GUEST POST: ELECTRIC VEHICLES ON ROAD TRIPS: HOW TO SAVE MONEY IN THE UK

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    More than ever before, electric vehicles on road trips have become the go-to option over petrol and diesel cars, especially with fuel prices soaring. 

    With the increasing adoption of EVs, several countries have announced their ambitious plans to fit the demand, skyrocketing the rollout of electric charging stations across major roadways, and even rural routes. 

    These ambitious plans have had a tangible effect, too! 

    Electric car leasing deals are growing in popularity as increasingly more drivers are going green now that the supply of charge points is meeting the demand. Currently, there are over 1.8 million electric vehicles on Britain roads, with more to come. 

    BENEFITS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES FOR BRITISH ROAD TRIPS

    Here’s a quick overview of some of the benefits you can expect from an electric vehicle, which we’ll explore in greater detail below.

    • Longer drives at lesser fuel costs
    • No tailpipe emissions
    • Reduced road tax and free parking
    • Extended driving range
    • Safe handling and a quiet driving experience
    • Convenient rapid charge points

    Rest assured, electric vehicles on road trips are a unique experience. It’s no surprise that many are taking advantage of the perks of going green. 

    COST-SAVING ADVANTAGES OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES

    Overall, an electric vehicle can run on as little electricity as 1p per mile, whilst the most economical petrol and diesel cars still tend to cost 13-16p per mile. This is an impressive disparity between the different types of vehicle. 

    The fact that electric vehicles on road trips also benefit from money-saving government schemes, such as reduced road tax or accessible free parking, is another major cost-saving advantage to claim.

    LOWER FUEL COSTS: ELECTRIC VEHICLES VS TRADITIONAL CARS

    The difference in fuel costs here is quite astounding. 

    In terms of running an electric vehicle – with the length of a road trip in mind – your electric bill will see an increase of about £15.10 for a 200-mile range on a standard 60kW electric vehicle.

    In comparison, most petrol vehicles can cost £100 or more for a full tank, which provides you with a similar 200-mile driving range. 

    Traditional cars may be the more common road-tripping vehicles for now, but they’re certainly the most expensive, and the cost of other road-trip amenities – like food, drinks, overnight stays – can soon break down your bank account.

    ACCESSING CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

    There’s one consideration for electric vehicles on road trips that you don’t have regarding traditional cars: the issue of accessing charging infrastructure. 

    Fortunately, this isn’t as challenging as you might think! 

    Many drivers get ‘range anxiety’ over their electric vehicles, even though charging stations are no longer hard to find. In fact, you’ll find public chargers at most major gas pumps on motorways to date. 

    There are currently 43,626 charge stations in the UK, across 25,413 charging locations – three times the number of petrol stations! Therefore, accessing charging infrastructure is simple. 

    Need help searching for an EV charging station? Luckily, there are plenty of handy websites for electric car drivers.

    PLANNING YOUR CHARGING STOPS

    When planning your charging stops, there are some factors to bear in mind. 

    Cold weather can decrease the battery range of your vehicle, leaving you with less mileage than usual. Also, there are different types of charge points to consider, ranging from rapid and fast to slow.  

    Generally, make sure that your route accounts for a charging point before your vehicle reaches less than 20%. This is better for the battery life of your EV. 

    A single charge should carry you 200 miles, but if you’re intending on a lengthier electric vehicle road trip, you should also be sure to choose your electric vehicle network wisely

    GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES AND GRANTS FOR ELECTRIC ROAD TRIPS

    Because electric vehicles are so good at reducing an individual’s carbon footprint, and electric vehicles on road trips are exponentially more eco-friendly, drivers can benefit from certain government incentives. 

    FINANCIAL BENEFITS AND EXEMPTION FROM ROAD TAX

    The Plug-In Car Grant is one of the government’s finest incentive schemes. They offer a £2,500 discount from the initial price of a great range of new electric vehicles, as long as they cost less than £35,000! 

    Moreover, electric vehicles that have zero emissions enjoy exemptions on registration tax and VED road tax. 

    Benefit-in-kind tax is also greatly reduced for employees using company cars, which, in rare cases, can be used for non-commercial purposes- like a road trip with the family! 

    MAXIMISING SAVINGS THROUGH GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES WHILE ON ROAD TRIPS

    If you want to maximise your savings through government incentives while on the British road trip of a lifetime, there’s a few things you can do. 

    Make sure that your electric vehicle is as fuel-efficient as possible, preferably with zero emissions. If you’re not ready to buy, try an electric car lease deal, which you can set for a fixed period at a budget-friendly rate. 

    Finally, if you drive an electric vehicle, you may be able to avoid pesky congestion charges in big cities like London, Birmingham, and Manchester. 

    PRO TIP: Be sure to check out government-funded charging stations because you might be able to get discounted or free charging! 

    REDUCED MAINTENANCE EXPENSES: ELECTRIC VEHICLES ON BRITISH ROAD TRIPS

    Electric vehicles on road trips across Britain have greatly reduced maintenance expenses. This is because they have certain features, like regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy into electricity to charge your car’s battery and preserves the condition of your brakes. 

    There’s also no need for oil changes, which saves you hundreds of pounds in the long run.

    COMPARING MAINTENANCE COSTS BETWEEN ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE VEHICLES

    Vehicles with an internal-combustion engine (ICE) do tend to have higher maintenance costs than electric vehicles. They don’t have regenerative braking and have more complex engines, transmissions, and other systems. 

    The risk of component failure, particularly when undergoing a long road trip, cannot be discounted. Plus, ICE vehicles require regular upkeep when it comes to changing oil, coolant, and transmission fluid – something an EV scraps entirely. 

    The biggest maintenance cost of an EV would likely be the battery. An electric vehicle has a battery that requires periodic servicing, and eventual replacement. In sum, maintaining an EV over an ICE vehicle is about 23% cheaper over a typical 3-year period!

    ACCESS TO CLEAN AIR ZONES AND CONGESTION CHARGE DISCOUNTS

    Clean air zones vary throughout the UK but become extremely significant when planning your British road trip. 

    Because many electric vehicles are zero emission, you won’t be faced with any congestion charges along your road trip route! This could save you upwards of £100, depending on how long you travel for. Some clean air zones incentivise electric car drivers with priority parking spaces, too. 

    Saying this, because congestion charge discounts can vary wildly – as can the limitations of clean air zones – it’s always best to plan your road trip itinerary around these areas in advance to keep charges and fees at a minimum. 

    PLANNING ELECTRIC-FRIENDLY ROAD TRIP ROUTES IN THE UK

    When it comes to planning, though a single charge may fuel an electric vehicle for up to 200 miles, it’s always best to fit in a couple of charging sessions along the way! 

    Google Maps is extremely useful in this, as key charging stations and amenities are easily identifiable with a single search, and you can select multiple destinations to travel to. 

    EXPLORING EV-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

    When you’re on your travels, there will be a variety of hotels, B&Bs, and campsites with home charging facilities available for your electric car. Charging stations can be found within hotel parking garages and tend to be in convenient parking spots, depending on the accommodation you opt for. 

    If your accommodation doesn’t have charging spots on-site, but does partner with a charging station nearby, that’s okay too! 

    Some facilities may allow you to make charging reservations for priority spots, or provide complimentary charging. Be sure to check the level of charging access your accommodation has though. Some are level 1, with the charging speed of a standard household outlet, and some may have rapid charging stations of level 2 standard or above for a faster charge. 

    The best amenities always include valet charging, and hotels or B&Bs with eco-friendly certifications are something you should watch out for. 

    READY FOR YOUR NEXT UK ROAD TRIP? WHY NOT TRY ELECTRIC CAR LEASING

    All in all, an electric vehicle can save you hundreds of pounds on your British road trip holiday, for a variety of reasons – ranging from eco-friendliness to low maintenance costs and a great battery life. 

    Ready to embark on your dream road trip across Britain? LeaseCar is one of the UK’s most trusted leasing companies – browse their leasing options and take advantage of their superb range of deals and rates.