Are electric cars still expensive?

Can I afford an electric car? 

When electric cars first launched they were pricey. There were only a few on the market so those limited numbers and expensive batteries kept the cost up. But that’s all changing. Batteries are far cheaper and as more electric cars come on the market it’s driving the price down.

You’ve probably noticed more car manufacturers getting in on the electric car act. And along with early electric car pioneers like Tesla launching more affordable drives, it means more variety and the chance for you to find something that suits your budget.  

The tech is getting better all the time and prices are gradually dropping. But new electric cars aren’t quite as cheap to buy as their petrol or diesel equivalents.  

What’s the price difference? 

Basic entry-level electric cars are usually pricier than similar petrol or diesel models. For example, a Volkswagen Up! petrol is £13,660, but the electric Volkswagen e-Up! is £23,555.

Once you get to the premium end, things level out a bit. For example, a Tesla Model 3 (electric) starts at £40,990 compared to a BMW 320i M Sport (petrol) starting at £39,625.

You can compare the prices of new and second-hand electric cars on the Electric Vehicle Database

Will I save cash in other ways?  

There’s more than just the price-tag to consider, though. 

  • You won’t pay any car tax on an electric car
  • Maintenance costs are lower 
  • Some car dealers offer cheaper servicing for electric cars
  • You’ll save money on fuel
  • You can easily save over £1,000 a year on running costs (and even more if you pay congestion charges in areas like Central London).  

And if you want to save even more money, second-hand electric cars are a good bet. As with petrol or diesel cars, you can sometimes pick up a year-old car for a third less than it cost new.