Getting an Electric Car: What are Your Options?

Getting an electric car

There has never been a better time than the present to take the plunge if you are thinking about getting an electric car.

With recent fuel price increases leading more and more drivers towards making the switch, along with recent laws passed to ban the manufacture of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2020, it’s no surprise that electric is becoming increasingly popular.

If you haven’t had the chance to drive an electric car before, then it can take a little bit of getting used to the differences – and there are probably quite a few questions that you have before you decide if it is the right option for you.

Switching to an electric car not only involves making the right choice of make and model for your lifestyle, but you will also need to think about factors such as:

  • Battery range
  • Charge times
  • Maintainance costs

Read on to find out more about how to get an electric car, and what you should think about before you make the final decision. 

Choosing the Right Electric Car for You

Whether you plan to buy or lease an electric car, one of the main things to think about is the same as when you are getting any new car – what’s the right one for you?

Now more makes and models are available offering electric and hybrid vehicles, giving you plenty of choices when it comes to picking a car that meets your needs and fits in well with your lifestyle.

Many well-known car brands like Volkswagen, Fiat, and even BMW and Audi are now offering electric models to choose from, along with those from electric-only brands like Tesla. 

How Much Will You Pay to Buy an Electric Car?

How much you will spend on buying an electric car will vary depending on the type that you go for.

Smaller options like the Smart EQ ForTwo come in as some of the cheapest, setting you back around £17k.

On the other hand, if you opt for a more premium electric car like the Porsche Taycan, you can expect to pay around £140k to buy.

As long as the electric car you are buying is no more than £35k, it will be eligible for the plug-in grant which allows you to save up to £2500 on getting a new electric car. 

Leasing vs Buying an Electric Car

Since it is certainly not cheap to buy an electric car outright, and they are expected to be improved a lot over time, forking out a large sum of money for your new wheels might not be an appealing idea right now.

This is why leasing is an ideal alternative that more and more people are opting for.

Leasing an electric car is a great way to drive a brand-new EV without paying thousands of pounds upfront.

There is usually a deposit that you will need to pay along with monthly payments for the lease. 

You can find a cost guide to leasing an electric car here.

Overall, leasing makes it easier to budget for your electric car and gives you access to a wider variety of cars to choose from, since you may be able to allow for more in your monthly payment budget compared to what you could pay upfront or get on finance.

Most lease deals last for around three to four years at a time.

Once the lease is up, you will have the option to either pay a nominal amount to purchase and keep the car or continue the lease by switching it for a new one – an option that you might like if you are the type of person who enjoys changing cars a lot. 

Buying Used and Second-Hand Electric Cars

The second-hand market for electric and hybrid cars is not anywhere as big as that for traditional combustion engine cars at the moment, simply due to the fact that they haven’t been around long enough for this to grow.

However, as electric cars become more popular, there are growing opportunities for drivers to get their hands on nearly new, used, and second-hand options.

Sales of used electric vehicles are continuing to rise as more and more drivers choose electric for the second or third time and list their previous vehicles for sale. 

High-spec electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf can be purchased for around £10k on the second-hand market, which is ideal for drivers who are on a budget but want to purchase an EV outright rather than leasing.

You can also find second-hand leasing deals to save money on the monthly cost.

However, just like with buying a second-hand combustion engine car, it’s worth checking out the car carefully before purchase to ensure that you’re not going to be spending your money on a vehicle with hidden issues. 

Preparing for the Cost of Running an Electric Car

Regardless of whether you are going to buy new, second hand, buy outright or lease your electric car, the main question that many drivers have when making the switch is how much an electric vehicle will cost to run.

The good news is that while electric cars do tend to cost more to purchase, whether you are buying or leasing, over time you’ll save a lot of money on running them compared to a traditional combustion engine car. 

First of all, there is no need to fill up the tank with petrol.

And although your electric bill is likely to go up if you are going to be charging your EV at home, this is often significantly less compared to the cost of fuel.

You will also need to consider the cost of having an electric car charger installed at your home if you do not already have one.

There are some grants to help homeowners out with the initial outlay of this.

If you can’t have an electric car charger installed, there are now more and more public charging points available than ever before in places like petrol stations and public car parks. 

Things to Look Out for When Buying an Electric Car

Whether you decide to buy or lease your electric car, there are lots of factors to consider and things to look out for before you choose and bring home the right car for you.

The first thing to consider is the battery range.

Think about how many miles you drive per day or week, and if a full charge is going to be enough to get you to your destination and back as needed.

Other than this, when you buy or lease an electric car, the main things to consider are quite similar to buying a traditional combustion engine car such as the size of the vehicle and if you are happy with the driving experience.

If you’re buying a used EV, be sure to check the service and maintenance history to make sure that you’re buying a car that has been looked after. 

With the cost of fuel unlikely to get any cheaper in the future, buying an electric car is becoming more and more popular.

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