Your guide to electric cars and insurance
A ban on the sale of new cars powered solely by petrol or diesel after 2030 means that soon you may want to start thinking about taking an electric car for a spin. Here’s what you need to know about car insurance for electric cars.
Are electric cars cheaper to insure?
Generally speaking, electric car insurance costs tend to be slightly higher than petrol or diesel cars, simply because they are currently more expensive to repair. However, as electric cars become more common repair costs will inevitably decline, so this should mean the price of electric car insurance will too in the future.
Alternatively, hybrid car insurance premiums tend to be more competitive as they combine electric motors with a petrol or diesel engine and are more common than full electric cars.
Does Saga offer electric car insurance?
If you’re looking for an electric vehicle policy, we offer car insurance for a variety of electric cars for people over 50.Electric cars are covered with our Comprehensive car insurance and you can choose either the Saga Plus or Saga Select cover level.
What does Saga's electric car insurance cover?
Both Saga Plus and Saga Select cover you for:
- Battery cover - We'll replace your battery if it's damaged as a result of an accident or fire.
- Charging equipment - We'll repair or replace your charging cable and any adapters if they're damaged by fire, theft or accidental damage.
- Liability - We'll cover any claim against you if someone trips over your charging cable and injures themselves
- Over the air updates (OTA) - All manufacturer approved software updates and settings installed wirelessly such as functionality, performance and safety updates are covered as standard.
- Two years' new for old cover - If you've owned your electric car from new, and it's up to a year old, we'll replace it with a brand new one if it's written off. Vehicles between one and two years old are covered up to 12,000 miles.
To give additional reassurance, if you take Saga Breakdown Assistance and you run out of charge on the move, we'll get you to the nearest charge point or provide a roadside charge. Saga Breakdown Assistance is provided by the RAC - the UK's number one electric vehicle breakdown provider.
In February, Saga was named a Which? Recommended Provider of car insurance for 2022. Consumer champion Which? only endorses the best products and services. As a completely independent organisation, the granting of Which? Recommended Provider status truly reflects what they think – not what someone else wants them to say.
Our policies are underwritten by several different insurers. We handpick these companies very carefully, and make sure they have the same high standards of quality and service as we do. If you buy an electric car policy from us you’ll see the name of the underwriter in your policy documents.
To find out if we can cover your electric vehicle and how much it will cost, get a quote online.
What is an electric car?
- An electric car is powered by one or more electric motors that run on rechargeable batteries.
- Most electric cars use a single gear, so it feels like you’re driving an automatic car.
- You can charge electric cars at public charging sites or get a special wall charger installed at home.
- They can drive for around 100-300 miles before they need re-charging.
- Electric vehicles are much more eco-friendly as no tailpipe means no exhaust gases.
- Electric cars don’t release emissions so owners don’t pay tax or congestion charges.
- Most electric car brands offer an 8-year (or 100,000 mile) warranty on the batteries.
What is a hybrid car?
- Hybrid cars have a fuel engine that does most of the work but they also partially run on an electric motor.
- Conventional hybrid cars charge as you drive them and chargeable hybrid cars need to be charged at home or at a charging site.
- Both types of hybrid car use the energy from braking to help recharge the cars batteries.
- Hybrid car batteries last on average between 80,000 and 100,000 miles.
- You will still need to fill your car up with petrol or diesel.
- Hybrid engines emit around 15-30% of the emissions of traditional petrol and diesel cars.
- Hybrids emitting less than 75g/km of CO2 are exempt from congestion charges.
Are electric cars more expensive?
The upfront cost of an electric car is more than a petrol or diesel vehicle as they’re high in demand, low in supply and use more expensive technology. But there are many financing and leasing deals available to help spread the cost.
Remember, you will need to factor in the price of charging at home. Many electricity providers do offer special tariffs for electric car owners but the final cost will depend on the car you’ve chosen.
- It can cost around £15.10 to fully charge an electric car at home. Based on a typical electric car with a 60kWh battery, calculated at 28p/kWh.
- You can often find public charging points at supermarkets that are free to use while you shop and at car parks that are free, subject to parking charges.
- Rapid charging points at motorway service stations normally cost £6.50 for 30 minutes.
Are electric cars less maintenance?
Electric cars don’t need things like oil or timing belt changes so they generally require less maintenance, are more reliable, and won’t need as many repairs. This is also good news for your wallet, as it keeps the costs of having an electric car down.
But like with any vehicle, there are still things that could go wrong, such as punctures or battery issues and you may still need to maintain things like brake fluid, air conditioning, and the cabin air filter.
What are the benefits of owning an electric car?
The technology may be more expensive but you may find that the perks of going greener help balance out any extra costs. Just some of the benefits of electric cars include:
- Zero emissions - an electric car doesn’t produce any exhaust emissions because they don’t have traditional fuel engines.
- Buying incentives - the government offer a plug-in car grant that gives you up to £1,500 off the price of a brand-new electric car, for eligible cars that cost less than £32,000 (RRP).
- Maintenance savings - while you'll still need to maintain common parts like tyres, brakes and wipers, electric cars don’t need oil changes or other services and have significantly fewer moving parts so they could end up being cheaper to maintain.
- Tax benefits - as electric cars don’t pay road tax, you could save at least £140 a year compared to cars that run on fuel.
How many types of electric car are there?
Any car run off electricity is often referred to as an EV. But there are quite a few other acronyms to describe the range of different electric and hybrid vehicles. Here are the ones you might see:
- Battery electric vehicle (BEV) - has electric car motor powered by rechargeable batteries instead of a fuel tank – an electric car in its purest form.
- Hybrid (HEV) - self-charging cars powered by a fuel engine that also run on a small electric battery.
- Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) - uses rechargeable batteries to power an electric motor and fuel to power an engine.
- Mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) - run mainly off fuel with a small battery pack to give an acceleration boost.
- Range-extended electric vehicle (RE-EV) - uses a small fuel engine to produce electricity to recharge the batteries, letting you travel further once the batteries have run out.
- Hydrogen vehicle (FCEV) - hydrogen mixes with oxygen to create electricity used to power the vehicle. Emits only water from the exhaust.