What you need to know about buying an electric car

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been around a while now and with the UK Government confirming its plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, there’s never been a better time to consider switching. If you’re ready to buy an electric car, M&S Bank can help with our personal loans as well as protect your new car on the road with our electric car insurance. But, if you’re not sure about the financial, practical and performance considerations, read on to find out all you need to know.

Financial cost of an electric car

Initial cost

Electric cars still cost more than conventionally-powered alternatives, but costs are coming down as more and more people make the switch. The government has also introduced several schemes to lower the upfront and running costs of owning an EV. Such as a plug-in van grant of up to £2,500 for small vans and £5,000 for large vans until at least 2025 and £350 off the cost of homeplace chargepoints for people living in flats. 1


Insuring an electric car is as easy as insuring conventionally-powered cars.

Tip: Make sure your insurance covers your battery and cables (even if the battery’s leased). That way, you’re covered if they get damaged in an accident or get lost or stolen. 

Why not check how much electric car insurance might cost with a quote for M&S Electric Car Insurance?

Cost of charging

Charging your car at home will definitely increase your electricity bill, costing about £17 for a full charge. If pulling into a motorway service station, charging typically costs around £26 for a full charge. Rapid charging points can be found at motorway service stations and typically cost £19 for 30 minutes, approximately a 90 mile charge. 2

The UK Government have introduced “e-plates” for EVs which could mean benefits like free entry into new ‘ultra-low emissions zones’ and use of bus lanes.

How long do electric cars run for?


‘Range anxiety’ – worrying you’ll run out of fuel on a trip – has long been a worry, but things are changing with some EV models now boasting ranges of 200+ miles.3

Battery life

Scare stories about the cost of replacing a battery that no longer holds its charge – think phone batteries after a couple of years – used to put off lots of potential EV buyers, but most manufacturers now offer seven or eight year battery warranties, or around 100,000 miles, as standard.

Electric cars and charging

How will I charge my EV?

The good news is, as of February 2024, there were 57,290 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 32,575 charging locations. This represents a 47% increase in the total number of charging devices since February 2023. 4

Home charging

Perfect if you have off-street parking. A fully installed home charging point costs from £798.2 Often drivers will choose to charge their electric car overnight, waking up to a full battery in the morning.

A ‘standard’ electric car, with a 60kWh battery and range of approximately 200 miles, currently costs around £17 to charge at home. If you drive around 150 miles a week, a nightly top-up should be spot on.2

Planning a longer journey?

With websites like ZapMapor Pod Point providing constantly updated information on the UK’s charging network, you’ll have no problem finding your nearest charging point or planning your route if you’re taking a long journey.

And with rapid “destination chargers” (typically taking just 20-40 mins to get an 80% charge) popping up at out-of-town malls, pubs and supermarkets, as well as at our service stations, it’s surprisingly convenient to top up while getting on with other things.

Ready to make the switch?

Hopefully we’ve debunked some of the myths surrounding electric vehicles and given you all the information you need to decide if your future’s electric….

So, if you’re ready to take the plunge, M&S Bank may be able to help, with our personal loans as well as protection for your new car on the road with our electric car insurance.

Updated: April 2024

1 Correct at time of publication, see UK Government for up-to-date information

2 Correct at time of publication, see Pod Point for up-to-date information

3 Correct at time of publication, see Pod Point for up-to-date information

4 Correct at time of publication, see zapmap for up-to-date information