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Adding up all the costs over 2 years, my Leaf cost less than two-thirds of what my previous car cost; a Skoda Fabia 1.4 diesel. The Leaf is a far better equipped car- and immensely more refined.

In 2016 I bought a used Leaf from a Nissan main dealer. I kept it for just over 2 years, had it serviced by Nissan and replaced a few tyres. Nothing went wrong with the car and I never ran out of charge. The total cost per mile over just over 2 years and 28,000 miles was less than 10p/mile. That’s similar to the fuel cost alone in the most efficient hybrids or diesels Compared to the Skoda Yeti auto I considered buying 2 years ago I’ve saved £6800.

Can you afford not to drive an EV?

It is now clear that used EVs have held their value or even appreciated over the past 2 years, due to an increase in demand. Buying a used EV is a very safe purchase because demand exceeds supply, and is likely to for some time to come. The car pictured above was roughly the 3000th EV registered in the UK. So if you want a 2013 registered EV… there’s not many to choose from! There are now over 160,000 EVs registered. That’s not many compared to the 38 million registered vehicles in the UK.

Costs to date over 28,000 miles:

6 tyres, total £388

Two Services (major/minor) and MOTs: £410

Electricity, £476 (Economy 7 off-peak; at 4.7 kWh/mile reported from Nissan EVconnect, plus 10% charging losses)

Insurance: Since purchase, £440

Road tax: £0

Depreciation: £1000

Total £2715

Cost per mile 9.6p

That all-in cost compares to just the cost of fuel alone in a very efficient small diesel car such as a Fabia, or even a hybrid, in the UK at 60mpg: 10p/mile. In practise, I’m guessing few people drive carefully enough to achieve this!

When you add all the extra costs of running an ICE car, for example more servicing (cambelts, brake wear, fuel filters, air filters), road tax etc- my previous 10-year old Skoda diesel was costing 16p/mile, the saving to date is £1760.

There is a catch for many – if you had to borrow all the money to buy the car in the first place. You’d pay around £400 in interest. Over 3 years you’d pay around £225 a month. Driving the distance I did, around half of that could be paid from fuel savings alone (£120). This extra cost pushes the cost per mile to 11p. After three years you own an asset rather than an environmental hazard!

Compared to the car I genuinely considered buying, a Skoda Yeti auto, the savings are huge. This is a genuine alternative as it’s very close in size to the Leaf (which I found surprising) and is an automatic. The Skoda has some quite eye-watering servicing costs for the auto box and cambelt, and comes in at 34p per mile. Over 28,000 miles that’s £9520, or a £6805 difference.

On a monthly basis? £261 per month saving over the Yeti. Still think you can’t afford an EV?

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