Is it time? Are you ready to change to an electric car?

In our recent article What really is the best way to buy a new car?  we explored different ways of financing a car, whether you are buying new or second hand.

But of course another big issue related to changing your car is whether to go for an electric car. 

One of the main aims of the UN Climate Change Conference – COP 26 – in Glasgow in November is to agree on measures to work towards global net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As part of this, the UK will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and of new hybrid cars from 2035. 

So, at some stage, you will definitely need to change over to an electric car. In this article we look at the advantages and disadvantages of doing that sooner rather than later. 


Good reasons to buy an electric car now

  • Much depends on how often you plan to change your car. But given that it’s only 9 years until sales of petrol and diesel cars are banned in the UK, it could make sense to make the move now rather than wait until nearer the time. Many motor industry experts also believe that sales of electric cars will rapidly overtake petrol and diesel cars before 2030, with some car manufacturers planning to sell only electric cars from 2025.
  • Electric cars do not have a clutch so many people find them easier to drive. They also have the advantage of being able to be driven by drivers with an automatic-only licence.
  • Electric cars are cheaper to run because there are no fuel costs to pay. You can get a £350 government grant from the Office of Zero Emissions Vehicles towards the cost of installing a home charging station. Depending on the make of your car and the size of its battery, you can expect to pay between £5-10 for a full charge, which could then give you up to 100-300 miles range.
  • You do not have to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) on an electric car.
  • Electric cars can often be cheaper to service, as there are fewer mechanical parts to go wrong. However, there are some exceptions to this which we will explore below.


Good reasons to delay buying an electric car

  • Electric cars are still evolving and most are currently more expensive than petrol or diesel equivalents. This is expected to change as more new models are continually being rolled out. But it’s definitely a factor to bear in mind at the moment.
  • It can also be more expensive to insure an electric car than a petrol or diesel one. Again, this will change, but because of their newness and lack of long term data, many insurers are currently charging higher premiums for electric cars.
  • You need to charge an electric car more regularly than you would need to fill up with fuel, so need to build this into your regular routine. We have already mentioned installing a charging point at home, but if you are not able to do this, you need to work out which public charging point(s) you are going to use, and these can be expensive. 
  • Similarly, for a longer journey you need to plan ahead to ensure that there will be charging points for you to top up your battery throughout the journey, and allow time to do this. Bear in mind that it can take around 8 hours to fully charge an electric car from empty to full. A top up charge of around 100 miles will take around 35 minutes using a 50kW rapid charger.
  • We referred earlier to electric cars generally being cheaper to service. However, brakes on electric cars can wear out more quickly than petrol or diesel cars, and some electric cars also have bespoke tyres. Both these components can be expensive to replace, so the cost needs to be factored into your overall buying decision. 


The hybrid car option

So there are both advantages and disadvantages to buying an electric car now. The decision will be influenced largely by your current financial and travel circumstances, and also whether you have the option of installing a charging unit at home.

Another useful option to consider could be a hybrid car i.e. a car that uses both fuel and an electric battery. This could be a useful first step on your journey towards a full electric car. There are many hybrid versions of popular family cars on the market, with lower emissions and better fuel economy than the petrol and diesel versions. 

If considering a hybrid car there are three main options:

  • Full hybrid

A full hybrid car uses the fuel engine and electric motor at the same time to drive the car. The fuel engine charges the electric battery as the car is driven. The battery provides extra power to the engine, and can also enable the car to run in electric-only mode for short distances.

  • Plug-in hybrid

A plug-in hybrid is similar to a full hybrid, but can also be plugged in to charge its batteries. Because of this – and the fact that the batteries are larger than a full hybrid – a plug-in hybrid is able to operate in electric-only mode over a much larger range than a full hybrid.

  • Mild hybrid

A mild hybrid car uses the fuel engine and electric motor at the same time to drive the car. But the electric motor cannot operate independently so a mild hybrid is not able to run in electric-only mode. Its purpose is solely to increase the efficiency and economy of the fuel engine.


We hope that the above information helps you to think through what kind of car is best for your current circumstances, and explains some of the practical things you need to know. 

If you need additional short term funding at any stage of your car purchase, remember that Munzee offers 24 month loans that may be able to help.

Check back in with us soon here at Munzee Loans.