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Electric car insurance guide

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Electric and hybrid car drivers typically have the same car insurance options as petrol or diesel car owners regarding coverage levels. But electric vehicle (EV) drivers should look for a policy tailored to their needs that includes cover for the battery and charging cables and recovery to a charging point if the car runs out of charge.

EV insurance can be more expensive than insurance for petrol or diesel cars, with some providers not offering EV coverage at all.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about insuring your electric car.

What is electric car insurance?

Insurance for electric cars works in the same way as insurance for petrol or diesel cars. You can choose from three levels of cover: third party, third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive. If you need to make a claim, the process is the same.

Electric car insurance often costs more than standard car insurance. The main reason for this is electric cars tend to be more expensive to buy. In addition, their rapid acceleration means they’re at a higher risk of being involved in an accident, and parts can be more expensive to repair or replace. There are also additional types of cover EV drivers need, so this can push up the price too.

Third party cover

Third party insurance is the minimum level of car insurance you need to legally drive on UK roads. But as it’s insurance for third parties, it only pays out for claims made by other people, such as your passengers or the drivers of other cars that were involved in an accident. Third party insurance won’t cover damage to your car or your medical bills if you’re injured.

Third party, fire and theft cover

Third party, fire and theft insurance provides cover for third parties (other people and their vehicles) but will also cover your car if it’s stolen or damaged in a fire. It won’t, however, pay out if you’re injured or your car needs repairing after an accident.

Fully comprehensive cover

Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car in many scenarios, not just when others are at fault. This can include accidents, vandalism or damage from natural events, such as storms and floods.

Beyond accident-related damage, comprehensive insurance provides coverage if your car is stolen or damaged due to fire. Many comprehensive policies offer some form of personal injury cover, assisting with medical costs if you’re hurt in an accident. They may also provide compensation if your personal possessions inside the car are damaged or stolen.

Are there any specific add-ons with insurance for electric cars?

Electric car insurance includes (or has the option to add on) certain types of cover designed for EVs, as the following table shows.

Add-on What it covers
Out of charge recovery If your EV runs out of charge, a mechanic will come and charge your battery or get you to a working charging point.
Accidental damage protection This covers your car if it’s damaged by an electrical surge while charging.
Battery cover This covers your electric car’s battery against theft or accidental damage. 
Charging cable cover Charging cables and your home charger are covered for accidental damage, fire and theft. 
Cover for injury and damage caused by charging cables This provides cover if someone trips on your charging cable on the road or in a public place or a faulty cable causes unexpected damage.
Wallbox cover This covers the replacement of a wallbox used to charge your EV if it’s damaged due to an accident, vandalism, fire or theft. 
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Hybrid electric vehicles incorporate two energy sources: a petrol engine and an electric motor. There are two types of hybrid car: standard and plug-in.

 

Standard hybrids have batteries that are charged by the car while it’s on the move. Plug-in hybrids have bigger batteries that need to be connected to a charging point to recharge.

 

Although not as green as fully electric cars, hybrids generally consume less fuel and produce less CO2 than conventionally powered cars. Electric cars run solely on electricity and therefore produce no exhaust emissions. EVs need to be charged – they can’t rely on petrol or diesel when the battery is flat. 

 

In general, insurance for a hybrid car is cheaper than it is for an electric car but still more expensive than it is for a petrol or diesel car. This is because the cost of replacement parts is likely to be higher.

 

When you apply for car insurance quotes and input your car’s registration number, the price comparison site or insurer will look up the make, model and fuel type of your car, then generate relevant quotes.

How much is electric car insurance?

According to NimbleFins, the average cost of EV car insurance is about £654 per year for the most popular electric car models in the UK. But researchers found premiums are highly variable from one car to the next, with quotes ranging from £400 to more than £1,000 per year.

But in some cases, electric car insurance can cost much more. According to some reports, electric car drivers are facing “soaring” insurance costs, with some drivers paying more than double the premiums for diesel and petrol cars. One news article quoted a Tesla Model Y driver who found their annual insurance had gone up from £1,200 to more than £5,000.

Meanwhile, the Confused.com car insurance price index found that car insurance cost an average of £924 in Q3 2023, up from £586 in Q3 2022. Analysis of the figures found that EV drivers saw a 72 per cent increase in premiums, compared to just 29 per cent for petrol/diesel cars.

Electric cars can be more expensive to insure because:

  • EVs tend to have higher list prices than petrol or diesel cars
  • EVs have higher repair costs
  • Cover for batteries and charging cables pushes up premiums
  • Claims for EVs are statistically higher value
  • EVs have software and technology that’s expensive to repair/replace
  • A lack of skilled technicians pushes up claims costs
  • There’s a lack of historical claims data on which to base premiums

Are there ways to reduce electric insurance premiums?

Much of the advice about ways to reduce standard car insurance premiums also applies to electric car drivers.

Here are some ways to cut the cost of cover:

  • Choose an electric car in a low insurance group
  • Pay your annual premium up front (don’t pay monthly)
  • Buy your car insurance 15 to 29 days before your renewal date
  • Don’t accept the auto-renewal quote from your existing provider without shopping around
  • Build a no-claims discount by not claiming unless it’s absolutely necessary
  • Drive carefully to avoid motoring convictions
  • Consider adding a named driver to your policy (especially if you’re a young driver and the named driver is older)
  • Be selective with your optional extras
  • Consider black box insurance if you’re a young or inexperienced driver
  • Shop around for cover using price comparison and cashback websites

Do all providers offer insurance for electric cars?

Most mainstream insurance companies offer electric car insurance, but this situation is constantly changing.

If you want to insure a Tesla, the Tesla UK website directs drivers to Direct Line. It offers three levels of Tesla insurance: third party fire and theft, comprehensive and comprehensive plus. All cover levels include Direct Line’s EV bundle, which offers discounts on home and public charging and parking.

Direct Line is not on price comparison sites.

Adrian Flux – a broker – is also not on price comparison sites. It covers all electric cars on the market.

For most electric car drivers, using our price comparison tool powered by Moneysupermarket.com is the best way to find which providers will insure their vehicle at a decent price.

Why buy an electric car?

Pros

Overall cost: EV drivers save money on fuel, road tax and congestion charges, making electric cars cheaper in the long run Free parking: free parking is available for EVs in some towns and cities Cheaper vehicle excise duty (VED): there’s currently no VED on EVs. But VED will be charged on EVs from 2025, with the first year costing just £10 Environmental factor: EVs are greener and more energy efficient than petrol or diesel cars Convenience: electric car parking spaces allow you to charge your car while it’s parked (i.e. at the supermarket). With a petrol or diesel car, you have to stop at a petrol station to fill up Performance: once viewed as slow and sluggish, electric cars now offer impressive torque and acceleration The future: you won’t be able to buy a new petrol or diesel car after 2035

Cons

Upfront cost: electric cars are more expensive to buy than petrol/diesel cars, and you’ll have to pay even more if you want a charging point at home Range anxiety: EVs only go so far until they need charging. Even rapid chargers take longer to charge than filling up with petrol Disjointed charging system: there are more than 30 different EV charging providers in the UK, with most requiring a different app, login or subscription More costly to insure: claims costs are higher due to expensive parts and technology and a lack of skilled technicians Car tax is due to go up: after 2025, from the second year of registration, EV drivers will pay the standard VED rate (currently £180), and the Expensive Car Supplement exemption will end

Electric car insurance FAQs

Young drivers generally pay more for any kind of car insurance. Expensive, high-performance EVs will be expensive for a young driver to insure. But smaller, less powerful electric cars will be cheaper.

Insurers are still analysing EVs’ risks and costs. Experts predict that electric car premiums will begin to level out and match those of petrol and diesel cars once insurers better understand the risks of insuring this type of vehicle.

As with petrol and diesel cars, the compulsory excess on an electric car policy is set by the insurer. The voluntary excess is set by the policyholder – upping it can result in lower premiums.

emma lunn

Emma Lunn

Money Writer

Emma Lunn is a multi-award winning journalist who specialises in personal finance and consumer issues. 

With more than 18 years’ experience in personal finance, Emma has covered topics including mortgages, first-time buyers, leasehold, banking, debt, budgeting, broadband, energy, pensions and investments. 

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As a freelancer she has also completed various in-house contracts at The Guardian, The Independent, Mortgage Solutions, Orange, and Moneywise. She also writes regularly for specialist magazines and websites such as Property Hub, Mortgage Strategy and YourMoney.com. 

She has a real passion for helping people learn about money – especially when many people are struggling to get by in today’s challenging economic climate – and prides herself on simplifying complex subjects.

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After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

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