As electric vehicles (EV) become more common, you can now buy insurance from pretty much all the big-name car insurance companies. However, there are also a number of specialist insurers in the market, offering perks such as free recovery if your battery goes flat.
Here we explain how to insure your EV.
How much does electric car insurance cost in the UK?
The cost of an electric car insurance policy will depend on many factors, including your age, your occupation and where you live, as well as the specific vehicle that you’re buying cover for.
To give you an idea of what you might expect to pay, the price comparison service MoneySuperMarket says the average annual premium on an electric car last year was £613, about 2% lower than in the previous year.
However, costs varied enormously, from an average premium of £1,273 for a Tesla Model S to £398 for a Nissan Leaf Accenta.
As with petrol cars, the car's value has a major effect – the Tesla costs around £75,000, while the Nissan will set you back around £27,000.
- Find out more: the best electric cars
Are electric cars cheaper to insure than petrol or diesel cars?
Insurers weigh up various costs when pricing insurance for electric cars:
|Electric cars tend to be less powerful than petrol and diesel cars||EV parts can be harder to get hold of and more expensive, particularly batteries|
|Insurers are increasingly keen to support the shift to more sustainable ways of living with discounts for less polluting vehicles||EV repairs may require a specialist mechanic|
Ultimately, the cost of repairs mean insurers often charge more to cover an electric car, even after taking into account its reduced power and a green discount.
Insurers tend to price cover by groups of car, with higher groups costing more: and to take one example, while a petrol-powered VW Golf may fall into an insurance group as low as 7, the electric equivalent sits in group 15.
Still, over time, electric car insurance is likely to come down in cost compared to petrol and diesel cars. After all, it won’t be long before the latter become the exception.
- Find out more: get cheaper car insurance
Are electric car battery failures covered by insurance?
Given the high cost of replacing an electric car battery – typically several thousand pounds – this is an important question.
Generally speaking, your car insurance policy won’t cover you for a failure of the battery, just as it wouldn’t pay out if you need a new clutch or your brake pads wear out.
But your policy should pay out if the battery is accidentally damaged, damaged by fire, or stolen. Specialist policies for electric vehicles will certainly cover this, and a standard policy should too, though it’s worth double-checking in both cases.
A related issue to check with insurers is whether their policy covers accidental damage, fire and theft of equipment such as chargers and charging cables. Some insurers even offer additional public liability insurance, which will protect you if, for example, someone takes legal action against you after tripping over your charging cable.
Some electric car drivers choose to buy their vehicle outright, but to lease their battery from a specialist provider, which can be a cost-effective option.
If you lease a battery, you should check what insurance you’re getting as part of the lease – and tell your main insurer.
If the lease covers your battery in full, make sure your car insurer is adjusting your premiums accordingly, as this should net you a saving.
Which insurers offer insurance for electric cars?
Almost all of the big-name car insurers will cover electric cars as well as those powered by petrol or diesel. Some have launched specific policies for these vehicles; LV is one example.
In addition, there are also a number of specialist insurers that offer dedicated electric car polices. Examples include Pluginsure and Novo Insurance.
With several options, careful shopping around can pay off:
- Use more than one comparison site to get quotes.
- Also look at insurers that aren't on them, such as Direct Line an NFU Mutual.
- Pay the premium annually, rather than monthly, to avoid paying interest.
- Opt for a higher excess, though make sure you can still afford to claim.
- Provide an accurate mileage, especially if you're planning to only use your car occasionally
You can find other ways to save money on car insurance in our guide.