Price reductions on selected cars, from £250 - £1000 off

skip to main contentskip to footer

How to buy an electric car

Buying an electric car can seem a daunting process if you're a first timer - learn more in our guide

A woman plugging in an EV charger while looking at a phone

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the fast-approaching future, with the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales on its way from 2035.

While electric cars are a great choice for efficient driving that’s kinder to the planet, there are a few things you might want to weigh up before making the switch.

The benefits of an electric car

  • Cheaper to charge up than it is to fill up

  • Better for the environment

  • Easier to maintain

  • Longer manufacturer warranty

  • Government grants on offer

  • Dodge congestion charges and road tax

Choosing electric-powered driving comes with some handy benefits, making the switch much easier than a lot of motorists would expect.

Charging an electric car is usually cheaper than filling up a petrol or diesel fuel tank – you won’t even have to pay for a full charge each time, as it’s better for your battery health to stay below 80% charge unless you’re going on a long road trip.

You can also find locations to charge your EV for free and might even benefit from having solar panels fitted at home to charge with renewable energy.

EVs come with longer warranties, too. Manufacturers usually offer an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on your electric battery that beats the standard three-year warranty most standard Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars come with.

You’ll also usually find the maintenance costs of electric cars are cheaper. EVs have fewer engine parts that can go wrong and need maintaining, making oil changes a thing of the past.

There’s money to be saved on other costs too, like road tax and congestion charges. EVs are exempt from road tax until April 2025 and don’t have to pay the normal fees in Ultra Low Emission Zones.

There are also government grants on offer in the UK and Scotland that can help with the funding of charging points and buying electric vehicles. You can find the latest grants on offer at

Should I buy a new or used electric car?

Whether or not you buy a new or a used electric car will depend on what you’re on the market for and how much you’d like to spend.

Electric cars are still fairly new on the wider car market and are usually more expensive to buy than their fuel-powered equivalents.

Brand-new electric Nissan Leaf models usually start at around £29,000, while a new fuel-powered Ford Fiesta will cost closer to £19,000 – so you do pay extra for the EV tech.

On the used market, a used Nissan Leaf can start at around £9,500 for a 2016 model, so there are savings to be made.

Many motorists worry that a used car will mean a battery that won’t have as much range as a brand-new model.

While battery health does degrade slightly over time, models on the used market right now are usually not old enough or have high enough mileage to make a difference.

There’s a reason why manufacturers offer extra-long warranties on EV batteries – they really are built to last.

Choosing a used electric car does mean that you won’t be getting the absolute latest tech on the market, unless you grab a really good deal.

You’ll usually be getting a slightly older model, so bear that in mind if you’re someone who loves fresh tech and being ahead of the curve.

What should I consider when buying an electric car?

Once you know if an electric car is for you and have weighed up the benefits of buying a used or a brand-new model, there are a few other things you may want to consider.


As mentioned, the cost of buying an EV is usually higher than that of an ICE car. The initial purchasing cost is often balanced out by cheaper running costs, as you’ll save money on fuel and maintenance.

As you’re able to charge your electric car for free in some locations and can also charge from renewable energy sources like solar panel systems, you really can make a saving.

Plus, electric cars often hold their value better than ICE models and can be affected less by depreciation.

Charging station locations

Before taking the plunge, it’s helpful to know where exactly you can charge your EV.

You can plug in using a normal three-pin socket at your house and the compatible EV charger, but this takes much longer than other types of charging.

Getting an at-home wall box charger is a great idea for convenience and really making the most of EV life.

You’ll also need to locate other charging locations in your local area, as well as charging stations on your route if you’re making a long road trip.

You might find that your local area doesn’t have many charging points, and this could influence your decision on whether an EV is right for you.

You’re likely to be able to charge up much easier if you live in a city than if you’re settled in the countryside, but there are still home charging options to keep you boosted.

There are apps you can download to help you find charging spots as well, but you can usually find them at service stations, shopping centres and in car parks.

Battery efficiency

In a fuel-powered car, efficiency references how much fuel you’ll use when travelling to your location – with an EV, efficiency is how much battery power you’ll use.

This is worked out by dividing the mile range of your electric car by the battery size in kWh, telling you the number of miles you’ll get per kWh.

Electric cars are better at converting the energy they store into power than ICE cars, with claims that you can get up to double the number of miles per the same amount of energy.

You’ll also need to consider that the bigger and heavier an EV is, the more power it will need to get moving.

For the most part, however, you’ll get much better efficiency with an electric car than you will from ICE models.

Your battery efficiency will depend on how you drive as well, so stick to a smooth cruise to get the most out of a charge.


You might be surprised at just how far modern electric cars can travel on a full charge, especially if you suffer with ‘range anxiety’.

Some motorists worry they won’t be able to make long trips or run the risk of the battery going flat and being stranded. For the most part, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about.

Your car will warn you well ahead of time when it starts to run out of charge, so you can plan a visit to a charging station.

The Mercedes-Benz EQS can travel up to 453 miles on a full charge, while the Tesla Model S can cover up to 406 miles in the Long Range Plus model.

You can also boost your range by leaning into the regenerative braking system – this allows you to boost your battery as you come to a stop by simply lifting off the accelerator and touching the brakes.

An image showing a smiling man and young child plugging in a car charger

Will an electric car suit me?

In our opinion, electric cars will suit most lifestyles.

If you live in a city and commute in congested areas, you’ll benefit from the regenerative braking system and lack of congestion charges.

You’ll also be able to charge up easily even if you don’t have a driveway. The public charging network has expanded so it’s possible to drive an EV without the need for a home charger.

Those motorists that live out in the sticks can still live with an electric car easily, as modern EVs have long ranges that will get you from A to B with no issues.

If you do drive further then you’ll need to charge more, just like you’d need to fill up with fuel more often. The difference here is that EV charging is usually cheaper.

Even electric cars on the used market will still have impressive range, so you don’t need to stress about battery health when buying preowned.

The one factor that might make EVs unsuitable is the often more-expensive purchasing price. If you’re after something cheap and cheerful, it might not be the right time to make a switch.

As of April 2023, you’ll be looking at around £10,000 for a 2016 Nissan Leaf and more than £12,000 for a 2018 Smart Forfour – although you will make savings on running costs going forward.

If you do have the budget, it’s a great time to join the electric revolution.

Read more about buying an electric car: