Driving Green: Are electric cars expensive to insure?

Is there a sting in the tail?

Are electric cars expensive to insure?

WHEN YOU buy car insurance, two key factors determine your premium: the type of car and your personal circumstances. So it’s not just how safe the car is in a crash, how secure it is from thieves and what the repair costs will be if it’s pranged that will decide your annual outlay but also your age, location, occupation, annual mileage plus driving and claims history.

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Not all mainstream car insurers will cover electric cars; your best bet is to go onto your favourite price comparison website and see which companies will cover the car you’re thinking of buying. However, several specialist insurers aren’t represented on these sites, and going with one of them might cut the cost of your cover.

Some of the mainstream car insurers won’t offer cover because they’re frightened about the repair costs of electric cars. Not only are some of the construction techniques used different from in conventional models, but there’s also the high price of some unusual parts. So it’s no wonder the Nissan Leaf is in insurance groups 20-25 while a Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI is in groups 10-13.

There are other things that give insurers the jitters too, when it comes to covering electric cars. Personal injury claims have spiralled out of control in recent years, so the spectre of thousands of people claiming for tripping over charging cables draped across pavements is not something an insurance company wants to be exposed to. As a result you might not be covered for this – make sure you check (or don’t leave cables trailing across pavements) before you’re landed with a lawsuit.

It can also make a difference whether the batteries are leased or bought outright with the car. The former arrangement can cause complications when an insurance claim is setttled in the event of a total loss. It’s currently only Renault and Nissan that offer a leasing option, though; everyone else sells the battery with the car.

Specialist insurers:


Driving Green contents


Introduction to green driving

  1. What is a “green” car?
  2. What does Euro 6 mean when it comes to emissions?
  3. Why have green cars been developed?
  4. Nine tips for eco-driving

Choosing a green car

  1. What are hybrid cars?
  2. What are plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars?
  3. What are extended-range electric vehicles (E-REVs)?
  4. What are hydrogen fuel cell vehicles?
  5. Are pure-electric cars suitable?
  6. Whatever happened to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)?
  7. What are biofuels?

Green car buying guides

  1. Driving’s top five electric cars
  2. Driving’s top five hybrids and E-REVs

Financial, environmental and practical implications of green motoring

  1. Electric car UK public charging point maps
  2. The truth about real-world mpg and fuel costs
  3. How much is VED (road tax) for green cars?
  4. Are electric cars expensive to insure?


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