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Electric Cars: How cost effective are they?

Car 3 min read

07 Oct 2019

Regular cars running on petrol and diesel will be banned from 2030 in the UK while Irish Government hopes to have 950,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by then. 

There has been a huge surge in the number of electric cars in recent years and this is set to continue with approx. one third of all cars sold in the next ten years to be electric or hybrid.

How much can I save by buying an electric car?

A lot. Obviously it depends on the amount you spend on fuel – but if you visit the SEAI site where you can compare the cost of most electric models with their diesel and petrol counter-cars, you can see the significant savings to be made. In the North, you can also visit eCar NI to see how much you can save. 

Looking at the SEAI website, it estimates that a Nissan Leaf 40Kwh costs €219 to recharge. It would cost €1,361 more per year for a petrol. In NI, eCar NI states if you drive 125 miles per week in a petrol car, this will cost roughly £19.88 a week in fuel. While an electric car will cost about £4.12 to power the same distance.

We spoke to a software worker in Cork, Guillaume Séguin, 39, who said he appreciated the low running costs. “It costs me €2.50 overnight to charge. That gets me 150km to 200km in range. It gets me going around Cork for a week,” he says. “Of course the car’s a bit more expensive in the first place, but you get the cost back in a few years, depending on your mileage.”

How much do electric cars cost to buy?

Two of the most popular electric cars on Irish the market, the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe, retail between €24,000-€29,000 / £20,767-£25,094. We know that can seem like a lot; but with the money you could save on fuel, in addition to the grants available; it can make monetary sense.

How can I pay for an electric car? What grants and supports are available?

The SEAI offer grants of up to €5,000 for the cost of an electric car – the car must be new and purchased from an approved dealer.  There are smaller grants available also, including a €600 grant for those who wish to purchase and install a charger for their home. You can also avail of cheaper motor tax and discounted tolls. At present, all new electric vehicles registered in Ireland also receive Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) relief up to a maximum of €5,000. Plug-in hybrids do not qualify for VRT reductions, but they are eligible for the full SEAI grant support and discounted tolls. 

For Northern Ireland, the UK government is offering grants of up to £3,000 towards their purchase. Fully electric cars are also exempt from motor tax. There is also a grant available for installing a charger at home for Northern Irish consumers,

Looking at the average costs of the most popular electric cars, you could spend a total of €20,000, or £17,300 for NI, taking into account the grants you could receive on it.

If you take out a €20,200 green car loan at 8.6% APR over three years to cover the car cost, you would have a total interest repayment of €2,790 (total amount repayable €22,990) - with 36 monthly repayments of €683. But, in 7 years time, you could make back €9,527 of that money with fuel savings. Not bad at all!

For Northern Ireland, if you take out a £17,300 green car loan at 12.02% APR over three years you would have a total interest repayment of £3,391 (total amount repayable £20,691) - with 36 monthly repayments of £574.77.

Find out more information on green car loans chat with your local credit union today or check out our handy car loan calculator.