Electric vehicles are the future. We’re the first to admit that. In fact, we welcome it!
Still, you won’t find any EVs in our showroom. Why is that?
Because our main goal and top priority is to help those with bad credit, a low income or just generally limited finances. And if you’re one of them, an EV is not what you need right now.
This may not be a popular opinion in 2022, when ecologic concerns are as urgent as never before. But opting for a petrol car today is not an un-ecological decision.
Far from it!
In this article we’ll go into more detail on the problems with electric vehicles – and how to eventually overcome them.
So what’s wrong with EVs?
If you’re asking about the cars themselves – very little. We’ve written extensively on our blog about the major improvements that battery-powered vehicles have made over the years.
Today, you can reach just about any point in the UK without having to worry about running out of electricity. The mileage of the average EV has gone up considerably and it’s still rising. Add to this the fact that charging stations can now be found on every corner and it’s amazing how far we’ve come compared to just a couple years ago.
Also, most drivers who once tried an EV don’t ever want to return to petrol. This doesn’t necessarily mean that petrol cars are worse. But it does indicate that the quality of electric engines has reached a critical level. It’s a different driving experience – a thoroughly satisfying one for sure!
The actual concerns we have are mostly about money. Let’s get into the nitty gritty here. We’re sure you’ll soon agree that there are very good reasons why the majority of drivers in the UK are still relying on petrol.
How much more expensive are electric cars compared to petrol cars?
For most of us, the purchasing price is the main factor when it comes to affordability. What good is a car that is really cheap to drive, if you can’t afford to buy it in the first place?
Let’s make a few comparisons to see just how much more expensive EVs are today. The following are the entry prices for the two models of a particular brand which correspond most closely:
Petrol Golf: Roughly £25,000
eGolf 2022: Roughly £31,000 (+24%)
iD3: Roughly £36,000 (+44%)
Kia Niro: Roughly £25,000
Kia e-Niro; Roughly £32,000 (+28%)
Audi Q5: Roughly £43,00
Audi e-tron: Roughly £60,000 (+40%)
Renault Clio: Roughly £18,000
Renault Zoe: Roughly £28,000 (+56%)
Nissan Micra: Roughly £17,000
Nissan Leaf: Roughly £27,00 (+59%)
That’s a lot of money if you’re pressed for cash!
As you can see, the differences between the regular petrol version of a car and its electric counterpart are absolutely enormous! Unfortunately, there is really no way around this.
The eGolf offers the lowest percentage increase over its combustion-engine-variant. It has also widely been praised as one of the most accomplished conversions of an established model to the electric domain. However, at £31,000 it is out of reach for most UK households.
Conversely, the Nissan Leaf, which until recently was the UK’s best-selling EV, is more affordable at £27,00. But you can get a Micra, which it most closely resembles in the Nissan model range, for £10,000 less!
Can’t you get something cheaper?
You can. But it won’t really make a huge difference.
One of the cheapest – if not the cheapest – options in the UK is the Fiat 500e, at £20,000. But here, too, the petrol version will set you back a whopping £10,000 less.
You can get all ecological about it. But these price differences are going to hurt anyone with bad finances.
Now, obviously, you’re not going to pay these amounts in cash anyway. And it goes without saying that you can get a loan for an EV.
However: Contrary to popular opinion, high interest rates are not usually the biggest stumbling block for most borrowers.
The height of the monthly repayments is.
Even an unattractive APR can be okay for you, as long as you can meet the agreed-upon instalments. This is exactly what informs our approach to used car finance at CCC: We look at what you can afford, based on your current income, reserves and fixed payments.
That way, even if you have a bad credit score, we can help you get finance for a great car.
But once you reach the prices of most current EVs, it gets hard to keep monthly rates at a reasonable level.
The simple reason is that, by limiting the instalments to a certain amount, the length of the repayment period increases. And once you reach a certain point, things are simply no longer sensible – who would want to pay back a car loan for ten years or more?
Your choice of EVs is still limited.
Cheap alternatives are few and far between.
Certainly, that choice is improving by the day. Most if not all major manufacturers have by now introduced at least one electric model range. These tend to be based on smaller or medium-sized petrol platforms, so as to keep them somewhat affordable at least.
However, that’s still a very small selection by all means. Especially if you have a bigger family or if you need more boot space, many current EVs fall short.
In most cases, therefore, it’s still very much a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. Either, the one EV on offer meets your needs exactly – or it doesn’t meet them at all.
EV running costs are not as low as some suspect.
In an exe-opening article titled “The true cost of owning an electric vehicle”, newspaper The Telegraph analysed the widespread assumption that EVs are more expensive to buy – but cheaper to run.
Their conclusion: While this may become true in the future, EVs are not yet the cost-cutting solution some make them out to be.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of their assessment:
Where electric cars are cheaper than petrol cars
- EVs clearly beat petrol cars when it comes to energy costs. Recharging your battery will set you back around 2 pence per mile, compared to a whopping 12p-21p for a combustion engine model.
- Maintenance is also a strength of electric cars. With far less movable parts and considerably less complex technology, experts expect them to be up to 50% cheaper than petrols and diesels.
- Right now, EVs don’t pay any taxes. Expect this to change very soon, though. The treasury relies on income generated through road taxes and will thus make sure these remain stable after 2030 and into the future.
Where electric cars are more expensive than petrol cars
Insurance costs are considerably higher for EVs. According to The Telegraph this reflects “the insurance industry’s reservations about the cost of repairing them.” Do note that the differences are not huge.
Popular payment plans like PCPs are far more expensive for an EV. In fact, they are so much more expensive that they all but make EV-PCPs obsolete. Finance costs in general tend to be much higher for an EV – which we already addressed above.
In the end, as the article asserts, it’s a close call. But even if electric vehicles are cheaper in the end, the savings are not even nearly enough to offset their higher purchasing price.
Even worse, lithium, one of the most important components of EV batteries, is set to become more expensive. If it does, so will electric cars in general. A veritable “EV cost headache” may be on the way.
Can I find a used electric vehicle to meet my needs?
This is perhaps the most problematic aspect of all at this point in the market’s development cycle.
There were plenty of raving reports recently of recording breaking rises in used EV sales in the UK. Fleetnews had the most current data:
“Annual demand for battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEVs) vehicles hit record levels, growing by 119.2% and 75.6% to 40,228 and 56,861 transactions respectively.”
That does sound like an impressive growth rate indeed. Now, let’s add hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) transactions to the equation (137,639 cars) and we arrive at a number of almost exactly 200,000 used electric- or semi-electric vehicles.
However, over the same period, UK drivers bought 7,530,956 used cars in total. In the greater scheme of things, used electric vehicles don’t even register.
The used EV market will take time to develop.
Think about it this way: On the UK’s market for used petrol vehicles, you can select from decades of cars, literally millions and millions and millions of models. Not all of them will be great. But there’s sure to be a suitable car for you, regardless of your needs or price range.
If the UK, in 2030, stops allowing the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, you will still be able to buy them on the second hand market for many, many years.
It will take a long time until EV volume approximates this choice. Especially since EVs are more durable due to their build and drivers may want to hold on to them for longer.
Obviously, as price levels for new EVs come down and more people make the transition, things will brighten up. But at least for a few years, the used electric car market will remain tiny and severely restricted.
So, is it impossible for you to buy an EV?
That would be putting it too hard.
In the next section, we’ll discuss a few steps you can take if you really want to make the switch as soon as possible.
One thing’s for sure: if money is an issue for you at the moment, you will need to make some incisive changes. As discussed, EVs are still far more expensive to purchase and about as expensive to operate as petrol models. Their choice is limited, which means you may not find one that has the right size or engine power.
The main issue is that it’s hard to make any sensible projections and predictions as to the market’s development. Yes, it will grow, and yes, it will become more attractive. But right now, it is anyone’s guess as to how and when this will translate to mass-scale accessibility.
Which leads us to our five strategic recommendations for buying a used EV:
1. Improve your finances
There’s no denying that a healthy financial status is going to make owning and driving an EV a lot easier.
Of course, this is easier said than done. The best approach is to break things down into more achievable steps:
- Start by reducing your credit cards to one. The more open debt you have spread out across multiple cards, the worse your situation will appear.
- Regardless of your debt status, commit to buy nothing you can’t afford and make all payments on time.
- Harmonise your outgoing payments and your incoming earnings.
- Start paying off your debt in small, incremental steps.
- Once your debt is gone, start saving up for a down payment.
How to improve your finances and get the car you want
2. Forget about your credit score
There are many ways to check your credit score. Just like there are many potential ways to improve it.
Here’s our honest opinion: Don’t waste too much time on it. If you follow our suggestions in step 1, you’re already doing the best you can and this will eventually reflect in your credit rating.
Focussing too much on your rating can have a demotivating effect. Changes tend to take a long time, and they may sometimes not even be caused by any of your current actions.
Especially if you have a really bad rating, the road may be too long. At Concept Car Credit, meanwhile, we don’t pay much attention to your rating, if at all. Instead, we focus on your income and how much you can commit to each month.
3. Wait until EVs become cheaper and the market more diverse
Sometimes, waiting can be a sign of laziness or inactivity. Sometimes, it can be the right thing to do.
As everyone will agree, EVs are going to replace petrol cars sooner or later. How soon? That remains uncertain. But we can say with absolute certainty that the moment is going to come.
As new EVs flood our roads, manufacturers will introduce even more models. Prices should come down, insurance costs should drop, financing should normalise. A viable used market should appear.
All of this means that waiting a little longer will almost certainly give you a better option than right now. This is one of the main reasons why we don’t offer EVs yet – the right moment simply hasn’t come yet!
4. Look for a green petrol car
Petrol cars made a significant contribution to air pollution. It’s absolutely imperative they disappear from our streets as soon as possible.
That said, some cars are worse than others. Especially over the past decade, the automobile industry finally took some serious measures to curb emissions. Which means that you can find vehicles with comparatively favourable levels even within your price range.
In fact, most of the models in our showroom are pretty green. The days of bad credit cars equalling to soot-swirling rust buckets are long gone!
5. Keep both eyes open
Whatever you do, EVs will soon be appearing in our showrooms as well. So one great way of preparing for the future is to follow us on Facebook and over here on our website.
We add new models almost daily, so by watching our latest offers, you’ll stay up to date on any changes.
As soon as we start offering EVs, you’ll be the first to know.
If you need a car fast, however, the moment of switching hasn’t come yet. Talk to us now about how we can offer you a great, eco-friendly petrol car at affordable monthly rates.
Call us at 0800 093 3385. Or send us a mail here.