Consumers could pay up to £700 more driving a petrol car over an EV

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced the fuel duty cut has been extended for another 12 months, saving the average driver £50 a month, but drivers can still save more by switching to an electric vehicle (EV).  

Fuel prices increased dramatically after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, peaking in June that year. Despite falling slowly since, prices have risen by 4p per litre in the past month. 

While drivers will likely welcome the news, an analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has found petrol drivers will be forking out hundreds of pounds more to run their vehicles than those driving an EV

Although new EV dealership prices – the average price for an EV in the UK is £50,000 – compared to their petrol counterparts, drivers could save up to £700 more per annum. 

This saving could also increase for secondhand EVs, according to ECIU, where price parity with their petrol equivalents has been reached. 

white electric car plugged in to charge

Colin Walker, transport analyst at the ECIU, said: “Electric motoring is cheaper motoring and the fuel duty freeze hasn’t changed that. More households are getting access to EVs through the second hand market, fuelled in no small part by companies buying new EV’s and selling them three-to-four years later to the 80% of us who rely on the used market to buy our cars. 

“If the Chancellor really wants to help the UK’s drivers save money, helping drivers make the move to EVs will make a much bigger difference. The policies to achieve this, and called for by UK motoring groups, include bringing VAT on public charging in line with VAT on private charging at home by reducing it from 20% to 5%, or temporarily halving VAT on sales on new EVs.”

Sales of hybrid EVs grew by 12.1% in February, while plug-in hybrids rose 29.1% to reach 7.2% of the market, according to the latest figures by the Society of Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Battery EVs rose 21.8% to account for 17.7% of new car registrations. 

To help make EVs more accessible for owners, some motoring groups, including AutoTrader and FairCharge, are calling for a cut in VAT on public charging from 20% to 5% applied to private charging

Others, such as the SMMT, are calling for a temporary halving of VAT on new EVs to help people tackle high upfront sticker prices. 

Written by:
Tamara Birch, senior writer, The Eco Experts
Tamara has written about environmental topics for more than four years. This includes advising small business owners on cost-effective ways, like solar panels and energy-efficient products to help them become more sustainable. 
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