Why electric and hybrid cars are more expensive to insure

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Electric car policies
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Electric cars and hybrid cars can help you cut emissions but are often more expensive to insure.

There are ways to make your policy cheaper though - here's what you need to know!

Electric cars are usually more expensive to insure - but you can get a discount

Electric cars are more expensive to insure than petrol or diesel cars because they use new technology that is expensive to repair or replace.

They are powered by a lithium ion battery which could cost anywhere between £6,000 and £30,000 to replace depending on the make and model of the car.

Electric cars also have to be serviced or repaired by specialist mechanics, which also makes insurance more expensive.

Some insurers offer discounted policies for electric cars because they're safer to drive than petrol or diesel-powered cars.

Electric car drivers are generally less likely to get into an accident and make a claim (judging from all the claims data insurance companies have), so insurers will also think about this when working out your price.

Some insurers don't cover electric cars. So if you want to buy one and already have an existing policy, speak to your insurer to check if you can transfer the insurance to an electric car.

If they don't offer cover for an electric car you'll need to cancel your insurance policy and find a new policy that does.

Electric cars, just like standard cars, need to be insured at all times because of motoring laws called Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE).

The only exception is if the car is declared "off the road" with a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN).

So it's really important that you have a valid policy for your electric or hybrid car. Otherwise you'd be breaking the law. 🚫

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Hybrid cars can cost more money to insure than standard cars

Hybrid cars are more expensive to insure than petrol or diesel cars because they cost more to repair.

There are 2 types of hybrid car:

Plug-in hybrid

Plug-in hybrids mainly use electricity to run. But they also have a fuel engine so you can switch to petrol or diesel.

They have to be recharged if the battery runs out and you want to drive emissions free.

Hybrid-electric

Hybrid-electric cars are powered by a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. They also have a small battery pack which is recharged when a car slows down.

Unlike purely electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids, they don't need to be plugged in to recharge.

Hybrid cars need a specialist mechanic to carry out repairs and that tends to make car policies more expensive too.

Sometimes, insurance for hybrid cars is slightly cheaper than policies for pure electric vehicles.

This is because hybrids are more popular, so insurance companies have more data about how risky they are to insure.

As with electric vehicles, hybrid car drivers are less likely to get into an accident and make fewer claims than drivers with petrol or diesel cars.

Getting cheaper insurance for electric and hybrid cars

There are ways to make a policy cheaper if you have an electric or hybrid car:

Choosing a car from a lower insurance group

Every car in the UK is added to one of 50 insurance groups.

Insurance companies use these insurance groups to work out the price of your car policy.

Usually, the higher your car insurance group, the more you'll pay for insurance.

Electric and hybrid cars tend to go in higher insurance groups. But some electric cars will be in lower insurance groups than others.

Our insurance group checker shows you which group a car falls into. Just type in its registration number.

Reduce your annual mileage

Car policies tend to be more expensive if your annual mileage is high.

This is because car insurance is all about risk, and you're more likely to get into an accident when you drive a lot.

Using your car less reduces the chance of you getting into an accident, and it could help make your insurance cheaper.

Make your car more secure

Some car modifications like alarms, immobilisers and dash cams can make your car safer and reduce the risk of you making a claim.

If your insurer covers modified cars, they might give you a lower price for having extra safety features added to your car.

Some insurers offer specialist policies for electric and hybrid cars, too, which may work out cheaper than a standard policy.

Electric car running costs tend to be cheaper than diesel and petrol cars

Although electric and hybrid cars tend to be more expensive to insure, the overall running costs may work out cheaper than petrol and diesel cars.

On average, electric vehicles cost 2p-3p per mile to run compared to 16p per mile for petrol or diesel cars.

Since April 2020, car tax for new electric vehicles has been scrapped.

Hybrid cars under £40,000 get a £10 car tax discount in the first year and pay £140 in the following years.

If your hybrid costs more than £40,000 you'll have to pay £140 plus an additional £325 each year.

The government offers grants of up to £3,000 to help you buy a new electric car, and another £350 to install a charger in your home too.

Some towns and cities offer free parking for electric cars. There's also no congestion charge fee for electric cars and some plug-in hybrids driving in London.

Running costs
Electric cars tend to have cheaper running costs than diesel and petrol cars.

Diesel cars are usually more expensive to insure than petrol cars

Diesel cars have bigger engines that cost more to repair than petrol engines, and that can make them more expensive to insure.

But insurers look at lots of other things when working out your car insurance bill too.

Diesel cars tend to have higher running costs than petrol cars

Diesel cars are usually pricier to buy than petrol cars. It usually costs more to fill up a diesel tank too.

For example, it costs £65.14 to fill up a 57 litre petrol car compared to £67.01 for a diesel model.

From April 2020, car tax for diesel cars increased to the same rate of tax as petrol cars.

Now drivers with diesel cars costing less than £40,000 will have to pay £140 each year after the second year of ownership.

Diesel cars worth more than £40,000 have to pay an additional £325 each year as well.

Some areas in the UK have introduced extra charges for diesel cars too.

Cars in London have to meet emissions standards known as "Euro 4" or pay a £12.50 charge as part of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone.

Most petrol cars meet this standard but very few diesel motors do.

Some local authorities, such as Islington, have also introduced extra charges of £3 per hour for diesel cars paying for short-stay parking.

Updated on 5th May 2020