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March registrations: Joining the EV revolution? Drivers warned to compare premiums to get the best insurance deals

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Research finds electric cars DON’T have to cost more to insure than conventional cousins

  • Latest figures* from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show ‘green’ cars outselling diesels for the first time in 2020
  • GoCompare research finds that insurer appetite and pricing for electric models varies widely
  • Shopping around means electric versions of cars are not always more expensive to insure
  • Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) market share increased by over 400% year on year from 1.6% in 2019 to 6.6% of overall UK car market in 2020
  • Around 17% of cars sold in 2020 had some level of electric running capability.

‘Green’ cars outsold diesels for the first time in 2020 with 285,199 models with a degree of electric propulsion (BEV, PHEV and HEV) being registered in 2020 compared to 261,772 diesel engine cars.

Although new car sales in 2020 were around 29% lower than in 2019, electric vehicles have grown in popularity. Market share for all-electric BEV cars grew from 1.6% in 2019 to 6.6% in 2020, an increase of over 400%. Although sales numbers are small compared to petrol engine cars, demand for electric vehicles is growing rapidly.

With car insurance being one of the factors contributing to a car’s overall running cost, GoCompare Car Insurance examined the difference in insurance premiums quoted for an electric vehicle compared to its diesel engine equivalent.

When comparing premiums offered for a Volkswagen e-Golf, the average annual premium offered was £635.92. The most expensive being £787.54 and the cheapest being £495.10 – a difference of £292.44 a year.

When comparing premiums for a Volkswagen 1.6 TDI the average annual premium was £533.16. The most expensive being £659.68 and the cheapest being £459.84 – a difference of just £73.32 a year.

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However, when comparing premiums for the Peugeot e-2008 and the Peugeot 2008 1.5 diesel, premiums for the electric model averaged £605.30 a year, £85.27 a year less than the £690.57 average annual premium quoted for the diesel variant.

Clearly not all electric cars are more expensive to insure than their traditionally powered equivalents.

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The advice from GoCompare experts is that drivers switching to electric or hybrid vehicles must compare car insurance premiums carefully as some insurers are far more competitively priced than others. The most competitive insurer for a diesel car may not be the most competitive for the electric version, and vice versa.

Lee Griffin, CEO and founder of GoCompare Car Insurance commented, “The popularity of electric vehicles is growing quickly as all the major manufacturers rush to meet demand with electric variants of existing models and completely new electric cars such as VW’s ID.3 and ID.4. However, like all types of cars some insurers are keener to cover them than others and will quote premiums accordingly. EV drivers must shop around for the best deals as a competitive insurer for their old diesel car may be well off the pace when it quotes for a new EV.

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“Some people may also be surprised to learn that electric cars aren’t always more expensive to insure and I think we’ll continue to see prices even out between electric and diesel/petrol vehicles. Insurers still have limited experience of the risk profile of EVs and this will develop as more of them come on to UK roads. For now though, drivers must compare premiums from different insurers carefully to ensure they get the right insurance at the best price and make the most of the savings electric driving can deliver.”


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