High EV premiums discourage demand

Insurers are powering up premiums for electric cars, leading to a drop-off in demand, according to a major consumer website.

HonestJohn.co.uk is calling on the government to scrap Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) for electric vehicles after it emerged that some EVs cost as much as 60% more than their petrol-powered equivalents to insure.

The move comes after the latest industry figures from January to June 2018 show that pure electric car registrations are down by more than three per cent compared to the first half of 2017.

High list prices, range anxiety and limited access to charging points have all been routinely blamed but the issue of highly charged insurance premiums has been quietly ignored.

‘If the government is serious about getting more people into genuine zero-emission electric vehicles, rather than plug-in hybrids, then there needs to be decisive action,’ said HonestJohn.co.uk managing editor, Dan Powell. “’And the government itself holds the key. At present, it takes 12% off every motor insurance premium in IPT. If it removed IPT from pure electric vehicles, then premiums would instantly drop and this would improve the incentive for buyers to swap their diesel or petrol for pure electric.’

HonestJohn.co.uk‘s analysis of the insurance market revealed that pure electric cars carry a hefty premium when it comes to comprehensive cover, with some models up to 60% more expensive to insure than their petrol or diesel counterparts.

To make matters worse, it is young professionals – the target buyers for most EVs – being hardest hit, with some insurers demanding more than £1,800 for 12 months’ cover.

After receiving complaints from HonestJohn.co.uk readers about the unaffordable cost of insurance for electric cars, the website analysed the market to see what a typical driver can expect to pay for comprehensive 12-month policy.

Delve into the numbers at GoCompare for a professional in their 30s and the costs for insurance drop, but the price disparity grows. For example, a 35-year-old accountant living in a city with five years’ no claims can expect to pay £247 when it comes to insuring a 2015 Renault Clio petrol. A similar fully comprehensive quote for the same firm’s electric Zoe is £395 – 60% higher than the Clio, despite the fact that both are similar priced and equipped.