The news for drivers of electric cars is not good: newspaper headlines claim that owners of family SUVs are being quoted up to £9,000 for insurance, and that they must pay thousands more than drivers of gasoline and diesel (ICE) cars to get cover.
Confused.com, a comparison website, reports that the average EV insurance quote has increased by 72% in the last year, and major retailers like John Lewis have even stopped selling policies covering electric cars. Even experts have expressed concern about this situation.
To find out, we obtained quotes for three drivers from Confused.com and compared the cost of cover on electric and petrol or diesel versions of the same car – a Vauxhall Corsa, MG ZS, and BMW X3.
We then took the average of the five cheapest prices offered. Insurance costs have increased overall in the past year, but are the prices for electric cars really that much higher than ICE equivalents?
The results reveal that the cost of insuring these electric cars is indeed higher, but the difference is not as substantial as the headlines would suggest. The EV was actually cheaper to cover for one of our drivers.
When comparing quotes across the board, the MG ZS EV was quoted at 10.4% higher than the 1.0-liter turbo petrol model, while the Corsa Electric was quoted at 16.6% higher than the equivalent 1.2T 130 petrol version.
Drivers who opt for the electric BMW iX3 will pay a hefty 20% premium over the diesel X3, but it appears that some of the most popular electric cars are driving up the average for EVs.
Owners are surprised to learn that the majority of the Tesla range is classified in insurance group 50, which is the same as exotic vehicles like Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
Our hypothetical 46-year-old accountant from Colchester, Essex, with five years of no-claims bonus, would pay an annual premium of £2,427 for a Tesla Model 3, while a petrol Audi A4 2.0 TFSI would only cost £1,022. The average quote for all of our drivers was a whopping 87.57 percent more for the Model 3 than for the A4.
According to experts, this is for a variety of reasons. Louise Thomas from Confused.com said: “We are seeing fewer insurers offering policies for EVs than other cars, which can mean pricing is less competitive.
“It could be down to the level of risk associated with EVs,” she said. “For example, they generally have faster acceleration, which means a higher risk of being involved in an accident. This, coupled with expensive repairs, means that they could have a significant financial impact on insurers.”
According to the Tesla Owners’ UK group, the American manufacturer is closely monitoring insurance prices and taking steps to reduce repair costs on its models.
The brand has introduced its own insurance to cover cars in the US, but currently there are no plans to offer the same arrangement in the UK.
What we discovered?
Average premium for comprehensive coverage with comparable policy features, such as windscreen, courtesy car, and legal coverage, but without breakdown insurance, derived from the lowest five quotes.
|Female (28), 3yrs NCB, Teacher, Clean licence, Plymouth
|Male (46), 5yrs NCB, Accountant, 3pts (speeding), Colchester
|Male (65), Max NCB, Retd. director, Clean licence, Middlesborough
|Vauxhall Corsa 1.2T 130 GS 5dr auto £479 £493 £310
|Vauxhall Corsa Electric 100kW GS 50kWh auto
|MG ZS 1.0T GDi Exclusive DCT/auto
|MG ZS EV SE
|BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport
|BMW iX3 M Sport
|Audi A4 2.0 TFSI 35 Technik
|Tesla Model 3