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Low carbon travel

Electric vehicles


  • lower servicing and maintenance costs
  • lower or zero rate of vehicle excise duty until 2025
  • cheaper to refuel than petrol or diesel vehicles

Choosing an electric car can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Our guide will tell you more about the different types of vehicles available and how you can save money on purchasing an electric car.

Electric vehicles are an increasingly attractive option, due to their lower running costs, the expanding choice of models available and intensifying concerns about air quality and climate change.

Learn more about the types of electric vehicles and their benefits.

What is an electric vehicle?

This short video will explain what electric vehicles are and the benefits of driving one instead of a petrol or diesel equivalent.

Types of electric vehicles

Benefits of electric vehicles

While the initial upfront purchase price of an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle can be higher, this is usually offset by lower running costs.

Electric vehicles offer savings including:

  • A full charge in a pure electric vehicle will give a typical range of around 220 miles and will cost approximately £17 if charging at home. Whereas, driving a petrol or diesel car for 220 miles could cost up to £45. The cost savings will be most significant when owners charge at home and have access to an off-peak overnight electricity tariff.
  • There are fewer mechanical components in an electric vehicle compared with conventional vehicles, which often results in lower servicing and maintenance costs.
  • Lower or zero vehicle excise duty (VED). However, from 2025 VED will also be charged on electric vehicles. The first-year rate will still be lower for electric vehicles – only £10 compared to £120-£945 for petrol or diesel vehicles – but after that all vehicles will be charged a standard rate of £165 per year.
  • Zero emission vehicles – those emitting 0g/km CO2 – qualify for the cleaner vehicle discount on the London Congestion Charge until December 2025. All other vehicles, regardless of their emissions status will be required to pay the Congestion Charge.
  • The lower or zero emissions of plug-in vehicles mean that they will attract lower charges from clean air zones being implemented around the UK and London’s ultra low emission zone (ULEZ).
  • Free parking for electric vehicles is available in some towns and cities.

If you have any additional questions about the benefits of Electric Vehicles (EV) we hope our EV engagement FAQ will help answer some of them as well as links to provide you with further information. We have also developed a EV flow chart designed to help with the decision-making process with some helpful suggestions for anyone who is considering or not sure about an EV as their next purchase.

Additional resources

  • There is additional support available on the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles website

    Find out more
  • You can also get information on electric vehicles from Citizens Advice

    Read more

Last updated: 11 July 2024