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Electric car insurance – a go-to guide

Everything you need to know about insuring your electric car

Updated

Fact checked
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.

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Bingle consistently come up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. They only cover the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps their premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low cost option that covers them for the basics.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in their policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also have a live chat feature on their site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Woolworths Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Woolworths catch our eye due to some unique perks like a price beat guarantee, where they'll beat any current comparable Comprehensive renewal notice if you're over 25. You'll also get 10% off your grocery shop once a month, and can add roadside assistance onto your policy for just $7.35 per month.

Who it might be good for: Woolworths shoppers and those that want to take advantage of their Price Beat.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. You'll get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you buy online and get access to their hail hero service. Plus, get a $100 e-Gift card when you purchase a new policy by 30 November 2020 (T&Cs apply).

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy that's affordable.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to pick and choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be thanks to optional extras like roadside assistance, choice of your own repairer, and the option of agreed or market value. Plus, you'll earn Qantas Points when you join and get access to the Qantas Wellness App.

Who it might be good for: People who love collecting frequent flyer points.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription - you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at anytime. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month-to-month.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. They'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. They offer higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. You get a free Bauer magazine subscription when you sign up and a portion of your premiums go to supporting female-led businesses.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (they'll cover men too!).
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include but you'll also be entitled to some benefits on their online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online. Plus, Kogan offer a pay as you drive option, which could be good if you're not on the road that much.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those that don't drive much.
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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.

VehicleList priceEstimated on-roadWeekly 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.

Picture: GettyImages

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