Is it the right moment to buy an electric vehicle?


The electric vehicle (EV) market has been rapidly evolving, with increasing interest from consumers and governments alike. With the push towards sustainable transportation and the advancements in EV technology, many people are considering making the switch from traditional petrol and diesel vehicles to battery electric cars. In this blog, we will explore the latest market insights from both the UK and around the world to help you determine whether now is the right time to buy an electric car.

Latest Market Insights

As of [Current Year], the electric car market has witnessed remarkable growth globally, including the United Kingdom. According to recent data from Car Checkup, used electric car sales in the UK surged by an impressive 56.5% in the first three months of [Current Year]. This surge indicates a rising trend in consumer interest in electric vehicles.

In the UK, the used car market as a whole also rebounded significantly, with a growth rate of 4.1% in the first quarter of [Current Year]. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported a total of approximately 1.8 million used car transactions during this period, with nearly 73,000 more cars being bought and sold compared to the same quarter in the previous year.

Supply and Demand Dynamics

Despite the overall increase in car trading activity, the number of transactions remains 8.6% lower than pre-pandemic levels. This discrepancy is mainly due to the high demand for vehicles outpacing the limited supply. The global production of new cars has faced challenges since 2020, resulting in fewer vehicles entering the used car market. As a consequence, used vehicle values have remained high, creating a "sellers market" where many vehicles hold their value.

Petrol and diesel vehicles, in particular, have seen a price premium due to their continued popularity. On Auto Trader's platform, searches for petrol vehicles increased by 8% while supply dropped by 16% compared to April 2022. Similarly, demand for diesel cars rose by 8%, while supply decreased by 19%. The increased demand and limited supply have led to higher prices for traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

The Changing Landscape of Electric Vehicle Prices

In contrast, electric vehicles have experienced a different pricing trend. With both the UK Government and the automotive industry strongly committed to transitioning to electric mobility, the number of EVs sold is expected to continue rising. In 2023, battery electric cars accounted for only 1% of the UK car market, but this percentage is growing rapidly.

Earlier in 2023, Tesla, a prominent electric vehicle manufacturer, made an unusual move by significantly reducing the list prices of several of their models. This decision was a response to some negative publicity about electric vehicles. While other manufacturers have not followed suit yet, Tesla's move has added pressure on lowering electric car prices. Additionally, the used market for electric vehicles has seen considerable price reductions due to a steady stream of supply. Auto Trader reported that over three times as many used EVs were advertised on its platform compared to April 2022.

In the first quarter of 2023, Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) transactions witnessed an impressive 56.5% increase, with 26,257 units sold, accounting for 1.4% of the market, up from 0.9% the previous year. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) also saw increased sales, rising by 13.9% to 16,006 units, representing 2.3% of total sales, up from 1.7% in the previous year. Additionally, hybrid vehicles (HEVs) experienced growth, with transactions increasing by 38.2% to 49,182 units (source: SMMT).

Financial Considerations: Is it Sensible to Buy an Electric Car Now?

Based on the current market trends, it might seem like the ideal time to buy an electric car. If you have maintained your conventional petrol, diesel, or hybrid vehicle in good condition, it is likely to have retained its value, giving you more funds to invest in a new electric car. Additionally, the increasing supply of used EVs has led to reduced prices, making electric vehicles more affordable for potential buyers.

However, it is essential to consider the future value of the EV you purchase. If its value continues to depreciate over time, it may be worth much less when you decide to sell it. This depreciation could lead to a situation called "negative equity" if you financed the vehicle under a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) agreement. Negative equity means that the vehicle's value may not cover the deposit for your next car. While this should not deter you from buying an EV, it is crucial to plan for this possibility to avoid any financial surprises down the road.

Cost of Fuel/Electricity

One of the significant benefits of electric vehicles is the cost savings on fuel. On average, the cost of charging an EV at home is about half the cost of refueling a petrol or diesel vehicle. This cost advantage provides significant savings over time for EV owners who primarily charge their cars at home.

However, if you rely heavily on public charge points, the savings may be limited or non-existent. Public charge points can have varying prices, with some being considerably higher than home electricity rates. The UK Government's energy price guarantee ensures that the cost of electricity at home is around 33p per kWh on a standard tariff. In contrast, public charge points can charge anywhere from 60p to 80p per kWh.

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)

Currently, owners of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) with zero

 emissions at the tailpipe pay no Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). However, starting from April 1, 2025, they will be required to pay a "standard annual rate" of at least £165. This change may affect the incentives for running an EV, as petrol and diesel vehicle owners currently pay between £30 and £2,605 in the first year, depending on the vehicle's emissions. The charge in the second year and beyond ranges from £170 to £190.

Moreover, vehicles with an initial list price exceeding £40,000 are required to pay an additional £390 annually. This additional charge is not applicable to EVs at present but will be implemented in 2025.

So unless the VED system changes further, there won't be a huge incentive to save on road tax from 2025 by using an EV.

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Is it Practical to Buy an Electric Car Now?

Charging from Home

If you have access to a charge point installed at home, then purchasing an electric car is likely a practical choice. Most new EV models boast a range of between 150 and 300 miles when fully charged, reducing the concern of range anxiety that some buyers may have had in the past.

Public Charge Point Numbers and Cost

The UK currently has over 42,000 public charge points, making it easier for EV owners to find charging stations. These charge points are found in various locations, including car parks, retail parks, supermarkets, and petrol stations. However, more charge points are still needed to cater to those who rely on charging their vehicles in public spaces.

The UK government has been proactive in rolling out funding to local councils to help install new public charge points. Despite this, the cost of public charging can be significantly higher than charging at home. In some cases, public charging rates are double the standard electricity rates for residential charging.

Charging Times

The speed of charging remains a critical factor in the adoption of electric vehicles. Petrol or diesel vehicles can be refueled in just a few minutes, while most EVs take around 30 to 40 minutes to reach an 80% charge level, with the remaining 10% taking additional time. Slow charging at public stations can even take several hours, making it less practical for long-distance travel or time-sensitive situations.

Charge Point Concentration

Urban areas, particularly large UK cities and the South East, tend to have better access to charge points compared to non-urban regions. Zap Map provides a comprehensive display of all public EV charger points in the UK. The Government is working with local authorities and businesses to improve the spread of charge points across the UK. But much more needs to be done in the lead up to 2035. This is when all new cars and vans will need to be zero-emission at the tailpipe and the demand for public chargers will reach new heights.

Maintenance Costs

Owning an EV can lead to reduced maintenance costs compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. EVs have fewer moving mechanical parts, resulting in less wear and tear. Many parts have a longer lifespan, contributing to lower maintenance expenses. Manufacturers typically offer guarantees on EV batteries for a minimum of 5 years, and tests have shown that new batteries experience only a slight loss of capacity even after covering vast distances (200,000 miles or more).

Check out the EV electric vehicle insights here


Currently, insuring electric cars tends to be more expensive compared to their petrol or diesel counterparts. Factors such as higher vehicle prices and increased speeds contribute to higher premiums. However, as more EVs enter the market and insurance companies have better historical data about them, premiums aren't as high as they used to be. Some smaller electric vehicles, such as hatchbacks and mini hatchbacks, are among the cheapest to insure.


The electric vehicle market is evolving rapidly, offering compelling reasons to consider making the switch to an electric car. New and used EV prices have fallen, making electric vehicles more accessible to potential buyers. Despite the potential for value depreciation, the overall trend towards electrification is expected to continue as we strive for net-zero emissions. Running costs for EVs remain lower than conventional vehicles, though fuel savings have somewhat diminished due to recent reductions in petrol and diesel prices.

The UK's Vehicle Excise Duty system will evolve in the coming years, making it less advantageous to run an EV in terms of road tax from 2025 onwards. However, incentives for EV adoption may evolve, and government policies could further support electric mobility.

For those with access to home charging points, owning an electric car becomes a practical and convenient choice. However, the public charging infrastructure still requires substantial growth, particularly in non-urban areas. Charge point availability and charging times remain critical considerations when evaluating the practicality of owning an EV.

In terms of maintenance, EVs offer cost-saving benefits due to fewer mechanical parts and longer-lasting components, particularly in the case of batteries.

In conclusion, while the charging infrastructure remains a significant challenge, if you have access to home charging and can afford the electric vehicle you desire, now could be an opportune time to make the switch. By doing so, you

 not only benefit from lower running costs and cutting-edge technology but also contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future for transportation.



  1. Office for National Statistics (ONS) - Official government website for crime and security-related statistics in the UK. You can search for crime reports and data on vehicle thefts.

  2. AA Insurance Services - This organization might have conducted analyses and research on vehicle theft trends and insurance-related data.

  3. Insurance industry publications and studies - Reputable insurance-related sources may provide data on vehicle theft trends and measures to prevent theft.

  4. Trustworthy automotive research organizations - Look for research organizations or institutes that focus on vehicle safety, security, and crime prevention.

  5. SMMT