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The differences between hiring an electric car vs a normal car

Electric vehicles are becoming more common on UK roads, so it will come as little surprise to know that there is a growing number available for hire too.

From benefitting the environment to potentially bringing down costs, opting for an electric car does have its perks, but it also has some potential pitfalls.

So if you find the prospect of hiring an electric car enticing, here’s what you’ll need to think about ahead of your next trip…

electric car charging

What do you need to consider?

According to Europcar, fuel costs for electric vehicles can be up 70% less than for diesel or petrol cars, meaning it could be a great way of saving money on your hire.

Generally speaking, the price of electricity fluctuates far less than the price of petrol or diesel, making it easier to predict and manage your fuel expenditure for a trip.

These vehicles are also better for the environment, as carbon dioxide emissions are significantly lower among electric vehicles than their fuel-driven counterparts.

Restriction-free city driving

This brings an added benefit in many major cities across Europe, as electric vehicles can be used freely in low-emission zones without any restrictions or financial outlays.

Birmingham has recently introduced such a zone, joining London, while numerous other local authorities are said to be exploring such schemes.

In Europe, it’s a similar story, with the AA suggesting that more than 200 cities in ten countries now have a low-emission zone in operation, with drivers charged if their vehicles don’t meet set standards.

Questions over range

The very nature of electric cars means they can only run for as long as they have power, in much the same way that a car can only run while it has fuel.

But whereas there are ample fuel stations in the UK and overseas to refuel at, the same cannot be said of electric vehicle charging points.

You’ll need to carefully consider where you’ll be driving, as while you’ll probably be able to find a suitable place to plug in and charge in large cities, that won’t always be the case in rural locations.

Range limitations on electric vehicles also need to be considered, as although the battery range of electric cars is improving, they remain largely unsuitable for long-distance driving given the time required to recharge.

Time is another key consideration, as charging an electric vehicle takes longer than filling up at the pump, meaning recharging (and the time it takes) will need to be factored into any planning.

Are there any specific terms of hire?

You’ll also want to check the terms of your hire, as if you get a vehicle fully charged, the hire firm may expect to also return it in that state – meaning you’ll need to find time to do this.

Some hire firms may only provide access to certain charging networks too, limiting the locations where you could potentially charge the vehicle.

However, any rental should include all of the necessary cables to charge at a domestic location or by the roadside, meaning drivers have what they need to keep the vehicle running.

Ultimately, your choice of vehicle to hire will be influenced by your plans – if your intended mileage is limited, or you only plan to drive around a city and its surroundings, then an electric vehicle could be the better option.

Alternatively, if you plan to cover long distances, or will be hard-pressed for time, then opting for a petrol car may make more sense.

Whatever type of vehicle you opt to go for, don’t forget to protect your excess with our car hire excess insurance. We cover everything from accidental damage, theft, fire, loss of use, tyres, keys & more! Get a quote today. 

Date Created: 20/10/2021

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