Five Things You Need to Know When Buying Your First Electric Car
With the electric car revolution in full swing, the number of people swapping their petrol or diesel car for an electric vehicle is increasing rapidly.
However, many people still have some uncertainties around purchasing an electric car, so Lloyd Volvo Carlisle are providing their top tips to debunk the myths and help drivers figure out what they need.
Gary Hom, Head of Business from Lloyd Volvo Carlisle on Chandler Way, said: “Carlisle drivers are welcome to drop in and speak with our expert team about purchasing their first electric car at any time, but for those too busy to visit, we’ve included our five top tips below.”
Work out what you actually need
“It’s often easy to pick your new car based on aesthetics alone, but it’s important to make sure that the car you’re looking at fits all aspects of your lifestyle, too. Size is an important consideration – do you need a large SUV or a smaller car? Do you need plenty of space in the cabin and the boot, or is one more important than the other? It’s also vital to consider how you’ll mainly be using the car and the kinds of journeys you regularly take. Generally speaking, the larger the car, the larger the battery will be, and so this will take longer to recharge.
“If you’re someone who has a long commute to work every day, or if you regularly go on long-distance trips, you’ll definitely need to factor in a car that is smooth and comfortable to drive, efficient and has a good electric range. Many people tend to overestimate how much they actually drive – on average, the majority of people drive only around 20 miles a day*. Taking a detailed look at what you use your car for on a daily basis and observing how many miles you add each week are great ways of staying realistic with your requirements.”
Budget to spend less on maintenance
“One of the main selling points of an electric car is that maintenance is generally much simpler and cheaper than that of a petrol or diesel car. With fewer parts in an electric car, there is less to go wrong, meaning maintenance costs could be up to half the price you’re used to**.
“Thanks to regenerative braking, which in many instances uses the electric motor to help slow the car rather than the brakes themselves, the brakes on your new car will be exposed to less wear and tear, meaning they won’t need to be replaced as often**.
“While electric cars do still need annual MoT checks, as with all cars, this is generally a pain-free experience, with exhaust emissions tests being a thing of the past.”
Get set up for charging
“We know that charging is the number one deterrent from people purchasing an electric vehicle – with so many different options and types, it’s no wonder!
“It’s worth doing your research and familiarising yourself with the charging process before purchasing, which may include getting a home charging point fitted. Nearly every electric car owner will find a home charging point beneficial, because charging your car overnight is the most time-effective option to ensure you’re fully charged for the day ahead – and there’s no waiting around because you and your car will be recharging your batteries overnight together.
“Chances are, if you buy an electric car, at some point you’ll need to use public charging spots, too. To save yourself getting caught out, it’s a good idea to look at the different public charging facilities available and get to grips with them– there are roughly 42,000 public charging points in the UK**, so have a look at downloading charging provider apps and getting yourself set up now, so you’ll be ready when you need them.”
Know your budget
“Making sure you have a good idea of your available budget is incredibly important – that way, we as retailers can help you find the most suitable, affordable option for you, and you know your limits.
“Don’t be put off by the initial upfront cost of an electric vehicle – electric cars tend to cost slightly more to purchase than a petrol or diesel car, but the costs of running are much lower, with the likes of fuel, tax and maintenance being much cheaper***.”
Go to see the car in person
“We would always recommend popping into your local retailer to have a thorough look at the car you’re considering – whether you’re certain you know what you want, or you’re stuck between a couple of options, it’s a great way to make sure you’re confident in your decision.
“Between 6th and 20th March, Lloyd Volvo Carlisle is inviting prospective buyers to come in and talk to our expert team and take advantage of some of the amazing promotions we currently have on offer.
“We strongly believe that buying a new car should be an exciting time, not a stressful one, and so we’re offering 0% APR finance1 on our whole range of new Volvos, as well as offers on servicing2 and discounts on accessories3.”
*Research by Top Gear in 2022
**Research by EDF in 2022
***Information from RAC in 2023