Making EV easy: What to look for when buying an electric car

Making EV easy: What to look for when buying an electric car

In 2030, the sale of petrol and diesel cars comes to an end. In the years to come between now and then, more people will choose to buy an electric car instead of a petrol or diesel car.

In fact, a survey from the ONS found that over half of younger drivers are likely to switch to an electric car in the next 10 years.

We continue our series of “Making EV easy” blogs with some tips on what to look for when buying an electric car.

The top things to look for when buying an electric vehicle (EV)

Our EV experts at Nathaniel Cars have shared their thoughts on what you need to know before buying a new electric car. Here’s an extension of that blog, which looks at the top things you should look for when buying an EV.

Running costs and budget for your electric car

Your number one consideration is probably going to be budget.

While the initial cost of an electric car may be slightly more than a petrol or diesel car, you’ll make savings straight away when it comes to fuel.

You can work out the fuel savings based on your own usage in our handy fuel-cost comparison calculator at the bottom of this blog.

There are also some UK government grants to encourage the sales of zero-emission electric cars, including:

Other reasons why owning an electric car is likely to cost less, include:

Insurance policies for electric cars

When calculating your budget, it’s worth considering the insurance costs for your electric car.

Insuring an electric car is as easy as insuring a petrol or diesel car, since most major insurers will cover electric cars.

It’s worth noting that electric car insurance can cost more than conventional insurance. This is because they need specialist parts and servicing.

There are specialist electric car insurance companies that offer tailored policies for low-emission vehicles. Your best option is to look at insurance comparison sites and get as many quotes as you can from different providers.

How will you use your electric car?

Finding the electric car that best suits your needs means that you’ll have to think about how you’re going to use it.

Will this be an urban run-around that you use for short trips in and around town?

Will you be using it for longer journeys?

Or perhaps it’s for business use, which might mean a short commute or regular business trips.

You’ll also need to consider the size of the vehicle, is it for your whole family?

As with any car, your decision should be based on the vehicle’s personal or business use. If you speak to an EV expert, like the team at Nathaniel Cars, they’ll can advise you on the electric car that suits your needs.

How far will you drive your electric car?

One of the things you’ll need to think about when choosing an electric car, is how far you will be driving it.

You may have heard the phrase “range anxiety” in relation to EVs. This is the concern some people had about an EV not completing longer journeys.

Thankfully, range anxiety is mostly a thing of the past.

How far you drive needs to be a consideration, but if you tend to make longer journeys, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider buying an electric car.

How far an electric car can drive will depend on:

  • the size of the battery
  • the age of the car
  • the speed you drive

The average distance an electric car can go on a single charge is 193 miles. However, there are EVs that can go up to 300 or 400 miles on a single charge.

You’ll need to look at the driving range of an electric car before you buy it. But if you tend to make longer journeys, then you’ll still be able to find an EV that meets your needs.

Find out more about how far you can drive an electric car.

Different types of electric car

There are different types of electric car.

A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is a car with an electric motor that’s powered by batteries. It doesn’t have a tailpipe, so it produces zero emissions.

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has an electric motor that’s powered by batteries and an engine that’s powered by petrol or diesel. These are commonly known as hybrid vehicles.

Deciding which is right for you will mean taking everything into account and speaking to an EV expert. They can tell you which type of electric car might be best for you.


Charging your electric car

Knowing how to charge an electric car is vital. But it’s also important to know some other things about charging electric cars.

You can charge an electric car at home, work or a public charge point.

When charging at home, there are two types of charging unit, a tethered unit (with a charging cable permanently attached) or an untethered unit (without a cable). But you’ll need to find out if your property is eligible to have a home charger.

It’s also worth finding out if your place of work has any charging points. This could prove useful for your daily commute.

For longer journeys, you can find public charging points at service stations, car parks, supermarkets, cinemas and sometimes just at the side of the road. Apps like Zap Map and WattsUp can show where your nearest charging points are.

Find out how long it takes to charge any electric car that you might consider buying. This will depend on the size of the battery, the speed of the charging point and just how depleted the battery is.

On average, it can take as little as 30 minutes to charge an electric car.

As ever, if you have any questions about charging an electric car, it’s best to speak to the experts.

Leasing an electric car

While some people might consider buying an electric car outright, for others, leasing an electric car might be a better option.

Not only will this give them the opportunity to see if driving an electric car is right for them, but it also comes with other benefits, including:

  • fixed monthly payments
  • no worries about depreciation
  • the flexibility to switch to a new car at the end of the contract
  • the choice of new electric cars is likely to increase by the end of your contract
  • fuel savings
  • service and maintenance included with some packages

It’s worth remembering that you may incur penalties if you exceed the agreed number of miles you travel per year. You’ll also need to return the car at the end of the lease, along with any additional payments.

What to do next if you want to buy an electric car

Now that you know what to look for, if you’re wondering what the best electric cars are to buy, our EV experts are here to help.

Find out more about our fantastic range of electric vehicles by filling in the “Ask our EV Experts” form. Or come and see for yourself at our Cardiff and Bridgend showrooms.

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