Charging your car for the cheapest price possible

If you drive an electric car or you’re planning to buy one, then you’re going to want to know how to save money on those charging costs no doubt.

It doesn’t matter if you’re charging at home, at work, or on the go, these are the tariffs that you can use to save money on your charging your car for as cheap as possible.

Why choose an electric vehicle tariff?

The electric vehicle marketplace is confusing, to say the least, but it’s not going to get any easier anytime soon.

So, what’s on offer? The majority of people who have an electric car and off-street parking tend to charge their vehicles at home. Most people tend to let it charge overnight too, which is easier than trying to find public charging stations. That’s why more and more people are switching to an electric vehicle tariff to help keep those costs down.

What does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?

You don’t have an electric vehicle tariff in place at home? Then expect to be charging your car for around £7.80 from empty to full. Imagine the cost of that over the course of a week, never mind a month! That’s why if you get yourself an economy tariff, you’ll be giving yourself cheaper electricity overnight, which could in theory halve this cost of charging at night for you.

If you pop to a service station, a rapid one that can give you around 100 miles, you’re probably looking at around £6.50 or more, if you add on any admin fee too. It can be costly in the world of electric vehicle charging.

The cost of charging can vary depending on the car and what tariff you’re on. Let’s say you’ve got an electric car that has a 40kWh battery. On average this would cost you around £5.20 for 150 miles on a standard 14p tariff. Whereas an electric car with 100kWh battery would cost you around £13 nearly and give you around 320 miles. You can see the difference and get a feel for what the cost would be looking like, not too healthy.

Charging your car at home

A dedicated home charging point is the way forward. And why not, you get faster charging, built-in safety features, and access to electric vehicle tariffs too!

Not only is it the cheapest way of charging your electric vehicle, but it’s also probably the easiest too. Pop it on charge overnight and then wake up with a full battery, doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Cost-wise, it can vary depending on the power unit that you opt for, whether it's universal or tethered. Let’s say you have a home wall box then you could be looking at anything from £800 to £1500 depending on the battery.

Don’t forget to dig out the manufacturers as well who offer a free wall box when you buy an electric vehicle, those are the ones.

We can't talk about charging your car at home without mentioning the cost of your energy bills increasing too. You'll have to factor that into your household budget, so you can expect to see a bit of an increase there.

The secret formula for working out the cost of charging your electric car is the price of your electric, which is pence per kilowatt hour, times the size of your electric vehicle battery. For example, if you've got a battery that is 52kWh, it might be 14p x 52kWh. This would equal approximately £7.28 for a full charge. With this in mind, switching to a more affordable tariff or charging overnight and using that cheap electric, will be win-win!

Cost of charging at work

Charging away from home, like at work, is where it can start to get a bit tricky. The cost of charging your car at work can vary depending on your employer. Some might choose to provide free charging, but others might set a paid tariff.

For example, you might find that some employers offer free charging as an incentive for their staff. Others might go for a time-based tariff to help encourage sharing. Sharing is caring after all. Or, you can sometimes find that its free to employees for a period of time, then after that time, it will start to charge, which might encourage people to move on.

Cost of charging at public charge points

Trying to find somewhere to charge your electric car while you're out and about can sometimes be easier said than done. It's so handy popping to a charging point to top up your battery when you need to, but how do you find one? The easiest way is to download the app on your phone which can help you to find charge points near you. There are nearly 15,000 charging points in the UK, with a mix of slow, fast and rapid options available.

Once you get there and you've found one, if it's an older charge point, it might need a card to start off with so that you can start charging. How much you pay for your charge, depends on your vehicle and the charging speed.

If you're a regular commuter and need to use charge points regularly, then a subscription service might work out better for you rather than a pay-as-you-go appraoch. If you were looking at a subscription, you're looking at around £7.80 a month.

The costs per charge, depending on charger will usually be:

  • Fast charging: 12p per kWh
  • Rapid charging: 15p per kWh
  • Ultra-fast charging: 27p per kWh

If you were doing it on a pay-as-you-go basis, it would work out more per unit for you plus you might need to pay a transaction charge too, which could be anything from £1.20 upwards.

The cost of public charging doesn't need to be costly. You can find a charger out there that will do the job for you and not for a bad price too.

All in all, the cost of buying an electric vehicle usually outweighs the costs of running it. It's usually cheaper than having a petrol or diesel vehicle that you have to keep filing up, who knew?

They're cheaper to run and based on electricity tariffs, home charging is looking to be the cheapest filling up option, followed by public ones which you can use for a bargain while you're on the move.

The price of fuel and electricity are both just as bad as each other these days, but overall, electricity will be the way forward and we'll all be charging our cars for the cheapest price possible before you know it.

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