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Proud owner of my first EV - Renault Zoe i
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Hi,

I was wondering how to work out the costings of owning a car, factoring in electric, MOT insurance, etc

what's the formula to work out how long until the car pays itself once I bought a car. For example if I worked out my annual costing for year one would be £6200
( including insurance, MOT, fuel etc) and the car cost £5000 how long would it be until it pays for its self and becomes fuel efficiency and cheap car to run. The figures here are just an example. Thanks
 

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Is that in icluding depreciation?
Cars NEVER pay for themselves as they have an innate cost of being owned.

However if you mean compared to not getting it,
You need to work out the cost of NOT buying the car, which usually means your previous cars yearly cost including deprication, or if you were going to get another car anyway, the cost of the alternative car you would have got including deprecation.
 

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Zoe Devotee
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If you drive a car until it's of no value then just consider your entire car value as depreciation.

As stated work out alternative cost, ie the bus
 

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Electric Leaf Man
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I think I know what he means.

I'm £150+ better off a month over my previous ICE when it come to fuel costs given the mileage I do. Roughly 15k ev miles a year.

So using man maths I'm £1800 per year better off, roughly 10 years to 'pay the car off' when comparing driving an equivalent cost ICE. 150,000 miles! Saving money doesn't pay for the car though.

Then it depends on what car you compare it against and how much mpg it got as well as how many miles a year you do.
 

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Outlander
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Hi,

I was wondering how to work out the costings of owning a car, factoring in electric, MOT insurance, etc

what's the formula to work out how long until the car pays itself once I bought a car. For example if I worked out my annual costing for year one would be £6200
( including insurance, MOT, fuel etc) and the car cost £5000 how long would it be until it pays for its self and becomes fuel efficiency and cheap car to run. The figures here are just an example. Thanks
Never.

You can get a higher-spec fully maintained ICE for £500. It would take a lot of fuel, oil, pollution fines, and ICE-specific servicing to match the cost of a new BEV. As your insurance is probably higher on the new car, and depreciation is immense, the distance between the two only grows. Buy a classic ICE and the car might even appreciate.

... on the other hand, your hearing will last longer with quieter motor and lower radio volume, and that is priceless! ;)
 
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This is a question which always confuses me, as it seems to be applied solely to "green" products. Solar is a famous one - "It cost you £X, you'll never make that back!". No one seems to demand this payback/break even when looking at the cost of a gas boiler replacement, it's pitched as "This will save you X% a year on your gas bills!". No one even pretends you'll ever get your money back, as you won't. You might recover the costs of installing the boiler over time with the savings on the bill, but you're still paying a bill.

As has been said, you look at the cost of running something similar, and work out which is more expensive. But that's only if your sole criteria is cost, which for quite a lot of people who are in the BEV world isn't the only reason.
 

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I think I know what he means.

I'm £150+ better off a month over my previous ICE when it come to fuel costs given the mileage I do. Roughly 15k ev miles a year.

So using man maths I'm £1800 per year better off, roughly 10 years to 'pay the car off' when comparing driving an equivalent cost ICE. 150,000 miles! Saving money doesn't pay for the car though.

Then it depends on what car you compare it against and how much mpg it got as well as how many miles a year you do.
When looking at the my LEAF PCP, I compared the costs over three years against my then current ICE in terms of keeping it another 3 years or swapping it for a similar year old example after 1 or 2 years of the three year period.

Net result, the LEAF is cheaper than running my old car for another three years, and far cheaper than the other options of buying another ICE (not surprising given it would have cost me £10-11k to change to the same ICE but newer). Given that insurance was very similar for the ICE and LEAF I didn;t bother putting that in my calcs, but I did factor the depreciation of my ICE car, servicing, MOTs, MOT repairs, tyre replacements and other consumable like a clutch and brakes.

I predict I'll save ca £900/year, even after my recent electricity tariff increases.

Of course if you do low miles and have a 5-10 year old car then the depreciation is lower and the fuel savings less.
 

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This is a question which always confuses me, as it seems to be applied solely to "green" products. Solar is a famous one - "It cost you £X, you'll never make that back!". No one seems to demand this payback/break even when looking at the cost of a gas boiler replacement, it's pitched as "This will save you X% a year on your gas bills!". No one even pretends you'll ever get your money back, as you won't. You might recover the costs of installing the boiler over time with the savings on the bill, but you're still paying a bill.

As has been said, you look at the cost of running something similar, and work out which is more expensive. But that's only if your sole criteria is cost, which for quite a lot of people who are in the BEV world isn't the only reason.
You put it beautifully @First Draft - people nearly always only apply this requirement to green products. I was having the discussion only yesterday with a friend about solar panels; people wouldn't look to get their money back on refurbishing an old bathroom - they'd just enjoy using it.
 
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I think I know what he means.

I'm £150+ better off a month over my previous ICE when it come to fuel costs given the mileage I do. Roughly 15k ev miles a year.

So using man maths I'm £1800 per year better off, roughly 10 years to 'pay the car off' when comparing driving an equivalent cost ICE. 150,000 miles! Saving money doesn't pay for the car though.

Then it depends on what car you compare it against and how much mpg it got as well as how many miles a year you do.
If you have the right circumstances a cheap second hand EV bought for a specific need like commuting can be made to pay for itself. I've just been through all the sums for this a couple of months ago when I bought my Peugeot Ion. If it couldn't have paid for itself I wouldn't have been able to buy it!

Without going into exact numbers the situation was this:

One petrol V6 used for general running about, expensive to fuel but a great car to drive. Me and my gf were commuting to work by train and bus respectively so the car wasn't needed except for outings and shopping, so the petrol cost a month was still highish, but tolerable.

Then we had a kid. :LOL: Once he was old enough to need babysitting by his gran each work day (as we both have to work) the situation changed.

Now I had a 16 mile a day round commute in the car to drop him off, followed by a still expensive train journey into the city. This doesn't sound like much but it works out to an additional 320 miles a month we weren't previously doing, (total about 600 miles) and still paying for the bus and train. Public transport is not an option for this part of the commute, so we were completely reliant on the car as well, which is also quite old now.

I was getting a bit anxious about the fact that it was an old car with no backup plan available and while it has only let me down once, because I do all my own maintenance I was finding the thought of it letting me down, plus being a bit scared of tackling larger jobs on the car that were due in case I couldn't get them finished by Monday morning was wearing me down a bit.

So I decided I needed a second car specifically for commuting, and it had to be very economic. I looked at small cars like the C1 first but realised I would then have two petrol cars to maintain instead of one! It would also cost us more money on average unless I sold the bigger car, but then we wouldn't have the use of a big comfortable motorway mile muncher when we needed it.

Then I started looking at the C-Zero and Ion and found one for £4200 locally and took it for a test drive. I didn't take it on the day but started thinking about it and working out some sums.

I realised that the per mile running cost of the Ion is so much less that it would actually pay for itself (just) even at the 600 miles a month we were doing. The cost of a personal bank loan to pay the car off over 4 years, MOT, insurance, and the cost of charging at 13p/kWh all together was significantly less than the reduction in petrol cost by basically not driving the petrol car on a regular basis anymore, and I was still able to keep, insure, MOT and Tax the petrol car! (as long as I only drove it on special occasions :cool:)

So even keeping the train and bus journey's it was a little bit better than break even, giving us the flexibility of having two cars so no longer any fear of breaking down and not having transport. I now have the luxury of tackling large jobs (like timing belt) on the petrol car and catching up on a few things it needs without the constant time pressure to get it back on the road asap, so I can actually take my time and enjoy the work instead of rushing.

Also, any additional mileage we do is vastly cheaper than any additional mileage we would have done in the petrol car (About 3.5p/mile vs 28p/mile) which has made us a lot more willing to go somewhere on a whim than before where we were always having to watch the cost of petrol and often avoiding "unnecessary" trips. Which also allowed us to take the next step:

We found £70 a month parking in the city right near my work, ditched both our bus and train fairs and now take the car together all the way into the city, which makes a total round trip of 38 miles a day. I get home over half an hour earlier than I was using a combination of train and car, and we're actually saving over £120 a month on what we were paying in total for travel before with the one car, even while the Ion is still being paid off. If I'd tried to drive all the way into the city in the petrol car the costs would have been much more expensive than sticking with the train/bus.

Of course running costs are not just electricity or petrol, there are tyres and other maintenance items, and now that we're doing about 1000 miles a month I expect the tyres will be the first thing that needs replacing on the Ion (they're not brilliant tyres on there now anyway, I think I may put some all seasons on just before the winter) but the Petrol car would have required far more maintenance to keep on the road especially at its age, so by drastically cutting down the mileage it does I am reducing the maintenance costs of that car.

In the 2 months I've had the Ion, I've only actually needed the other car twice and it has been driven so little that every fortnight I've had to start it up and give it a run around the block just so it doesn't rust away....(leaving an old car parked for months without any use is really bad for it)

So in our case by juggling petrol and public transportation costs the car is definitely paying for itself and then some, (with paying for itself meaning our monthly outgoings are less than they were before) but only because we were able to buy it so cheaply and because we were paying so much for transport already. If it was a £7000 Leaf then it would not have paid for itself unless we were doing a lot more miles.
 

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I think I know what he means.

I'm £150+ better off a month over my previous ICE when it come to fuel costs given the mileage I do. Roughly 15k ev miles a year.

So using man maths I'm £1800 per year better off, roughly 10 years to 'pay the car off' when comparing driving an equivalent cost ICE. 150,000 miles! Saving money doesn't pay for the car though.

Then it depends on what car you compare it against and how much mpg it got as well as how many miles a year you do.
I use this logic when replacing my last car. However if you can wangle in work charging/ or you live at work like me. You can get that figure down to 100,000 miles. (man maths)
 

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Outlander
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Yeah. Horses are so cheap to run and keep healthy!

Ah, daily mail article.
~£185/month if you own large enough off-road parking, which is assumed or it would be a hobby rather than transport. Estimate based on Horse&Hound article.

~£415/month to maintain an old Land Rover. Estimate from Google.

I think both are less than the PCP on an equivalent new off-road vehicle. Also checked the range of a horse and estimate ~60 miles per day ;)
 

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~£185/month if you own large enough off-road parking, which is assumed or it would be a hobby rather than transport. Estimate based on Horse&Hound article.

~£415/month to maintain an old Land Rover. Estimate from Google.

I think both are less than the PCP on an equivalent new off-road vehicle. Also checked the range of a horse and estimate ~60 miles per day ;)
On the other hand, the emissions are terrible...
 

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If you commute many miles like I do, then a used Leaf or Zoe can certainly compete on costs with a fairly cheap diesel even at today's "cheap" fuel prices.
Remember the EV offers an auto box, near silent drive, no trips to the filling station, etc etc :)

I did a blog on this last year-
A car for free?
 

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