Been thinking of buying an electric car lately but still in two minds over whether you should commit to the purchase? Sure, you like the eco-friendly performance, the host of benefits and the next-generation technology that electric vehicles offer, but still, something is stopping you from making the switch.

In that case, have you considered the cost of running an electric car? Like your usual fuel engines, the cost of running an electric vehicle depends on the model, make and specific vehicle. But we'll just cut to the chase: electric vehicles are likely to cost you less over the course of ownership.

And based on fuel costs alone, they're much cheaper to run than fuel alternatives too. Factor in maintenance costs, and their cost-effectiveness nicely offsets the initially higher purchase price of certain electric models. 

Still unconvinced? We'll take a closer look at what it costs to run an electric car in more detail, along with some like-for-like comparisons for different journey types across some of The Brindley Group's most popular diesel, petrol, and electric cars. We'll even throw in some extra info on the cost of the Congestion Charge to sweeten the deal, too.

What is the average cost of buying and running an electric vehicle?

Thanks to the Direct Line Group, it's possible to see how the average cost of buying and running an electric vehicle compares to a traditional petrol model.

The data, based on a comparison of five electric car models and their petrol equivalents bought in 2020, shows that the average total cost of buying a new electric car and driving it for just under 14 years (the average car's lifespan) comes in at £52,133. For a petrol-powered car on the other hand, doing the same would come in at a cost of £52,625.

Minus the purchase price, the annual running costs, including refuelling/recharging, insurance, road tax, MOTs, and servicing, work out at £1,742 for an electric car, which is 21% less than the £2,205 you'd forked out for its petrol equivalent.

The data also showed Vehicle Excise Duty, MOT and servicing costs are 49% lower on average than they are for their similar petrol models.

Comparing the costs of journeys in electric, petrol and diesel cars

To compare the cost of running an electric car, we took electric, petrol and diesel models from Hyundai that The Brindley Group currently sells, each with broadly similar performance, to see how the costs differed. The key stats are summarised below:


Tucson 1.7TM SE

Tucson Prem Bdrive 2Wd Cr

Fuel type









9.9 secs

13.7 secs

11.5 secs

Top speed








Using these stats and the help of online fuel calculator Zap-Map, we can work out the cost of three different journeys, and how they differ between these electric, petrol and diesel models.

Heading to the supermarket

It's been said that the ideal distance between a house and the supermarket is two miles. So, with that in mind, how much will driving this distance to the supermarket actually cost you?

Heading out to the supermarket in the petrol Tucson will set you back by about 34.6p. Making the same journey in the electric Ioniq, however, costs just 8.2p.

Of course, you'll need to drive back home with your shopping too. And say, you make the same journey to the supermarket twice a week. When you take the repeat journeys and frequency into account, the petrol Tucson costs £72 a year, while the diesel version clocks in at £44 every 12 months. The Ioniq on the other hand costs just £16 for a full year, making savings compared to traditional fuel cars of £56 and £28, respectively.


Tucson 1.7TM SE

Tucson Prem Bdrive 2Wd Cr

Cost per journey




Cost per year




Commuting to work

The Office for National Statistics states the average commute in the UK is around 9.32 miles in one direction. But obviously, people need to drive home after a hard day at work, so the total journey distance comes in 18.64 miles.

And since there's weekends and holidays to factor in too, the average commuter will drive this distance 232 times a year. So how does the average cost compared per vehicle type when you take the number of days and distance into account?

With a cost of just 0.75p per journey, the total cost of commuting in the Ioniq for a year works out at £174. The petrol Tucson, meanwhile, sets you back a whopping £884 a year, while its diesel variety fares a little better at £558 a year.

By opting for the electric variety, you could be saving yourself £767 a year compared to driving a petrol, and £384 a year in a diesel!


Tucson 1.7TM SE

Tucson Prem Bdrive 2Wd Cr

Cost per journey




Cost per year




Taking the family on a staycation

How do these cars fare when it's time for a little break, however? With the number of staycations increasing as a result of the pandemic, it's become the holiday of choice for motorists looking to get away for a while. For the purposes of the below results, let's say the average journey to their destination comes in at 225 miles.

That might sound like a lot, but this is a one time a year thing after all. And there's the return journey to think about too, so the round trip equates to 450 miles in total.

A round trip in the petrol Tucson will set you back by £38.25, with the diesel variety costing £24.75 there and back. The Ioniq, however, costs just £18. With that £20 saving, you'll have a little more spending money for the holiday itself! Every little helps, of course.


Tucson 1.7TM SE

Tucson Prem Bdrive 2Wd Cr

Cost per journey




Round trip




How much is the Congestion Charge?

Since April 2019, electric vehicles have been eligible for an exemption from both the London Congestion Charge and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge.

To qualify, electric vehicle owners must register their car with Transport for London (TfL) at a cost of £10, which will need to be renewed each year.

By doing so, such drivers will save themselves the £15 Congestion Charge charged to motorists driving within the Central London boundary between 07:00 and 22:00. Likewise, they'll also be saving themselves the £12.50 that unregistered vehicles have to pay to drive within the Ultra Low Emission Zone (which is the same area of central London as the Congestion Charge).

If you find yourself driving through this part of London frequently, then you could well avoid paying more than you have to should you opt for an electric vehicle in the near future.

Looking for more from the Brindley Group? Click here to check out all our news from the motoring world, as well as the rest of our motoring guides here. And if you’re in the market for a new car, see how we can help on our homepage.