In the autumn 2017 budget, the government dangled more carrots to entice drivers to switch to electric cars. It promised not to tax those who charge their cars for free at work. It also said there would be £400m for additional charging points and revealed increases in Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) for new diesel cars.
The incentives are intended to accelerate the drive toward electric cars that emit no emissions. Even so, most drivers still have practical questions over the suitability of battery powered vehicles and, importantly, their running costs.
One of the most significant running costs of any car is the price of servicing. And manufacturers of electric models often highlight how much cheaper they are to maintain than a comparably priced diesel car. But are there really savings to be made? And how often do they need to be serviced? We investigate. Continue reading
Next month, the government introduces new charges for car tax. It will mean most people buying a new, efficient car will have to pay more in tax than they would have done under outgoing rules.
The proposals were outlined by former chancellor George Osborne in 2015. They are aimed at earning more revenue for the treasury, after the outgoing rules rewarded clean, efficient cars with low or no road tax. This resulted in buyers voting with their wallets and snapping up models that pumped out low levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Now only cars with no exhaust emissions, which means all-electric cars, will be exempt from paying car tax. Continue reading
If you’re convinced that the cost of driving has been creeping up, you’re not imagining it. At least that’s the conclusion of new research, which says that even owners of the cheapest cars have seen everyday motoring costs creep up by 10 per cent, over the past year.
Research carried out by CAP HPI, the vehicle valuation specialist, looked at the running costs associated with owning a car, rather than the purchase price of the car.
The price of scheduled servicing and general wear-and-tear maintenance were calculated, as were bills for fuel (petrol or diesel), road tax and the drop in value of the car – known as depreciation. Once combined, they were used to produce a pence-per-mile figure.
Electric cars are cheap to charge but other factors inflate ownership costs (Picture © Nissan)
Electric car questions persist despite increasing sales every month due to drivers attracted by promises of big fuel savings. The Government and car industry’s Go Ultra Low, a body formed to push the benefits of electric cars, said in September 2015: “There are a whole host of benefits that come with an electric car…You can travel much further using less energy…This means financial benefits for electric car owners, plus our latest figures show that drivers can save around £750 a year in fuel by switching to electric.” But is that really true? We look at whether the costs of buying and running an electric car stack up.
Electric car questions: Does the government grant help?
The government has just confirmed that until February 2016, a £5000 grant is available towards the purchase of any new electric vehicle (EV). However EVs tend to have a more expensive sticker price than equivalent cars with petrol or diesel engines.