The soaring costs of traditional fuels is edging many motorists to look at cheaper options – like liquid gas, electric and hydrogen powered cars – but insurers, brokers and price comparison sites seem to lack green credentials.
Many big insurance firms struggle to answer queries about electric vehicles, which sparks the thought that they have not yet written any information about them in to their quoting systems.
Cheap car insurance is about a low risk assessment, and little evidence is available to insurers to make a decision about how to quote on the reliability of electric cars and the likelihood of them being involved in accidents.
The best way of finding some comparable quotes for electric vehicles is probably handing the job to a broker and letting them shop around for you.
Putting a value on a new electric car is the first hurdle.
The government offers a Plug-in Car Grant that cuts prices of qualifying ultra-low emission vehicles by up to £5,000. The question for the insurer is how to value a car with a showroom cost of £20,000 that the buyer paid just £15,000 to drive away.
Is the replacement value the higher or lower of the figures?
Next comes the grouping problem. Insurers classify similar cars in groups, but for some reason many less powerful and lower emission vehicles are grouped with larger fossil fuel equivalents.
This means motor insurance cover on electric cars is often up to 25% more expensive than that of a similar petrol or diesel vehicle.
This leaves drivers in a quandary. If they want to go green, the government’s plug-in grant seems to sweeten the deal, but going electric comes at a cost while insurers are not ready to empower the environment.