Consumer Expert Reveals How To Save £2500 On An Electric Car
- Online searches for electric cars spiked by 1600% on the day gas shortages became a problem
- Increasing numbers of electric cars are being registered in the UK, with over 7,000 in August alone
- Consumer Expert and Co-Founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk Tom Church warns against rushing into a purchase
- He provides his top tips for saving money on buying and maintaining an electric vehicle
As the petrol crisis continues, online searches for electric vehicles are on the rise. According to Google search data, queries spiked by 1600% on 24 September, the day shortages began impacting drivers.
Many consumers are considering making the switch from petrol or diesel to electric, with buying trends reflecting the change in market demand. Data from the Department for Transport reveals that over 7,000 electric vehicles were registered in August 2021 alone.
Tom Church, Co-Founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘It’s clear that increasing numbers of drivers are being sold on the idea of going electric, and the petrol crisis has likely accelerated this pattern. However, it’s important not to rush into your purchase simply because petrol is currently hard to get hold of.
‘Now is a good time to consider which type of electric car to buy, especially as there are so many money-saving incentives. Before you make the plunge, ensure you’ve done your research about the grants and resources that are available.’
Tom shared nine tips for saving money on an electric car, from purchasing to everyday driving and maintenance.
Look into plug-in grants from the government - Those who are considering buying a brand new electric car may be eligible to receive up to £2500 off the price thanks to a grant the government provides in partnership with vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. Broken down, this grant equates to 20% of the purchase price of the vehicle, and drivers don’t need to do anything - the discount is automatically applied. There are certain conditions the vehicle must meet in order to be approved by the government. For example, the list price must be under £35,000, and the vehicle must be capable of driving for at least 70 miles on electric power only.
Use feed-in tariffs to save on vehicle charging - If you’re part of the feed-in tariff scheme on your property, you will be able to claim back money by generating your own electricity via means such as a wind turbine or solar panels. Unfortunately, new applications cannot currently be made, but those who are already saving on their electricity bill in this way will be able to reduce the costs associated with charging their electric vehicle.
Find out if you’re eligible for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme -The government may provide grant funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charging stations at domestic properties in the UK. Since July 2019, only smart charge points have been supported in this scheme, and there are minimum technical specifications which must be met.
Consider purchasing a used vehicle - According to the AA, demand for second hand electric cars is rising - and for good reason. Not only will you save money, these cars will typically only be a few years old, which means they’re often still within the manufacturers’ warranty period. Plus, supply chain disruption means it may be harder to get hold of a new EV - with a used vehicle, you’re more likely to be able to drive it away on the same day.
Look into purchasing an electric vehicle abroad - It may be cheaper to buy your electric vehicle abroad. However, if you consider bringing a vehicle from overseas, it’s important to do your research first. When picking the country, consider the number of electric vehicles it buys, as this will impact the average price. It’s also important to consider the amount of VAT you need to pay, how to transport it - as temporary number plates and insurance will need purchasing if you want to drive it home yourself - and the procedure in case of disputes or fraud in your country of purchase.
Claim mileage back through the Approved Mileage Allowance Payments scheme via workplace expenses - If you will be using your electric car to drive to work, you will be able to claim mileage back using this scheme, which is approved by HM Revenue and Customs. The rules from HMRC state that you will be able to claim back 45p per mile driven for work, up to 10,000 miles per year. You can find out more details by viewing the GOV.UK site or speaking with your employer.
Research car leases - If you can’t afford to buy a car outright, or you like the idea of switching vehicles after a few years, leasing may be the best option for you. What’s more, it’s often the cheapest way to get a new car too, as the monthly payments will typically be lower than those associated with car finance. Combined with the cheaper running costs compared with a petrol or diesel vehicle, it’s likely you’ll have plenty of cash left over by leasing an EV.
Look into free car charging points - You won’t always need to pay to charge your car in public places. If you’re away from home and need to top up your power, it’s worth researching nearby locations which won’t require you to part with any cash. A good place to start is by looking at supermarket car parks, some hotel parking areas and airports. Your electric vehicle app will have a map of nearby locations, or you can use free online resources such as the Zap Map to plan the best free places to stop on your journey.
Stop budgeting for road tax and the congestion charge - One of the money-saving perks that electric vehicle owners enjoy is the exemption from both road tax and the congestion charge in London. If you were to drive into the City each day, using an EV would save you £75 a week! Plus, you’ll potentially be saving thousands on road tax over the course of your car’s lifetime.
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