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Cheapest EVs to Insure

There are a lot of factors to consider when buying an electric vehicle, including the cost of insurance. Find out what are the top ten cheapest electric vehicles to insure are right now.

Electric car being charged

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Electric vehicle (EV) registrations are soaring, up more than 50% in January alone as cars fly out of the showroom. EV range has also vastly improved and many travel 200-250 miles and some more than 300. 

You can get an 80% recharge - that’s 200 miles - in 30-40 minutes for most models, which means a once-a-week top-up is no issue and close to how you’d run a conventionally-powered car. 

Insuring an EV is straightforward

We’ve profiled the top ten cheapest all-electric cars to insure. The list changes constantly because a new EV is now released roughly every fortnight. How much you pay for cover depends on your job, driving profile and history as well as the car, of course. 

Keeping it real, we’ve stuck to four seats minimum and a range of 70 miles plus (most do a great deal more). As a nation we buy new cars mostly via monthly payments rather than cash outright and, as we’ll shortly see, there are some great deals around.

There’s a couple of EVs that don’t make the cut. The electric Renault Twizy is high on fun and can get you to and from work, but as an everyday choice for most it’s not practical as a family car. The Smart EQ Fortwo is not as compromised as a Twizy but it’s also a two-seater. 

Why buy an EV?

As well as saving on fuel, the legislative wind is blowing very much towards electric vehicles. Tax is lower (or non-existent) and you’re less likely to be hit by congestion and emissions charges driving into cities now and in the future, unlike rising numbers of conventionally powered cars, especially diesel ones. 

Bear in mind:

  • Sales of new petrol and diesel powered cars will be banned from 2030. Currently (early 2021) the government still offers an £3,000 plug-in grant incentive but – warning – it won’t last forever

  • The Treasury is trying to work out how it can tax electric car owners as the shift to EVs accelerates, depriving the government of fuel duty. Fuel duty is 57.95p a litre of petrol and diesel

  • More road pricing looks a likely option. Expect to hear more from Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the near future

Are EVs more expensive to insure?  

New data from insurer LV= claims some electric car models are cheaper to insure than conventionally powered other models. So the cost of insurance shouldn’t be a barrier. 

There’s also a bit of prejudice about batteries. Most manufacturers offer lengthy warranties. A typical EV battery should last at least 10 years, LV said, “possibly up to 20 years before replacing”.

As well as checking your insurance with comparison websites like Uswitch, some manufacturers have arrangements with certain insurers, like Telsa and Direct Line. 

How do I buy an EV?

Most of us lease an EV. The market is far more competitive than it used to be. 

For example, in early February 2021 Uswitch found the all-new VW ID.3 could be leased £45 per month cheaper (36 months, 8,000 miles limit per year) than a similarly sized Nissan Leaf. Even though the Leaf sits in a lower insurance group and is a substantially older design. 

The ID.3’s initial down payment was £136 less too. In other words, some EVs that don’t make this list may be cheaper to buy overall. So choose your EV with care. 

Top ten cheapest EVs to insure

1. Smart Forfour Electric

  • Price £17,285 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 80 miles

  • Insurance Group 11

  • USwitch rating 2.5/5

The problem with the Smart Forfour Electric is that it’s cramped, expensive for what it is and has a range of just 80 miles. But if your needs are strictly local and a dinky footprint appeals, it’s worth a look. A tiny battery means it recharges inside three hours from a home wall box. It costs pennies to run, reflected in its low insurance group. It’s also nippy about town with a super-tight turning circle. Rear passenger doors open wide but it’s cramped in the back. A Seat Mii Electric makes more sense for the money.

2. Seat Mii Electric

  • Price £19,800 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 160 miles

  • Insurance Group 12

  • Uswitch rating 4/5

The five-door Mii has a stated 160-mile range and it’s one of the few EVs that starts with a traditional key. However, the Mii’s battery wears down fast on A-road and motorway runs so it’s much better suited to town cut and thrust. Acceleration peters off beyond 50 mph but it’s peppy enough at low to medium speeds. Build quality is excellent. This Seat’s parts are shared with family cousins the Skoda Citigo-e iV and the VW e-Up but both have been discontinued. A Mii is destined for a similarly short shelf life so act quick if you want one. 

3. Hyundai Ioniq

  • Price £30,950 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 193 miles

  • Insurance Group 16

  • Uswitch rating 3.5/5

Refreshed in 2020 with a more powerful battery pack and sharper looks, the Ioniq is a family-sized hatchback that packs a low 16 insurance rating. Acceleration is a bit ordinary at around 10 seconds to 60mph but the Ioniq handles well. What’s more relevant for most families is a 443 litre boot – larger than a Tesla S – though the load bay lip is on the high side. The Ioniq’s range is not quite 200 miles but the quoted range is ‘real world’. A useful app can help organise your charging schedule and inform you if your planned destination is within range as well as point you to a charging point when needed.   

4. Renault Zoe

  • Price £26,995 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 200 miles

  • Insurance Group 19

  • Uswitch rating 4/5

Renault’s Zoe used to be the cheapest all-electric car in the UK. No longer. While a 200-mile range is fair for the price and the finish is excellent the base Zoe Electric does without automatic emergency braking (not even available as an option). The interior belies this car’s compact dimensions: it’s genuinely roomy for a small four door and a 340 litre boot beats most rivals. Ride quality is excellent and noise levels are low. A 50kW DC charge tops up your range by 90 miles in just 30 minutes but it’s model-dependent. Pick your trim and power pack – two versions, 106bhp and 133bhp – with care as engine and trim options quickly push up what you actually pay.

5. Kia e-Niro

  • Price £29,845 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 180-280 miles

  • Insurance Group 20

  • USwitch rating 4.5/5

A great range – up to 280 miles, depending on model – and a seven-year warranty is a fine start for the e-Niro. It’s quiet on the motorway and the battery recharges to 80% inside 75 minutes with a 50kW fast charger. Isofix fittings are a fiddle to access but the boot is a decent size at more than 450 litres, opening to 1,400 with the rear seats down. Good levels of kit includes adaptive cruise control, LED running lights and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also bundled in. Quieter than near rival the Hyundai Kona and better finished, it’s also wider and more spacious.    

6. MG ZS EV

  • Price £25,495 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 160 miles

  • Insurance Group 21

  • USwitch rating 3.5/5

For less than the price of a Mini Electric, MG can build you a full-sized family hatchback with a range of 160 miles. If you’re not bothered about cheap plastics and a less-than-accomplished driving experience and your priorities are space and good safety kit, the Chinese-made MG is worth a look. You can re-juice from zero to 80% in 40 mins from a 50kW charging station though it’s a six hour wait from a 7kW home charger. No digital dashboard but the central touchscreen is informative and clear. MG gives you a handy 80,000 mile warranty too.

7. Nissan Leaf

  • Price £26,845 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 160 miles

  • Insurance Group 21

  • USwitch rating 3/5

Nissan’s Leaf is a relaxed drive but packaging is a bit behind the best now. It’s capable but the interior is awash with buttons and there’s a bulky transmission tunnel running through the rear of the cabin, making it feel slightly cramped (the Leaf remains heavily dependent on the previous generation’s layout). But it’s cheap to run and you can pay extra for a bigger battery with more range. Disappointingly there’s no steering column reach adjustment so make sure you’re comfy behind the wheel before buying. The drivetrain is covered for five years and the battery up to eight years. More expensive Leaf versions now look poorer value since the arrival of more modern rivals like a Hyundai Kona or VW ID.3.   

8. Mini Electric

  • Price £25,500 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 140 miles

  • Insurance Group 22

  • Uswitch rating 4/5

The Mini Electric has a bit of a disappointing 140 mile range and in reality this figure will dip even lower (heed all EV range figures with caution). However, the Mini Electric is big on charm and zip and if your commute is within range and doesn’t involve many motorway or dual carriageway spells, where EV juice is quickly drained, then it’s a hoot. Low speed ride comfort is good, aided by the heavier weight from its battery. An 80% charge takes 35-40 minutes max on a public 50kW DC rapid charger. Great fun and presence but the Mini Electric’s charisma can be reduced to a trickle quickly.

9. Hyundai Kona

  • Price £30,150 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 300 miles

  • Insurance Group 22

  • Uswitch rating 4.5/5 

Depending on model, the Kona has a genuine 300-mile range, looks good and is highly practical. And its running costs are rock-bottom. Sounds good? It is. It’s genuinely powerful with the 0-60mph dash dispatched in under eight seconds. The Kona’s downside is that room is a bit tight in the back and some of the interior fittings feel and look a tad downmarket. The brakes are excellent. The Kona was face-lifted this year and you can top up the battery from zero to 80% within 50 minutes. It’s also well equipped with good levels of safety kit as standard.

10. Vauxhall Corsa-e

  • Price £26,985 after Government £3,000 plug-in grant

  • Range 200 miles

  • Insurance Group 24

  • USwitch rating 4.5/5

Sharing much of its engineering with Peugeot’s chic e-208 (which is more expensive to insure), the Corsa-e is still nicely styled and offers a range of around 200 miles, though that’s still behind the Renault Zoe’s 260 or so. Acceleration is good (0-60 in eight seconds) and the Corsa-e is quiet and well insulated on the move though the ride is on the firm side. Boot capacity at 390 litres is excellent, but there’s no spare wheel option. There’s physical dials for the climate control – no finger-jabbing at a screen, an increasing annoyance of many modern cars now – which is good news. Overall, the best Corsa on sale by some margin.   

Cheap insurance options outside this list

A new Fiat 500 Electric (insurance group to be confirmed) is due out in early 2021 at just under £20,000, though the base model’s range is limited to 115 miles. The Honda E (insurance group 25) at £27,160 is more expensive and range is limited to 140 miles, but it’s cute as a button and has loads of safety tech thrown in. The Peugeot e-208 is highly stylish (insurance group 26) and looks excellent value. The VW ID.3 (insurance group 29) is now looking competitive on lease deals and is roomy and well equipped - there’s also a stonking 336 mile range available for more expensive models.

How do I charge an EV?

Either at home from a wall box or a public charging point. There are around 22,000 public charging points but only about 20% of these are rapid chargers – currently. This proportion will narrow over time.

Charge point connectors come in four types: 

  • Slow (3-5kW)

  • Fast (7-22kW)

  • Rapid (25-99kW)

  • Ultra-rapid (100kW plus)

You can find your nearest charging point by using a website like Zap Map. Currently (early  February 2021) almost 800 charging points are added every month across the UK.

Get a car insurance quote

See a range of car insurance quotes in just a few minutes when you compare with Uswitch

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