How much does it cost to charge my electric car?

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How much will it cost me to charge?

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How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

If you want to know how much it costs to charge an electric car in the UK, you’ve come to the right place. Our simple electric car lookup tool will give you a complete overview of the costs of running a particular vehicle. This could be very handy if you have your eyes on a specific car or you’re thinking of making a change to save some money on running costs every week. 

If you have the car’s registration, just enter it here and we’ll do the rest. Or if you haven’t made a decision, check the costs of charging your preferred electric vehicle by entering the make and model instead. 

But for a general overview — and information on the factors that contribute to the cost of electric car charging — read on!

What issues affect the cost of charging an electric car in the UK?

The first thing to say is that not all electric vehicles are made equal. Moreover, how and when you use your EV will influence the running costs you need to cover. There are several issues to consider in this regard, but here are a few of the most pertinent. 

Electricity Tariffs

The choice of electricity tariff is crucial. Opting for off-peak or smart charging tariffs can significantly reduce charging costs compared to standard tariffs. Choose the tariff that best suits your charging routines, and make sure you plug in your vehicle when the per-unit costs are at their lowest. You can use the Cord app to schedule charges and control your EV charger remotely. 

Battery Size

The size of the electric vehicle's battery directly influences the charging cost. Fortunately, this isn’t rocket science. The larger the battery, the more electricity it requires — leading to higher overall charging expenses. However, some cars are more efficient than others, so check the manufacturer’s official ratings before making a decision.

Charging Speed

The type of charger used affects charging speed and, subsequently, the cost. Fast chargers may be more expensive, but they provide quicker charging times. Recharging an EV battery can take anywhere between one and 10 hours. The fastest charging points tend to be found in motorway service stations — delivering a full charge in less than an hour. The typical home charging session takes around eight hours.

Vehicle Efficiency

The electric vehicle's energy efficiency and charging system play a role in the overall charging costs involved. More energy-efficient vehicles may cost less to charge for the same distance travelled.

How do different electric car charging costs compare?

The cost of charging an electrical vehicle in the UK varies based on where, when and how you charge. But if you want to keep a lid on monthly running costs, choose a vehicle that meets your needs in the most cost-efficient way. 

To illustrate this point, here’s a brief comparison of three different electric cars based on data published by Which? magazine:


Hyundai Ioniq 6 (2022)

  • 2.5p per mile at home on an off-peak rate of 10p per kWh
  • 19.9p per mile using public DC charging at a rate of 80p per kWh

Mercedes EQV People Carrier (2020)

  • 5p per mile at home on an off-peak rate of 10p per kWh
  • 39.8p per mile using public DC charging at a rate of 80p per kWh

Fiat 500e Cabriolet (2020)

  • 2.8p per mile at home on an off-peak rate of 10p per kWh
  • 22.3 p per mile using public DC charging at a rate of 80p per kWh

As you can see from this list, it’s always best to be prepared and charge your EV at home. If you need to charge on motorways, for example, you could end up paying around eight times more than you do in your garage or drive.

If you don’t have a large family and use your car for mostly short runs around your area, choosing a smaller vehicle makes economic sense. 

What's cheaper? Electric car charging or filling with fuel?

Despite recent surges in the price of electricity in the UK, electric car charging is still considerably cheaper than filling up with petrol or diesel. Of course, exactly how much you save depends on how, when and where you charge. 

The average per-mile cost of fuel in the UK is around 20p. If you charge your car at home during the cheapest tariff window of the day, however, you get around for as little as 3p per mile. Even a rapid charging point on a major motorway will prove slightly cheaper than filling up with fuel. 

So, home charging on a favourable tariff has the potential to dramatically reduce your monthly running costs when you make the switch to electric from petrol or diesel. 


How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle away from my home?

If long journeys are a regular part of your routine, you will have to use third-party charging points. But if you plan your stops along the way, you can choose the cheapest possible charging points in advance. 

Most modern EV charging networks provide a free mobile app, which allows you to find charge points along pre-defined routes. Charging costs are usually communicated via a price per kWh, so choose the cheapest points if your route allows. The Cord app also provides this information.

Let’s say you’re driving a Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (2022) — a solid, medium-sized hatchback or saloon car that’s very popular among families in the UK. According to Which? Magazine, you’ll pay the following to charge it away from your home:

  • Public AC charging at 50p per kWh — 15.4p per mile
  • Public DC charging at 65p per kWh — 20.1p per mile
  • Public DC charging at 80p per kWh (rapid charging) — 24.7p per mile 

As you can see, there’s a big difference in charging prices. If you can make longer stops during your journey, and you’re flexible about the route you can take, you can make significant savings. 

Do your research before buying

So, the results are in. The cheapest way to run an electric car in the UK is to install a high quality charging point at home, choose an EV-friendly energy tariff and charge at the cheapest times of the day. 

But there are other issues to consider, including the battery capacity of the vehicle and your driving style. 

Before you take the plunge, use our handy vehicle lookup tool to get an idea of the general running costs of the car you want. 

The Cord search tool can tell you:

  • The battery capacity of the vehicle
  • The charging times that apply to the different methods available (Cord home charger, three-pin plug, rapid charging, etc.)
  • Peak and off-peak charging rates (and overall costs)
  • Additional information such as charge port locations and the difference driving conditions can make to ranges and charging costs

At Cord, we offer a hassle-free survey, an exceptionally easy and convenient installation process and a jargon-free purchasing experience. Charging your electric car for less has never been this easy. 

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The Cord One EV charger

  • Compatible with all electric vehicles - just plug in and charge
  • Built in charging cables for ultimate convenience
  • Save money - works with EV tariffs e.g Octopus Go
  • 7.4kW fast charging - the maximum rate for most homes 
  • 3 year warranty as standard, 5 year available