, make EVs a fantastic choice for drivers of all ages and backgrounds.
Buying an Electric Car – 5 Important Steps
Buying a new car can be lengthy, and it’s essential to get it right. When you decide to go for an electric model, there are five key steps that you should take to find the perfect car.
- Work Out Your Budget
Before you start test-driving cars or signing any finance agreements, you must work out your budget to determine how much you can afford to pay for your new vehicle. Some electric cars can be pricey, but others are suitable for all budgets and knowing what you want to spend ahead of time makes it a lot easier when you get to the showroom.
- Create A Shortlist Of Models
After calculating your finances, you should create a shortlist of models you’ll consider in your search for the perfect electric car. Having at least two models in mind allows you to drive multiple vehicles to decide which one feels best for you. It also makes it easier for your salesperson to determine which one will work better based on your circumstances.
- Research Different Dealerships
With your model shortlist ready to go, you can approach different dealerships to arrange some viewings, but you must take the time to research those that you’re considering. Reading reviews from previous customers, checking how long a company has been running and comparing their pricing and service offerings with others in the local area is one of the best approaches to research, as you’ll be able to paint a complete picture of the dealership before you visit.
- Go On A Test Drive
Once you understand the dealerships in your local area and whether they come well-recommended by friends, family and online reviews, it’s time to reach out to them to book a test drive. A test drive allows you to get a feel for how a car drives and whether it will suit your needs.
- Decide Between Finance And Outright Ownership
When buying an electric car, there are different types of financing available, so you must find the most suitable method for your circumstances. While you can buy your electric car outright, you can also choose to spread the cost of the vehicle over a set period or lease it from a dealership.
Owning an Electric Car
Once you’ve brought your new car home, you’ll need to complete some regular maintenance and administrative tasks to ensure you’re safe when on the roads. Getting insured is one of the first things to do. While plenty of companies provide insurance specifically designed for electric vehicles, more and more mainstream insurers are offering competitive quotes that give EV drivers even more choices.
The next thing to do is to check that you’re cost-effectively using your charge point. Most of the UK’s biggest energy suppliers have started to offer tariffs designed for electric car owners, which charge lower unit rates for any energy used during specific off-peak hours throughout the night when these vehicles are most commonly charged. Although every EV is different, you can use the specifics of your model to determine how long it takes to charge and then choose a tariff that works best for your schedule.
Because EVs cut out around two dozen of the mechanical components included in cars with traditional engines, they are also less prone to breakdowns and require less maintenance. However, taking your new car in for a service at least once a year or every 12,000 miles is still essential. Doing this ensures that everything runs smoothly and you’re safe out on the roads.
An electric car is an investment into a greener future and a cost-effective way to get around. As long as you take the proper steps to research your vehicle and charge points before making a purchase, you’ll benefit from the vast array of opportunities that switching to an EV can offer.