We know electric cars are expensive in Britain, but they are a fraction of the price charged in other countries, writes Robin Roberts.
Sometimes they are dearer in the UK, but overall a survey for Compare the Market found Britain ranked 13th out of nearly 50 locations.
The world’s most popular mass market ev is the Nissan Leaf and looking at global prices it averaged £26,345 in the UK.
Live in Spain and you’d have to pay the equivalent of £22,015 for the same car, the cheapest place in the world rankings.
But the same car would cost you a whopping £84,866 if you happened to live in Singapore, and that’s down to local and national taxes bumping up the price.
Of course you are unlikely to get precisely identical models as individual markets and countries have specific safety and equipment availability and this is reflected in the price.
The UK has traditionally had higher equipped models and we pay the price as a result. Our island national status also means we have usually paid a bit more to get a model shipped to the UK, but the fact is that the Leaf is made in Britain and this has undoubtedly helped keep the price lower than if it was brought all the way from Nissan’s home country of Japan.
The mark up of importers and dealers also varies and this has to be factored into the showroom price and often we pay for unseen costs such as warranties or extended “free” servicing. This can mean local labour rates are cheaper or more expensive when they have to be built into the costs.
The tightening of safety legislation and uniform adoption of EU requirements has made it much more difficult to personally import cars from one country and convert them for use in the UK. At one time it was very popular to bring in cars from the Irish Republic or Cyprus and that resulted in some unusual models finding their way onto UK roads.
Manufacturers make an enormous range of cars but it is down to their individual regions or markets to decide what to import and sell. One well known Japanese brand used to import to the UK just a quarter of the range it built around the world.
This can result in some unusual badges being seen and odd specifications and trim levels, which as the car ages may prove a real problem if you need a major component.
Fortunately a resourceful UK after-market has developed over the years and with a bit of internet searching and patience you can generally get the component you need.
Owners’ clubs are another source of support. Yes there are like-minded individuals who love certain cars and cherish them and often have an enormous knowledge bank to share.
Because of the nature of the motor industry, the component parts are often common to several models or even shared among brands but may carry a particular logo irrespective of which car they fit.
It’s possible a UK made component has been shipped around the world to an original vehicle manufacturer and the part you need was made in South Wales, the Midlands or North East, traditional centres for the component suppliers.
With the tough emissions standards it means cars which cannot be identified by the Driving and Vehicles Standards Agency cannot be classified and the correct taxation applied but you can apply for special category consideration and you may have to get it inspected by a Government engineer at a cost. So it might just be simpler to buy that Nissan Leaf from a UK dealer.
The Cheapest Countries To Buy An EV
|10||Republic of Ireland||€29,890||£25,407||€29,890||$33,028|
The Most Expensive Countries To Buy An EV
The full research can be seen here.