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How much does it cost to run an electric car?

How much do electric cars cost to run? EV running costs explained

Beyond electric vehicles’ eco-friendly appeal, one of the most enticing aspects of EVs is their potential to reduce costs when compared to traditional petrol and diesel powered cars.

However, many potential buyers are still unsure about the overall running costs of an electric vehicle compared to a petrol or diesel car.

In this blog, we’ll break down all the expenses of driving an electric car and answer the question – How much does it cost to run an electric car? 

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Electric car charging costs

The cost of charging an electric car depends on several factors, such as the size of the car’s battery, the electricity tariff, and the charging method used. We will discuss how much it costs to charge your electric vehicle using various methods and explore the different electricity tariffs available to reduce the costs of charging at home.


Cost of charging an EV in public

The cost of charging an electric vehicle (EV) on public charging networks can fluctuate significantly, and these prices are rising because of the ongoing challenges in the energy market.

In July 2023, the weighted mean cost for charging an electric vehicle at public charging stations stood at 51 pence per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for slow/fast chargers and 76 pence per kWh for rapid/ultra-rapid chargers. This translates to approximately 14 pence per mile and 21 pence per mile.

Some networks also offer subscription plans, such as BP Pulse, where you pay a monthly fee in exchange for discounted charging rates. These options provide flexibility, especially when you’re on long journeys and need to charge your electric car on the go.

However, some public chargers may offer free charging. You can use tools such as Zap-Map to find these.


Cost of charging an electric car at home

Charging an electric car at home is generally cheaper than using public charge points.

Many electric vehicle (EV) owners primarily charge their vehicles at home, benefiting from the current energy price cap of approximately 30 pence per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which will drop to 27.35p kWh on 1 October 2023.

To demonstrate how much money you can save by charging your vehicle at home, charging a VW e-up! fully at 30p per kilowatt-hour would provide enough power for about 151 miles. This translates to roughly 7.4p per mile and a total cost of £11. In comparison, driving the same distance in an average petrol or diesel car would cost around £22.70, resulting in a substantial saving of £11.60 when using the e-up!

Moreover, installing solar panels or choosing a specific EV energy tariff can help lower the costs of charging an electric vehicle at home.

For home charging, it’s recommended to use a dedicated 7kW home chargepoint, which typically costs around £1000, but there are £350 grants available for some EV owners. If you are looking to get a home chargepoint installed, view our range of market-leading chargers.


Cost of charging an EV at work

If your employer provides workplace charging for electric vehicles, it can be a convenient option. However, it’s important to be aware that there may be associated costs. While some companies offer free charging as a workplace benefit, others have implemented various pricing structures.

The expenses you incur can fluctuate significantly, depending on factors such as your employer’s policies, the type of charging equipment available, and your usage patterns. Some businesses may charge a flat fee per hour of charging, while others may bill you based on the amount of electricity consumed. Additionally, membership fees might be involved if your workplace is part of a more extensive charging network.

The cost of workplace charging varies but is typically comparable to public charging unless your employer offers it for free.


Electricity tariff 

The electricity tariff you are on significantly determines the cost of running an electric car. Many energy suppliers now offer dedicated EV tariffs, which allow you to charge your vehicle at very low rates.

Octopus Energy offers the Intelligent tariff that allows you to charge at an off-peak rate of 7.5p per kWh. However, you need a compatible EV or an Ohme charger to take advantage of this tariff.

British Gas also offers the Electric Driver Tariff, which enables you to charge at 9.4p per kWh between 12 am-5 am. This tariff works with all charge points and electric vehicles, unlike Octopus Energy.

Many EV tariffs are now available, so shop around using a comparison tool and find the cheapest electricity prices.

What is the running cost of an electric car

Additional expenses of owning an electric car

Insurance costs

Electric cars typically have slightly higher insurance costs than diesel or petrol cars because of their high upfront cost and the expensive nature of repairing or replacing their unique technology, such as lithium-ion car batteries.

According to NimbleFins, the average cost of EV car insurance is around £654. However, insurance premiums vary significantly between cars, with quotes ranging from approximately £400 to well over £1,000 per year.

Nevertheless, as electric cars gain popularity, insurance expertise and options are growing, reducing electric car insurance costs.


Maintenance costs

Electric cars have fewer moving parts, don’t need oil changes, and have regenerative braking, which can reduce wear and tear. As a result, electric vehicles require less regular maintenance. This can lead to cost savings throughout the vehicle’s lifespan, compared to petrol and diesel vehicles.


Electric car tax costs (BIK, road tax)

In 2023, electric cars in the UK are not required to pay road tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) and are not subject to the expensive car supplement tax. Read our blog if you would like to find out more about this.

Benefit in Kind (BIK) taxation on a company car is lower for electric cars than hybrid cars, and the cost saving is even more significant when compared to regular petrol and diesel cars. In the next two financial years, 2023/2024 and 2024/2025, electric car tax rates are only 2%. But it will gradually increase by 1% each year, and by the 2027/2028 financial year, it will be 5%.

Electric car driving down the street

Government grants and schemes

Grants for charging infrastructure

In 2023, certain electric vehicle drivers who meet specific requirements can get a government grant that reduces the cost of getting a home electric vehicle charger by £350.

If you rent any residential property or own a flat, you can claim £350 towards installing a home charger. (You also need off-street parking and must own an eligible electric or hybrid vehicle).

If you run a business from your home and it’s officially registered there (as shown on your incorporation or VAT certificate), you can claim £350 towards getting a home charge point. You’ll also need designated off-street parking and an eligible electric or hybrid vehicle.


Grants for electric cars

The Plug-in Grant used to offer a reduction on the cost of new low-emission cars. However, starting June 2022, the Plug-In car grant doesn’t cover electric vehicles but still offers a discount on low-emission vans, motorcycles, and other eligible vehicles.

Woman and man charging an electric car

Are electric cars cheaper to run than petrol or diesel?

Charging an electric vehicle (EV) will increase your energy bill considerably. However, your potential savings will be significantly greater since you won’t be buying petrol or diesel, which is generally more expensive than charging at home or using public charging points.

Electric cars typically have fewer maintenance costs, and currently, EV drivers pay less tax than those with a petrol or diesel vehicle, which can further reduce costs.

Although insurance may be slightly higher for electric cars than petrol and diesel vehicles, the difference isn’t substantial, and prices will likely fall in the upcoming years.

As such, electric car running costs are likely to be cheaper than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

Tesla on road

Other cost-saving benefits of an electric car

Free parking

Many local councils provide free parking for electric vehicles (EVs) in council-owned car parks and on-street parking. This could result in significant cost savings over time. For example, Sheffield City Council offer a Green parking permit that allows free city centre parking for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) that meet specified criteria.


No congestion charge

In London, electric vehicles currently enjoy an exemption from the Congestion Charge. If you would like more information, read our blog.


Exemption from the Ultra Low Emission Zone

If you drive an electric vehicle in London, you are also exempt from the Ultra Low Emission Zone charges. This means that every time you drive within the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), you will save the daily fee of £12.50.

Sign for ultra low emission zone and congestion charging zone


In conclusion, when considering the overall cost of running an electric vehicle compared to a traditional petrol or diesel car, several key factors come into play:

  • Charging Costs: The cost to charge your car depends on various factors, including your vehicle’s battery size, electricity tariff, and charging method. Charging at home is typically more cost-effective than using public charging networks, especially when utilising an EV-specific electricity tariff, which can reduce your electricity cost.
  • Additional Expenses: Electric cars may have slightly higher insurance premiums because of their initial cost and unique technology. However, as these vehicles become more common, insurance costs are expected to decrease. Moreover, electric cars require less maintenance, resulting in long-term cost savings.
  • Tax Benefits: In the UK, electric cars are currently exempt from road tax and the expensive car supplement. Company car tax (Benefit In Kind) is also lower for electric vehicles, providing financial advantages for their owners until at least 2025.
  • Government Grants: Various government grants and schemes are available to reduce the cost of electric car ownership, including grants for installing a home EV charging point.
  • Cost-Saving Benefits: Electric car owners may benefit from free parking in some areas and exemptions from congestion and Ultra Low Emission Zone charges in certain cities, such as London. These perks can contribute to long-term cost savings.


In summary, while there may be initial costs associated with buying an electric car and charging infrastructure, the long-term savings in charging, maintenance, and potential tax benefits make electric vehicles a cost-effective and environmentally friendly choice for many consumers.

Installing a dedicated EV charger at your home is a great way to reduce the cost of running an EV. With engineers nationwide, we can install home electric vehicle chargers across the UK in as little as ten working days.

For more information about installing an EV charger at your home, please call us at 03333 44 96 99 or fill in the contact form below. Our lines are open seven days a week, including bank holidays. View our range of market-leading EV chargers here. 

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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.

Spread over a 60 month period.

Tenants and homeowners are eligible for finance.

You decide the amount of months.

Minimum of £1000.

We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 13.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.

Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.

Underground cable

We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.

Overhead cable

We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.

Standard Installation
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

A Surge Protection Device is not included in our standard installation. 

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.