Electric cars can cost £330 more to insure than petrol or diesel

File photo dated 26/03/2010 of an electric car being charged up in Dublin. The Government minister charged with overseeing Ireland's new plan to combat climate change has declared it a moral necessity.

Charging time, purchase price, lifestyle – there are plenty of barriers keeping motorists from switching to an electric car, but recent research shows insurance costs could also be playing their part.

Data from insurance comparison site CompareTheMarket shows that drivers of electric vehicles can expect to pay £330 a year more than those driving petrol or diesel cars. The average annual insurance premium for an electric car is £1,070, which dwarfs the £740 average for a petrol or diesel car.

CompareTheMarket suggests that the increased premiums for electric cars reflect higher repair costs. Electric vehicles can be pricey to fix after a crash, especially if sophisticated electronics or battery packs take the impact.

One in ten people surveyed by the site said they were worried about the insurance costs of electric cars – causing them to delay upgrading their car.
Insurance isn't the only barrier, of course – 40 per cent of those polled said they didn't have the money to buy an electric car in the first place.

These figures explain why just six per cent of motorists that CompareTheMarket polled said they will buy an electric car next. That's compared to 27 per cent who said they would opt for a hybrid, and 67 per cent who said they would stick to petrol and diesel.

The study also noted that older and more cash-rich buyers are more likely to consider an electrified vehicle. Over a third of those aged 55 years and over said they would buy electric or hybrid, compared to under a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds.

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