Thinking about buying an EV?

016 Jun 2024

Here are nine considerations that might be worth exploring during your search

We know how it is. You go online for some quick research, and before you know it, hours have gone, it’s dark outside, and you’re 23 open tabs in – and about to open your next.

It's normal to feel a little swamped by the choice, jargon, and information out there. So, if you want some support or tips to think things through, here are nine helpful pointers to help you narrow things down when buying an EV.

1. Reflect on your range

Probably one of the most useful things you can do is to know your driving pattern. What distances do you typically cover? How long is your daily commute and your other usual journeys? Once you know your normal range and miles covered, you can start to put together a shortlist of EV’s with a range that comfortably covers your needs.

2. Suss out your charging options

Buying an electric car for the first time? Look into what’s available for you, charging-wise. Whether you’re able to charge at home – the EV manufacturer or vendor may be able to advise you on this – or at public charging sites, or a mixture of both, it could be wise to know your options. Check your regular driving routes to see where you’ll be able to top up your EV on the charging infrastructure (the network of public chargers across the UK, where you pay to top up your electric vehicle.) There are public EV chargers in a range of locations across the UK – including ours. To see where you’ll find us, simply download our free bp pulse app.

3. Get into batteries

If you’re thinking of buying a new electric car, it’s a good idea to learn more about its battery. As the vehicle’s source of power, the EV battery is a crucial part. Checking with each manufacturer on their battery life expectancy, capacity and range, as well as warranty could be really helpful for cluing you up on things like possible maintenance, journey planning, and charging expectations, too. You’ll also know what support you’ll get from the manufacturer if there are any teething problems with the car while it’s in the warranty period.

Tip: Most EV batteries today have a life expectancy of 15-20 years, although this can vary according to a few things, such as the make of the vehicle and model. It could be wise to research the battery in any electric vehicle you’re thinking of buying – chat to the manufacturer or seller if you want any clarification.

Find out more about public EV charging

We'll keep your electric vehicle moving as you travel around the UK with our network of charging points—so you can plug in, power up, and go.

4. Try before you buy

Just as you’d walk around a house before buying it, it’s really good practice (and quite exciting, too) to test drive a few different electric car models to get a feel for how they accelerate, respond, and perform on the road. And enjoy that instant torque effect, which may feel different if you’re used to petrol cars. This is the faster acceleration that EV’s offer thanks to how quickly an electric motor can speed up.

5. Ask about payment options

You’re probably already aware of the varying price points for electric cars, but it’s worth pointing out that some employers offer salary sacrifice schemes for EV’s, or company car options, and if you’re self-employed, you might want to talk to an accountant about the tax options of buying an electric vehicle.

6. Consider possible maintenance needs

Because electric vehicles have fewer moving parts, it’s usually accepted they require less maintenance and are cheaper to run compared to petrol or diesel vehicles. Recently published research suggests an average of £700 savings a year.

Having said that, whenever you purchase a new vehicle, it can be advisable to consider what maintenance you might need to carry out. This will help you to know when to schedule any vehicle checks and give you an opportunity to research any associated costs, if applicable.

7. Have one eye on your future

When considering which electric vehicle is right for you, you may want to think ahead and consider resale options. Let’s say you like changing your vehicle regularly – thinking through what your EV could be worth when you next switch makes sense. Or you know there’s a change in your circumstances coming. For example, as a city dweller you know a hatchback electric car is right for you now, but your plans to move to the countryside soon could mean you’ll want a 4x4 next.

8. Think about your charging time needs

Different electric car models have different charging time guidelines, and knowing these is so useful for journey planning and time management. While home charging overnight might be sufficient for daily use, if you do take longer trips or want a buffer for unexpected higher charging needs, you might find quick-charging capabilities essential. Again, really knowing your own driving habits means you’re more likely to get the EV you need.

9. Get the authentic lowdown

Manufacturers know their stuff, but if you want the whole truth, read reviews from people who drive the electric vehicle you’re looking at. From how the EV feels to drive, to reliability, customer service, and software updates provided by the manufacturer, their ratings and feedback will give you the full picture.

Hopefully this will help you find the electric car out there with your name on – and remember, we’re here to help break down jargon and support your EV journey. Happy travels when you get there.

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