Ireland is aiming to get one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. If you are tempted to be part of that movement, you might be wondering what impact this will have on your insurance premiums, and what else you need to consider. Firstly, the purchase costs of an electric vehicle are generally higher than fossil fuel counterparts because the batteries are so expensive to produce, but this is offset by cheaper running costs. If you decide to go green and purchase an electric car, there will be added insurance considerations. But that doesn’t necessarily mean higher premiums – here’s what to think about.

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Size matters

Electric cars tend to be smaller and less powerful than conventional vehicles. This is good news, as both these factors serve to lower premium costs. The limitations of electric cars also often means lower mileage, which again can equate to lower premiums.

Issues specific to electric vehicles

There are a number of things to consider with insurance that aren’t a factor with conventional cars. Will the insurance cover injury if someone trips over cables while you are charging your vehicle? Are you covered if your charging cable is stolen or damaged? If you run out of power,

are you covered for the cost of a lift to a charging station? Some manufacturers lease batteries (to mitigate the effects of wear and tear), so if you’re leasing it’s essential that this is covered in your policy.

6 added benefits

  1. Oil prices and the petroleum industry in general can be very volatile, so choosing an electric car is one way to be less at the mercy of fluctuating prices and availability at the pump.
  2. Driving an electric car results in lower environmental impact and less emissions.
  3. There are an increasing number of charge points – now nearly 1,500 all over Ireland in car parks, petrol stations and on the street. Plus fast charging points can give you 80% capacity in just 25 minutes.
  4. Electric vehicles are cheaper to run. Fuel costs will be lower than diesel or petrol (under €4 to fully charge the battery overnight), and motor tax is reduced as it’s based on CO2 emissions (as little as €120 per year).
  5. Maintenance and servicing costs less for electric cars as there are no oil changes, tune ups or emission tests, plus brake pads tend to last longer thanks to the use of regenerative braking.
  6. Grants are available from SEAI for both the purchase of the vehicle (up to €5000) and towards the installation of your home charging point (up to €600).

It’s worth chatting to the experts when looking for insurance for an electric or hybrid car to make sure your needs are fully met. Not all insurers offer policies for electric vehicles, for instance, so your choice may be somewhat narrowed. There may also be less choice for younger drivers and company car users. It can be a mistake to go for the cheapest quote – read the small print to check what’s covered, and think about agreeing to a higher excess to lower premiums. Lastly, if you hold multiple policies with the same insurer, there may be a reduction in costs. As ever, Britton Insurance will shop around all the available polices to get you the best coverage and value for money.