Electric cars can seem out of budget for most, but you might not have considered the potential savings in electric car maintenance costs.
Though you’re generally committing more upfront for an electric vehicle, there are significantly less moving parts and maintenance required. As a result, you end up paying less than you would for an ICE car.
So what elements of an EV do need to be maintained? In this guide we’ll run through what needs maintenance, how much it costs, and whether you could be saving compared to a petrol or diesel run car.
Do electric cars require a lot of maintenance?
If you’ve been eyeing up our best electric cars, you might be wondering what maintaining an EV actually looks like. Electric cars seem complicated, but since there are fewer moving parts, they actually require much less maintenance.
With no oil to change and less parts with the potential to go wrong or fail, you’re less likely to end up at the garage with a hefty repair bill. The biggest risk for an electric car breakdown is your battery running flat, so just be aware of low-power warnings and charge your car well in advance.
How much does it cost to maintain an electric car?
The cost to maintain an electric car is usually less, essentially because there’s less to maintain. When it comes to replacing parts post-warranty, electric cars have few of the parts that are so expensive to replace in ICE cars.
When you take your car to the garage or to be serviced, the most common issues are with the exhaust or brakes. Since EVs use regenerative braking, there’s usually very little wear to the brakes. They also have no catalytic converter or clutch, both of which come in as the most costly parts to replace for an ICE car.
So, what exactly is checked, and how much does it cost?
In short, the maintenance an EV needs is:
- Battery maintenance - During a service the mechanic will check the health of your battery. Most are covered by warranty and should last beyond the life of the car, so it shouldn’t be cause for concern. Should you need a new one, the cost to replace an EV battery can range from £6,000-10,000, depending on the capacity.
- Brake maintenance - Though electric cars rely on regenerative braking, you still have normal brake discs and pads for back up. Depending on your driving, you’ll have to replace the brake pads, discs and fluid occasionally, costing around £250.
- Tyres - Electric cars usually weigh more than average due to the battery weight, so it’s best to keep an eye on your tyre wear. You may want to rotate more than you would with an ICE car, and replace them if they become worn.
- Coolant level - You still need coolant in EV to help prevent the battery from overheating. Your owner’s manual will guide you on how often this needs to be done, and it should cost around £40.
Electric services will also look over your charging point and cable, assessing for any wear, tears or general damage, with replacement charging cables ranging from £100-200.
In addition to this, you’ll also have typical car maintenance costs such as cleaning, routine servicing, and breakdown cover. See our car maintenance checklist for ideas of things you may need to shell out on.
Is an electric car cheaper to run?
Other than the reduced maintenance costs, an electric car also boasts the cheapest running costs. In comparison with regular car running costs, the cost to charge an electric car is relatively little.
Drivers spend an average of £1153 on fuel per year, whereas a recent USwitch survey found UK drivers spent £309.65 per year to charge an electric vehicle. If you switched to an electric vehicle from an ICE car, this would amount to a massive annual saving of £843.35 on car running costs!
Electric Car Maintenance Costs vs Petrol and Diesel
When comparing the two, there’s no denying that electric car maintenance is the cheaper option. But many drivers are still put off by the expense of an electric car.
On top of a higher purchase point, you have the cost of buying and fitting a home wall box to charge the car. These can range from around £800-£1,200, adding a fairly substantial amount to an already pricey car.
But in spite of the greater upfront cost for an electric car itself, in most cases this is hugely offset by the savings on running the car. If you’re deciding between them, it really comes down to whether you want to commit the upfront cost to save in the long run.
Whether you have an electric or ICE car, you can eliminate car maintenance cost worries with a lease car. On top of your monthly cost, you can add a lease car maintenance package. This includes everything from servicing your leased car, to all mechanical and electrical repairs. We've explored whether a car lease maintenance package is worth it.
Since you have always have a lease car warranty with contracts of 3 years or less, there’s even no stressing over unexpected issues. If there’s a fault with the car not down to driver error, you’ll have it fixed in no time.