First time guide to buying an electric car!

First time guide to buying an electric car

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of electric cars! There’s no doubt they can bring big advantages to you, your pocket and the environment, but there are a few things you should know before diving in head first. Read on to explore our top five tips for those considering buying an electric car.

1. Do your maths

One of the most important things of any electric vehicle (EV) is how far it can travel. The range of an EV can be very different, depending on which electric vehicle you choose. Before looking at electric cars that you like, it’s important to know whether it’s practical for you to buy one.

We would recommend working out how far you want the car to travel before needing to be recharged. You could simply make note of the journeys you do each day and add them up at the end of the week or month. 

If you’re only travelling 20 miles a day, finding an electric car will be easy! But what if you travel 150 miles a day? Thankfully, electric vehicles have massively improved within the last decade so finding one with a usable range of over 200 miles shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s important to have a baseline number in mind so you know which electric vehicles to eliminate. For example, the Honda-e can only travel a maximum of 137 miles on a single charge. This probably isn’t overly helpful for those needing to travel 150 miles a day, but would be perfect for those travelling under 50 miles.

Likewise, the Kia EV6 (which can travel roughly 314 miles) is probably wasted on someone travelling less than 50 miles a day. It would be perfect for those travelling 150 miles or more!

Within this it’s also worth assessing how often you want to charge your EV. Most EV drivers will charge their vehicles once a day however, if your workplace offers EV charging, you might be happy to top up at work. It’s all about working out what’s best for you and your life.

2. Work out charging

Speaking of charging your electric vehicle, it’s probably a good idea to work out how, where and when you want to charge it before buying an electric car. One of the many advantages of owning an electric car is that you can fill up from the comfort of your own home, if you have off road parking. 

Charging at home is certainly the most popular method of charging by EV drivers, mainly because it’s so convenient. Even if you arrive home with just a few miles left, your EV will be ready to go again by the morning. Gone are the days of leaving 15 minutes earlier to stop at a fuel station. 

Of course, if you do want to charge your EV at home, you will need some kind of home charger installed. Preferably prior to buying an electric car. We would recommend checking out the Government grant offered for the installation of home chargers to save yourself some pennies.

If you can’t charge at home, or need to charge while on the road, you’ll be relying on the UK’s network of public charging stations. One of our top tips for any EV driver is to use the app ZapMap, a UK-wide map of all available charge points. This is one of the easiest ways to plan a journey, taking into account any charging stops you may need to make.

3. Look at the full pricing picture

It’s easy to look at the prices of brand new electric cars and want to run the other way, but it’s important to look at the full picture. It’s true that buying an electric car will cost more upfront than a petrol or diesel alternative.

But the purchase price isn’t the only expense you need to consider when buying an electric car. Once you’ve driven away from the forecourt you’ll need to fuel it, have it serviced and pay tolls. When you add all of these factors into the mix, the cost of ownership is much lower.

Fuel is the biggest saving when running an electric car. We’re all used to paying for petrol or diesel to fuel our cars, which certainly isn’t getting any cheaper. With an electric car, you’ll never have to visit a fuel station again, unless you fancy a sandwich and some sweets. Charging an electric car at home overnight is the cheapest way to fill up, and could save you up to three quarters of what you’re used to paying.

While electric cars may seem complicated, they’re actually super simple and easy to maintain. There’s no exhaust pipe, clutch or engine and far fewer parts in general. You’ll certainly spend less on servicing than you would in a conventional car.

Many towns and cities have already introduced incentives for electric car drivers, including free or cheaper parking and exemption from low-emission zone tolls. If you live in London, you’ll be saving £15 a day automatically by being exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

When buying an electric car you’ll soon discover that the high purchase price is quickly recouped by much lower running costs. Don’t forget to check out our range of new and used electric vehicles for sale here!

4. Get the grants

We’ve already spoken about the Government grant available for those installing home EV chargers, but that isn’t the only one. The Government is really keen for drivers to switch to electric, so they offer a nice selection of incentives. 

For example, leasing an electric car through your employer’s salary sacrifice scheme means the payment is taken out of your gross pay, rather than you paying for it externally. This can cut off 40% of the lease payments and make leasing an electric car much more affordable.

The Government also offers a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles. Using this, you could save up to £1,500 on a new electric vehicle. 

5. Planning for longer journeys

Some electric car owners will never take them on a long journey and are just happy to charge at home. However, sometimes you might need or want to take them on a longer trip, and once you realise how cheap it is to charge electric cars on the go 

The good news is that electric cars are now able to travel further than ever before on a single charge and the charging network is improving week by week. Using platforms like ZapMap will make it much easier to plan long journeys ahead of time.

It’s a good idea to research the charging stations you’ll be stopping at along the way, before you head off. That way you can see which charging providers you’ll be using, so you’ll know whether to use contactless payment or pay via an app. 

All these things just make long journeys in an EV that little bit easier.

6. No ICEing!

This is just an extra tip from us at EV Sales. But what is ICEing? Remember when you drove a petrol car and you’d find someone blocking a fuel pump to do shopping in the kiosk? It’s just as annoying when you find a non-electric (or electric) vehicle blocking an EV charging point with no intention of using it. 

Avoid parking in dedicated EV charging spaces if you aren’t planning on using the charger yourself. When you’re out and about, you’ll quickly realise that EV chargers are sometimes limited within big car parks. Just as there are fewer disabled bays in public supermarkets, so don’t use them when you don’t need to!

Arrange a viewing

If you’re interested in some of our EVs for sale we can arrange virtual or face-to-face viewings! You can arrange this by emailing us at mail@evisionsales.co.uk or giving us a call on  01634 914 063. We look forward to hearing from you!

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All information correct as of 03/02/2022.

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