EV car insurance: Why electric vehicles cost more to insure

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by Millie Fuller.

With the cost of fuel on the rise and a UK ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars looming, electric vehicles (EVs) are surging in popularity.

But despite their popularity, EVs are often more expensive to insure. We’ve broken down the reasons why below 👇

Lack of EV data

Because EVs haven’t been around as long as petrol and diesel cars, there is less data surrounding accidents, claims and driver behaviour to go on. This makes it harder for insurers to come up with a premium quote.

This is because no matter the fuel, the considerations made by traditional car insurance companies are the same when coming up with your premium.

They’ll look at:

  • Your driving history
  • How long you’ve had your licence
  • Your age, job, and address
  • What you’ll be using your car for and how many miles it’ll do a year

When it comes to the car, they’ll look at:

  • Its make and model
  • If it has any modifications
  • Its value
  • The likelihood of it being stolen, considering where its stored and any anti-theft devices fitted
  • The likelihood of it being damaged, how it might happen, and the cost to fix

Because there isn’t as much historical data surrounding EVs - especially when they first launched - insurers are often more cautious. This means they’ll charge higher premiums just in case.

Electric vehicles can often be more expensive to insure than petrol or diesel cars
Electric vehicles can often be more expensive to insure than petrol or diesel cars
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High costs for EV repairs

If a car is less common - like an EV, or a classic car - it usually means higher insurance premiums. This is because the parts are harder to find and more expensive to repair.

EV cars are ultra-modern and often come with premium features, too. This makes the cost that much higher when they need repairs.

In fact, according to Thatcham Research, it’s 25% more expensive to repair EVs than non-electric cars, and takes about 14% longer.

Electric car parts aren’t always easy to come by because they’re relatively new to the market. One part in particular makes up a huge chunk of the car’s cost: the battery. Unfortunately, it’s often found on the bottom of the car, making it quite easy to damage. Compared to traditional engines, just a little crash can disrupt its sensitivity.

In fact, according to Thatcham’s data, nearly 10,000 EVs cars were in crashes in 2022 which potentially damaged the battery. In 2035, they predict that this figure will increase to 260,000.

Lack of EV engineering expertise

Specialist cars also need specialist mechanics to work on them. However, there’ll be a shortage of 16,000 EV-qualified mechanics by 2032, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry.

This lack of engineering expertise adds to the battery issue mentioned above. If a door needs replacement, it’s relatively straightforward. However, if something has damaged the battery, the car might need to be written off as irreparable. Knowledge simply hasn’t reached the stage of traditional cars yet.

Furthermore, repairers need to buy specialist equipment, which costs more. This all adds to the cost of repairs.

The future of EVs looks bright with more and more making their way onto British roads
The future of EVs looks bright with more and more making their way onto British roads
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The future of EV insurance

But it’s not all doom and gloom! The cost of insuring electric cars will decrease over time as more people choose them.

It also helps that by the nature of their range and charge-times, EVs are less likely to be stolen and more likely to be found if they are.

And it’s already happening. Despite the potential downsides of being an early adopter, more people are going electric, with almost a million new cars registered in the UK in 2023 (40% higher than last year). Furthermore, global sales are set to triple to over 31 million in 2027.

With Cuvva, whether you’re insuring an electric car or a traditional petrol or diesel one, it only takes a few minutes to get a quote.

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Updated on 8th January 2024