Electric car insurance – a go-to guide
Everything you need to know about insuring your electric car
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You've invested in an electric car and now you want to find insurance to suit - use our guide to find out which insurance companies will cover you and what you can expect from a policy.
Who offers cover for electric cars?
Most general car insurers offer insurance for electric vehicles, including Bingle, Budget Direct, Youii and Virgin - among others. Request quotes for electric car insurance, from our list of major providers below.
Is it cheaper to insure electric cars?
No. In fact, electric car insurance is usually more expensive than cover for a petrol or diesel car - but there are a few reasons for the higher price point.
- They cost more - Electric cars don't come cheap. If you're insuring an electric vehicle, it's almost certainly high value, so your insurance premium will reflect that.
- Parts are expensive - Electric vehicles are still relatively new to the Australian market, so there are limited suppliers and manufacturers, which means sourcing spare parts can be tricky.
- There's a skills gap - Right now, there are very few skilled technicians who specialise in repairing electric vehicles, so they can charge a premium for their service.
While electric car owners can expect to pay more for their premiums right now, it might not always be the case. As more vehicles enter the market, the number of service providers will increase and arranging repairs will be easier - bringing the cost of insurance down.
Electric car vs fuel-powered vehicle insurance costs
We compared the Hyundai Ioniq Elite fully electric car with the Hyundai I30 Premium hatch, because both cars have similar features and are an affordable price point.
However, the Ioniq has an on-road cost of $49,523 - some 20% higher than the diesel-engined I30, which comes in at $39,430.
Fully comprehensive cover for a 30-year-old, rating one driver cost an average of $1,476 for the Ioniq, while cover would only cost $844 for the same driver if they owned the I30.
Popular electric cars and their insurance costs
The table below shows the on-road costs for three popular electric vehicles over five years, covering an estimated 15,000 kms per year.
|Vehicle||List price||Estimated on-road||Weekly on-road costs|
|BMW i3 120Ah Electric||$68,700||$74,722||$58.34|
|Tesla Model S 100D Electric 1sp Auto||$141,400||$145,801||$62.95|
|Tesla Model X 100D Electric 1sp Auto||$146,000||$150,493||$64.64|
On-road costs include rego, insurance, licence and RACQ membership. Figures provided by RACQ.
Can I get a discount on electric car insurance?
Although you might have to accept higher premiums for the meantime, there are still ways to save money on your insurance. Some insurers - like WA's RAC - will give discounts for cars which have low fuel emissions. Under the RAC scheme, cars under a year old could see a premium reduction of up to 25%.
You can also save money on your car rego if you buy an electric vehicle, while your duty costs could also be lower.
Do I need specialised insurance for electric cars?
Not necessarily. Most car insurers will offer insurance for electric cars - however, it might be trickier to find cover if you've got a rare or extremely high-value electric vehicle.
For example, some insurance companies won't cover Tesla vehicles, while others will enforce strict age limits on policyholders. This is because there are limited dealerships - just six in Australia - so coordinating repairs can be a lengthy and expensive process.
If you can't find a general insurer that is happy to cover your electric car, you can try the Insurance Council of Australia's Find an Insurer service.
Is it better to get my own choice of repairer?
Some car insurers will give you the option to use your own choice of repairer if you have to make a claim. This usually comes at an additional cost but there are benefits associated with using your own repairer - including quicker turnaround times, a more convenient location, and the ability to choose a specialist service provider.
For electric car owners, particularly those who have prestige or high-value vehicles, it's often a priority to have a specialist mechanic or technician handling the repairs process. As such, it may be worth considering an insurance company which will let you choose your own repairer.
Can I get third party insurance for my electric car?
Yes. Most car insurers will provide third party, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive insurance policies for electric cars.
However, while third party insurance might be cheaper than comprehensive cover, it won't pay out if your car is accidentally damaged. Plus, electric cars aren't exactly cheap - so it might be worth considering more comprehensive insurance.
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