Electric car insurance
If you're thinking about buying an electric car, consider your cover options and how to pay less.
As more electric cars are popping up on UK roads, you may be considering making the switch and driving one yourself. For the time being, you’ll be able to tax your electric car without paying a penny, and if you’re in London, you won’t have to pay the congestion charge. Choosing to drive an electric car can be a “greener” step in the right direction but don’t be left out of pocket when insuring it. Read our guide to discover how electric car insurance differs from traditional cover, and how you could save on your premiums.
What is electric car insurance?
Just like traditional car insurance, electric car insurance is calculated based on a number of factors based on the car, the driver and the risk they pose on the road. The car’s value, age and performance, as well as the driver’s age, driving experience and location, amongst other factors will be considered.
But as electric cars work in a slightly different way to traditional cars that use fuel, insurers do look at other factors such as the repair costs. As electric cars rely heavily on new technology, the repair costs may be much higher than traditional fuel cars, which can drive premiums up. The repairs might also need to be carried out by specialist electric car mechanics.
The battery, which is an electric car’s most vital part, tends to be much more expensive than those for standard cars so this is also factored into the insurance premiums. There’s also the fact that electric cars may pose a greater risk to pedestrians that may trip over power cables or worse, fail to hear the quiet engine of an electric car.
More and more drivers are doing their bit for the environment by choosing to drive electric cars but it’s still a relatively new concept. As a result, electric car insurance is a long way off from being mainstream so you’ll likely pay more for electric car insurance than a typical policy for a car that uses fuel. You may also need to seek out a policy from a specialist provider. But as they gain popularity and more insurers begin offering cover for electric cars, costs should start to fall.
How to pay less on electric car insurance
- Choose a cover level that suits you. Contrary to what you might expect, comprehensive cover can be cheaper than third party (TP) or third party, fire and theft so it’s always worth checking. This is because of the risk profile of many people who typically get TP.
- Increase security. If your car is not currently fitted with an alarm, think about adding one to reduce your premium.
- Have a secure location to park your car. Cars kept in a garage or on a secure driveway are usually cheaper to insure.
- Limit your mileage. If you start working part-time or your long commute becomes much shorter, letting your insurer know about a reduction in your mileage could result in cheaper insurance.
- Increase excess. Agreeing to pay a higher voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
- Add experienced drivers. Adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy lowers the risk and could help to lower the premium.
- Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up too.
- Avoid paying monthly. If you can, try to pay for your premium in one go as you’ll pay interest if the premium is spread out over the year.
- Limit modifications. Any modifications made to your car to make it look better or drive faster are likely to increase your premiums so think carefully before making any changes.
- Shop around. Don’t simply choose to renew your car insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy so check the cover details carefully.
Thing to consider when insuring an electric car
If you have your heart set on buying an electric car, consider the following for getting the right electric car cover.
- Leasing the car’s battery. If you intend to lease the car battery, you’ll need to inform the insurance provider about this when obtaining a quote. You may receive a reduction in your premium but you could be left footing the bill when it’s time to replace your battery.
- Special parts. Check to see if the special parts of your electric car, such as power cables and charging devices, are covered against damage as these could be costly to repair yourself.
- Liability cover. As electric cars need to be plugged into a power source, you should be extra careful about where your power cables are positioned to ensure they don’t become a safety hazard for pedestrians. Check with the insurance provider to see if liability cover is included.
- Car security. Where you park your electric car at night such as a secure garage or a driveway could help to lower your premiums.
- Shop around. As with all types of insurance, it pays to shop around and compare your options. Remember that the cheapest doesn’t always mean the best so you’ll need to consider the cover benefits and features as well as the price to decide whether it’s right or not.
Frequently asked questions
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