VW vehicle

Running costs: what an electric car costs

An electric car has less of an impact on the environment than a combustion engine, is extremely quiet and really fun to drive. However, the cost is also an issue when it comes to buying a car. Yet electric vehicles are often cheaper to run than combustion engine cars.

An electric car makes financial sense because ...

•... maintenance and service costs for electric vehicles are comparatively low, as the electric car engine is made up of fewer parts prone to wear and tear.

•... pure electric cars registered by 2025 can be vehicle tax exempt for ten years, up to 2030 at the latest.

•... electric car drivers can save more with special car electricity tariffs.

•... higher acquisition costs do not mean higher maintenance costs.

Pollute the environment less, lower CO2 emissions and produce less noise: there are many (good) reasons to switch from a petrol or diesel car to a car with an electric drive. Aside from the environmental aspects and range, anyone thinking about this often understandably wonders what an electric car will cost them. How much is the maintenance? And is investing in an electric car worth it?

A front shot of a red ID.4 VW car
Maintaining an electric vehicle is easier because the services are usually not as complex as for combustion engine cars.

Easier maintenance for electric cars

Electric cars have the edge when it comes to maintenance and repairs, which are generally much more straight forward than for a diesel or petrol car. Why? Maintaining an electric vehicle is easier because the services are usually not as complex as for combustion engine cars. This is because electric cars do not have a lot of components and parts prone to wear and tear, including spark plugs, gearbox or clutch. There are also hardly any liquids that need changing. Despite all of this, electric cars may not be maintenance-free but oil changes with filters are a thing of the past.

Electricity versus fuel costs: which is cheaper to run?

Electric vehicles can also win out when it comes to energy costs. A Volkswagen ID.4 consumes around 17 kWh per 62 miles depending on its battery size and driving style. At 34 pence per kWh, this puts the cost for 62 miles at £5.44. A diesel vehicle consuming 5 litres per 62 miles comes out at £7.50 based on £1.50 per litre of diesel. A petrol car that is filled up with Super Unleaded and generally consumes more will be even more expensive. By way of example, a car consumes an average of 7 litres per 62 miles. Based on a price of £1.48 per litre of Super Unleaded, this adds up to £10.36.

If you drive a lot, you’ll benefit in particular from the lower energy costs. You can also save by choosing special car electricity tariffs. These tariffs are often especially cheap in the evenings and at night, which is a great fit – cars are often hooked up to the wallbox in the evening, after all, so that they are fully charged by the next morning. It becomes even more attractive if you can charge your electric car free at your work – and do so tax-free. Some supermarkets, restaurants and hotels provide fast charging stations, and some of them are free to use as well.

 

A man charging his electric VW vehicle
Speaking of taxes: pure Electric cars are exempt from paying any taxes till 31 March 2025. 

Vehicle tax and insurance

Speaking of taxes: pure Electric cars are exempt from paying any taxes till 31 March 2025. This includes the premium tax paid on cars priced above £40,000.  

Maintenance costs also include the cost of car insurance. How expensive a policy is depends on factors, such as regional classes, years of no claims bonus, age, number of drivers and the car model. Insurers have now had some positive experiences with electric car drivers and have found that they often adopt more anticipatory driving behaviour and cause fewer accidents, which means that they are sometimes classified in lower insurance groups as a result.

 

Electric cars often fare better

If you add up all the maintenance costs of a vehicle, including its purchase price, consumption, vehicle tax, maintenance, wear and tear, insurance and depreciation, electric vehicles can do better than comparable combustion engine cars. The ADAC also came to this conclusion after comparing the costs of electric cars and plug-in hybrids with those of petrol or diesel cars with similar engine performance and features. Although electric cars tend to be more expensive to buy, this is often offset primarily by their maintenance and operating costs, as you have to pay them year after year for their entire life, but you “only” have to buy the vehicle once. Plus the consumption costs are lower andthere’s the eight-year guarantee on the battery, and all the other (good) reasons to purchase an electric car.

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Important information :

^If you are selecting a Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 or ID.7 then prices shown are the MDP (Manufacturer's Direct Price).  This is the price set by Volkswagen which you pay for the vehicle.  Volkswagen ID vehicles are sold by Volkswagen UK, a trading division of Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited (please note that you will need to visit an authorised Volkswagen Retailer (acting as agent for Volkswagen UK) to order, purchase and take delivery of your Volkswagen ID vehicle).  The MDP includes delivery to an authorised Volkswagen Retailer (acting as agent for Volkswagen UK), number plates, new vehicle registration fee, the first year's Vehicle Excise Duty and VAT (calculated at 20%).  You can find out more about the Volkswagen model for selling ID vehicles by clicking https://www.volkswagen.co.uk/en/legal/mdp-explained.html.

If you are selecting any other Volkswagen vehicle (excluding the Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and ID.7) then prices listed are Manufacturer’s ‘On the road’ Recommended Retail Price. Actual prices are set by Volkswagen authorised retailers in their sole discretion – always obtain these prices from your chosen Volkswagen Retailer.  Recommended On-The-Road (OTR) retail prices include: delivery charge, number plates, new vehicle registration fee, the first year's Vehicle Excise Duty and VAT (calculated at 20%). 

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information above. Prices are taken from the Volkswagen website - this website contains a large number of products and it is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the products listed may be incorrectly priced. Volkswagen may change prices at any time (this includes where there are government changes in regulation and/or legislation). There may be a delay to any price displaying correctly on our materials and it is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some vehicles may be incorrectly priced. Always check prices with your local retailer.

For fuel consumption and CO2 information for vehicles, view values in the configurator.

Please be advised we may not be able to provide valuations for vehicles which are outside certain age or mileage ranges, specialist or customised, or not registered in the UK. The actual sale price is dependent on a number of additional factors, which you can discuss further with your retailer. T&Cs will apply.