Is it Cheaper to Run an Electric Car or a Petrol Car?

Is it Cheaper to run an Electric or Petrol Car?

Over the next ten years, the UK could become home to more than a million of electric cars. In 2030, they will become the only cars in the country you can buy brand-new. But, while they’re good for the environment, are they cheaper to run and are they good for your wallet? Well, we’re going to get your motor running to find out.

How much does it cost to charge an EV? 

One of the biggest expenses for motorists is fuel. The price of fuel varies all the time, with a current average of over £60 for a full tank. Fortunately, you don’t have to buy any fuel for an electric vehicle. You just need to charge the battery.

Compared to buying petrol, charging the battery in an electric vehicle (EV) anywhere between £8-£12, giving a journey range of about 200 miles. These are not exact figures, however: the cost of a full charge and the mileage it provides does depend on the make and model of car. But even if you pay £12 once a week to fully charge your car, that’s significantly less than you might have paid for a full tank of petrol.

How much does it cost to install a home charger?

Most EV owners will charge their vehicle at home. This can be done just by plugging the car into a standard domestic plug socket. But, if you don’t have a garage with a plug socket, this could prove awkward. On top of that, the power output of a standard plug socket wouldn’t make using it feasible for long-term EV charging. You would be better off installing a home charge point.

Upfront, this could cost you around £450 or more. Although there’s a government grant towards the cost of installation, it goes to a maximum of £350. Installing a home charge point is therefore a lot to pay in one go. But it could pay for itself within just a few months: you can travel 200 miles for £8-12 in an electric vehicle, whereas that same trip in a petrol or diesel car might cost upwards of £30. So, if you drive 200 miles in a week, paying £8 per full charge, and your home charge point is £450 after the grant, it will start to pay for itself after only 21 weeks. That’s less than six months!

You might be wondering if this would spark a steep rise in your electricity bills. Fortunately, the answer is no. They will go up because you’re using more electricity, but some energy providers are now offering tariffs specifically designed for electric vehicle owners. Not all providers offer such tariffs, so it’s worth shopping around to find the right one for you.

What are your options when it comes to EV tariffs? Go here to find out.

How much does public charging cost? 

What if you’re out and about? Well, if you’re on a motorway and need to stop at a service station for a top-up, charging for thirty minutes costs an average of £6.50. You might pay more than that for the food in the services! Not only that, but that thirty-minute charge would give you an extra ninety miles of battery life.

Depending on the price of petrol, and the fuel efficiency of a non-electric vehicle, you could be paying twice that or more in petrol costs. Paying £6.50 or more for a one-off charge might seem odd when you’d be paying around that for a full charge overnight. Fortunately, there are subscription services that allow you to pay a small monthly fee to access their network of public chargers across the UK.

Locating a charger near you is hard unless you find the right apps to find them. You can find our recommended picks from here.

You may also be able to access on-street chargers if you cannot get one installed on your property. Handily, more and more chargers are being made available all the time. Your workplace might even have some installed – and if they don’t have any now, they may well do within the next decade.

Is it cheaper to buy an EV?

Beyond fuel, the biggest cost of a car is buying it. One common fear among motorists is that an electric vehicle will be more expensive than a petrol or diesel car. Upfront, this might be true. At the cheaper end, a brand-new EV could cost between £20-30,000. But, with Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) schemes in place, the overall monthly cost of leasing an electric vehicle doesn’t differ much from leasing a petrol car.

EV range and battery life are also always improving. So, by the time your lease is up, you may be able to switch to a newer vehicle with a longer range and better battery life than the one you just had. You could even get a Wagonex subscription for an electric vehicle, paying less overall than you would on PCP.

The government will even help you buy an electric vehicle. Not only is there a grant for 20% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £2500, but you will also enjoy the feeling of not having to pay road tax. And, if you live in London, you won’t pay the Congestion Charge either.

Electric cars are even cheaper to insure than their non-electric counterparts. Owners of a Nissan Leaf, for example, might enjoy premiums of up to £150 less than owners of a Ford Fiesta. This is despite the Ford Fiesta being a smaller vehicle and cheaper to buy than a Nissan Leaf.

Is it cheaper to run a petrol or electric car?


So, ultimately, an electric vehicle is much cheaper than a petrol or diesel vehicle. The cost of purchasing one and installing a charge point at your home might initially be high, but buying, leasing, or subscribing to Wagonex for an electric vehicle all work out to less than or equivalent to a petrol car in the long run.

Installing a charge point pays for itself within six months. With no road tax, the probability of lower insurance premiums, and lower running costs, electric vehicles are not only good for the environment, but they’re also good for your wallet.

or like Wagonex on Facebook to stay up to date with our range of subscription cars.

left-arrow Created with Sketch. Previous Blog Mercedes C-Class Coupe 2021

How to Charge Your Electric Vehicle | A Wagonex Guide

right-arrow Created with Sketch. Next Blog How to Charge Your EV

Mercedes C-Class Coupe Review | A Comprehensive Car Review by Wagonex


Similar posts

Bethany Farrell
clock Apr 3, 2024

In family life, few decisions carry as much weight as choosing the right car. Whether...

Read More right-arrow Created with Sketch.
Mairi Johnstone
clock Apr 2, 2024

At Wagonex, we aim to make driving easy. That’s why all of our car subscriptions come...

Read More right-arrow Created with Sketch.

Owning a car is undoubtedly a game-changer, offering convenience and easy access to more...

Read More right-arrow Created with Sketch.