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UK now second cheapest country in Europe to own an EV

By / 2 months ago / UK News / No Comments

The price differences between electric vehicles and petrol/diesels continue to fall fast, bringing Europe in general ever close to that crucial tipping point while some countries are already there.

SEAT Mii electric

The average monthly total cost of ownership for electric vehicles in the UK is €676 (£615), only beaten by the €656 (£597) figure for Greece

That’s according to LeasePlan’s annual Car Cost Index, which also shows the UK is now the second most cost-effective country in Europe to own an electric vehicle.

The latest analysis (see last year’s research here) reveals that compared to 2018, there has been a sharp decline in the price differences between electric cars and petrol/diesel vehicles across the European markets, with EVs fully cost competitive compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs) in Norway and the Netherlands.

In almost all other countries analysed, the price gap between driving an EV and a diesel or petrol car has narrowed. If this trend continues, EVs will also reach cost competitiveness in countries such as the UK and Denmark in the near future.

In the case of the UK, the country is now the second cheapest place to run an EV. According to the Car Cost Index, the average monthly total cost of ownership for electric vehicles in the UK is €676 (£615), with only Greece offering a lower total cost of ownership of €656 (£597).

Across all vehicle types, the UK sits under the average total cost of ownership (€617 / £561) with a figure of €602 (£548), with Eastern European countries including Romania, Slovakia, and Czech Republic ranking cheaper.

The research also finds that wealthier countries tend to have higher costs of EV ownership although in the Netherlands and Italy, the affordability is relatively low with the average total cost of ownership being relatively high compared to the GDP. For Greece and the UK, the average total cost of ownership is relatively low compared to GDP, indicating that driving a vehicle in these countries is relatively cheap

Alfonso Martinez, managing director of LeasePlan UK, said: “This year’s Car Cost Index has shown that electric vehicles are increasingly becoming a rival option to traditionally fuelled vehicles, as costs are continuing to fall and legislation, such as the Company Car Tax announcement from July, is now actively encouraging drivers to look for electric alternatives.

“The issue around supply, however, isn’t going anywhere. For the nation to see a real boost in the uptake of electric vehicles, we need reassurance from manufacturers that these products will be available in the UK in shorter timeframes than what is predicted currently.”

Further key findings from 2019 are: 

  • The average cost of driving a car varies hugely across Europe, from €440 (£400) a month in Greece to €830 (£755) a month in Norway. The European average is €617 (£561) a month.
  • For ICE cars, depreciation (36%) is responsible for the majority of total costs, followed by taxes (20%), fuel (18%), insurance (13%), maintenance (9%) and interest (5%).
  • For electric drivers, depreciation makes up a larger share (52%), however costs are saved through using electricity for fuel. EVs also benefit from consistently lower taxes and maintenance costs across Europe.
  • Driving an EV is cost competitive compared to driving an ICE vehicle (defined as the average between diesel and petrol) in Norway (same price) and the Netherlands (1% more expensive). In the UK and Denmark, cost competitiveness for EVs is in reach.
  • The Netherlands is the most expensive place to drive a diesel car (€937/month / £852/month). In the Netherlands the registration tax (BPM) for diesel cars can add as much as 35% to a diesel vehicle’s net investment value. Conversely, Romania is the cheapest place to drive a diesel car (€407/month / £370/month).
  • Norway is the most expensive place to drive a petrol car (€851/month / £774/month). This is significantly higher than the European average of €594 (£540) per month. Greece is the cheapest place to drive a petrol car (€445/month / £405/month).
  • Weighted for GDP, drivers in the Netherlands and Italy have the highest total cost of ownership for all powertrain types, while drivers in Greece and the UK have the lowest.
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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.