The Costs of Running an Electric Car in 2024

In this guide

One of the main selling points of electric cars, in addition to being more eco-friendly, is that they’re usually cheaper to run than traditionally fueled cars and make good investments. As they don’t require expensive fuel, have different road tax regulations, and differ in insurance, there are plenty of opportunities to save. Studies show that it costs around £33.50 per week to run an electric car in 2023. 

Here’s a deeper dive into an electric car’s different running costs to see how much an average user should expect to pay. 

Fuel Costs 

The main running cost that people will be concerned about when getting an electric vehicle is the amount you must pay for charging. Throughout typical electric vehicle ownership, which usually lasts around five years, you should see a considerable saving in the amount you pay for fueling/charging. This is because electricity is cheaper than petrol or diesel. 

The specific amount you need to pay for charging will depend on the vehicle you choose and the car’s battery size. A larger battery will cost more to charge to full, just like how a larger fuel tank would cost more. 

The amount you pay for each charge also depends on where you charge your vehicle. When charging at home through an adapter, you will likely pay less than at public charge points. 

The average electricity price in the UK sat at around 30p per kWh in 2023. If your electric vehicle can travel an average of 3.5 miles per kWh, it’ll cost you around £8.50 to travel 100 miles. Petrol cars can cost nearly double this for the same distance. 

Of course, be wary of public charging stations, as these prices can fluctuate around the country. Rapid chargers are the most expensive because they’re convenient and can charge most of your battery within 40 minutes. These can cost up to £10 for 30 minutes. 

On average, it can cost you between £40 – £60 to recharge an empty battery to full with public chargers. This can make it pretty expensive, so to keep costs down, prioritise charging at home. 

Tax Costs 

Currently, fully electric vehicles do not have to pay road tax. This means that drivers of EVs can save around £165 a year. However, this perk isn’t permanent, and if you plan on getting an electric vehicle within the next few years, you won’t be able to benefit from this tax exemption for long. 

This is because, from 2025, all-electric vehicles will have to pay road tax, and owners will have to fork out the same amount as diesel and petrol cars. You can still make tax savings if you use an electric vehicle as a company car, as the terms are still favourable, but it’s also reasonably complex. 

The good news is that if you live near a metropolitan area with a low emission zone, like London, Birmingham, Bristol, or Oxford, to name a few, you’ll be able to save money when driving an eclectic car. This is because you won’t have to pay any fees when entering these low-emission zones, as your vehicle won’t produce any emissions. 

If you had to go into these areas regularly, such as getting into the city centre for work and had to pay a fee each time, You could easily be forced to spend around £3,000 a year. Having an electric or compliant car can seriously save you money.  

Maintenance Costs 

Electric vehicles have fewer parts. This means there’s less to maintain and reduces the likelihood that the car will have issues. There are no cambelts that need to be changed, no exhausts to replace, and you won’t need to get your oil topped up either. These factors mean that EVs are usually cheaper to maintain and look after. 

As well as that, electric vehicles have a much better pass rate when it comes to an MOT, meaning that you’re less likely to need repeat tests, helping you to save money. In fact, research from EDF shows that an electric car is at least 30% cheaper to maintain than traditional cars.

The issue is that if your car has a problem, it will likely be costly. Battery issues are some of the most common maintenance problems electric vehicles face and are naturally the most important. Replacing or repairing this component is often the most expensive and can set you back £1,500. That said, as long as you look after your battery and don’t let it run flat, you should avoid this costly maintenance problem. 

Insurance Costs 

Although you can save money in various aspects of EV ownership, one area that’s usually more expensive than its traditionally fueled counterparts is insurance. On average, an electric vehicle will cost an owner more to insure, and there can be many reasons why this is the case. 

The primary consideration is that EVs are pretty quick and accelerate well, thanks to how motor power is deployed in the vehicle. This makes them a little less safe in the eyes of insurance providers, leading to you needing to pay more as a result. 

As well as that, EVs usually cost more when you first buy them. Due to their enhanced value, the cost to replace an electric vehicle if it’s ever written off is higher, which is why premiums will cost more. 

Of course, the amount you pay for your insurance will depend on the specific model you buy. For example, a top-of-the-range Tesla will cost more to insure than a cheaper, lower-power Nissan. 


Electric vehicles are usually slightly cheaper to run than traditional cars, saving owners money each year they own one. This offsets the typically larger initial cost to buy one, making them a good investment as long as you own one for a number of years. 

With new petrol and diesel cars being outlawed in the coming years, more and more people will turn to EVs to help them get from A to B, so learning more about the average running costs is helpful so that they know what to expect.

Alexander Thomas
Alexander Thomas
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