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How to save fuel while driving
- How can you save fuel?
- How to save fuel on the motorway
- How to save fuel in traffic
- How to save fuel on long trips
- How to save fuel while towing
- Does cruise control affect fuel efficiency?
- How to save fuel while driving
Fact: today in 2022 we are back to where we were 40 years ago. How? May 2022 saw the highest annual rate of inflation since 1982. As a result, this has affected our everyday purchases of food and household supplies. This has also had a direct effect on inflation, which (as you may know) has sky-rocketed the costs of new cars and fuel. It feels almost impossible to know how to save fuel while driving.
Especially knowing that as of June 2022, for the average UK petrol and diesel car, the cost of unleaded fuel has risen to 155.47p per litre over the course of the year – this is the highest it has reached in over 20 years!
With the cost of living forever going up along with the ever-increasing fuel prices, it can feel near impossible to keep your head above the water. That is why today, by the end of this article, you will be well equipped with the tips, tricks and hacks on how to save fuel while driving. That’s right, it’s time to wave goodbye to your worries and get ready to conquer all your fuel-saving abilities!
How can you save fuel?
Whether you drive a diesel, petrol, or hybrid car, how to save fuel while driving does not differ between the engine type. Let’s start with when fuel is actually used.
Fuel is used when:
- Putting your foot on the accelerator and when pressing the brakes
- When the engine is on (when stationary)
- When turning the gadgets on, this includes anything from air conditioning, electric infotainment etc. As it uses power from the engine (this is petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric)
Another important factor that affects fuel efficiency is weight. How do you overcome this?
- Don’t leave items in your car unless you need them
- When driving at high speeds close the windows as this will greatly reduce drag and improve aerodynamics
Taking these steps to reduce your weight could save you 0.5 litres for every 100 miles. Imagine that!
How about driving style? Do you know how to save fuel while driving and the impact it has on fuel efficiency?
Keep your speed in check and don’t rapidly accelerate or brake suddenly (when you can, of course) as this can waste fuel. Each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at different speeds but fuel often decreases rapidly at speeds above 50mph. Of course, if you are on the motorway this can’t be helped but keeping your speed in check in rural and urban areas can help conserve fuel.
Don’t ride the clutch and use the right gear
Use the clutch only when changing gears or coming to a complete stop. Riding the clutch and shifting gears can waste your fuel.
Don’t rev up your car or drive slowly in high gear, make sure you follow the recommended gear pattern. As you speed up then you should reach the highest gear to optimize the fuel consumption.
You can waste a lot of fuel idling, especially if you are also using the air conditioning. If you are stuck in traffic or parked then make sure you turn your engine off. It only takes a few seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle, it stops fuel from being wasted and it is good for the environment.
It’s actually illegal to keep your car running outside of your house, read more about other traffic laws you might not be aware of here.
Do everything in one trip
Avoid stop-start journeys. This includes taking routes that are full of traffic, although this is difficult to always know, if you plan your journey ahead of time using apps such as Google Maps or Waze, these will let you know before you set off about any potential traffic jams.
This also includes driving to the newsagent which is around the corner first thing, when your car has been left alone all night is a waste.
The engine is cold from lack of use, warming it up just to drive a few minutes around the corner is not fuel-efficient, as just warming the engine up from cold to warm, enough to use it, takes quite a bit of fuel. Walk it instead. OR complete your errands and chores that require driving all at once.
Take care of your car
Service your car
Another aspect that should be considered to boost your fuel is servicing your car regularly. Now, we know that servicing comes at a cost, but the reality is if you neglect your vehicle and don’t invest in taking care of it you will be faced with a greater cost: a crap car. However, if your vehicle is well lubed up with oil your engine will be grateful and reward you with fewer trips to the garage and more money in your pocket.
Keep your engine tuned
Fixing an engine that is out of tune or failed an emission test can increase fuel efficiency by 4%. Other repairs such as a faulty oxygen sensor can improve your mileage by 40%.
Tune-ups can include adjustment of the carburettor idle speed or replacement of components such as spark plugs or contact breaker points. It could also include a replacement of the air filter and other filters.
Make sure your tyres are in good shape
We mentioned this above but keeping your tyres in good shape can seriously increase fuel efficiency. Under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can also increase fuel waste.
Making sure that your tyres are in good shape and are properly inflated will keep you safer and will increase your fuel efficiency.
Replace clogged filters
This comes with keeping your engine tuned but ensuring that the filters are not clogged can also increase your fuel efficiency. Making small changes can greatly increase fuel efficiency and if you do them often enough, they become new habits.
How to save fuel on the motorway
How about when you come to drive on the motorway? How can you save fuel then? Very similar to the general tips given above, you should prioritise the following:
- Maintain the speed you are travelling at
- Look way ahead of the road, not just the car in front of you
- Let the car naturally slow down
- Resist braking or speeding unnecessarily
- Plan your journey ahead of time
- Drive appropriately considering speed limits and the road environment
How to save fuel in traffic
If you haven’t got a start-stop engine, we would advise not turning your engine completely off when you’re sitting at the traffic lights.
Whereas if you’re sitting at a railway crossing, regardless of whether you have a start-stop engine or not, we would say to turn it off, as you are likely to be waiting considerably longer than at traffic lights.
You may notice that the vast majority of drivers out on the road tend to switch very quickly between accelerating and braking going back and forth. When really, the most fuel-efficient way to drive is to let the car roll rather than constantly press the pedals down.
This applies also when going down hills. If you have a turning to make after a hill just steer the car naturally round the bend.
Often when people drive, they are focused on the car just in front of them rather than looking ahead in the distance.
Don’t just look at the front of your bonnet and the back of the car in front of you. You need to be looking ahead in the distance.
If you want to save fuel, it’s not about driving under the speed limit as that can cause danger.
What it is about is: looking ahead and considering “do I need to accelerate to get to the next spot faster than everyone who is accelerating hard”.
If you see a queue of traffic ahead of you remember: you will still be in the same queue whether you accelerate hard or not – so you may as well drive efficiently and save fuel.
Erratic acceleration and braking use fuel. Looking ahead and planning reserves fuel makes it a safer drive and, believe it or not, will often get you to your end destination faster because the people who accelerate hard tend to end up in the long queue, but because you have held back you can see that actually the left lane is empty and because of this you can just stroll past.
How to save fuel on long trips
What about when you plan to take your road trip down the M5 or along the British coast, no-one wants to have to pull over more than they need to fill up with fuel. How can we prevent this and make the most of our long trips?
Consider your route ahead of time – using an app like Waze or Google Maps will let you know in real-time of any traffic and will suggest the best route to take, you can usually filter this by the quickest or the most fuel efficient.
Consider the time you leave – it is a well-known fact that leaving mid-morning to lunchtime, anywhere on most motorways you will be met with a form of traffic. Whereas if you leave at 3 am, you will only be accompanied by the few night workers driving their lorries, and your journey could be cut in half.
How to save fuel while towing
Perhaps you are planning a glamping trip away but still want to know how to save fuel while driving? Well, thankfully there are indeed ways to save fuel whilst towing your caravan on the roads:
- Engine – make sure the vehicle you are using to tow the caravan has quite a large engine, as a smaller engine will struggle greatly with the excess weight
- Weight – ensure there isn’t any unnecessary added weight because this will decrease the fuel efficiency
Does cruise control affect fuel efficiency?
So, does cruise control affect fuel efficiency? Cruise control does in fact affect it positively. Depending on how you use it. Most people use it whilst cruising down an A road or a motorway, as it stops you from speeding and instead maintains a consistent correct speed for you.
What often happens without cruise control, is when your foot is on the pedal for so long it tends to, after driving for a while, get heavy. Naturally, you then begin to increase your speed and burn through more fuel – unintentionally.
Cruise control eliminates this problem completely. As long as you set it at the appropriate speed suiting the conditions you are driving in and the speed limit.
How to save fuel while driving
So, hopefully, by now you are equipped with the tips, tricks and know-hows of how to save fuel while driving. Remember the key points; always look ahead; don’t press the pedals down more than needed; take care of your car; don’t unnecessarily weigh your car down; improve your driving style; plan your journey ahead of time, and you should be good to go (efficiently)!
Are there any tips we have missed out on that you would add? We would love your input in the comments below!
Car Finance Explained: The good, the bad & the ugly
- The different types of car finance explained
- Does car finance affect mortgages?
- Can car finance be transferred to another person?
- Can car finance be in someone else’s name?
- Can car finance be in joint names?
- Why is car finance a bad idea?
You may be looking to get a new car, but aren’t quite sure of the best financial route to take? Perhaps you’re not sure what options there are other than outright buying or renting. Well, today we will explore the various types of finance options available to you, as well as a deep dive into car finance explained, and which car finance is best for you and your circumstances.
The different types of car finance explained
Personal Contract Purchase
Personal contract purchase (PCP) is a finance agreement, most suited for private individuals, somewhat similar to hire purchase. With PCP you pay a fixed monthly rate between 2 to 5 years, this is with an APR (Annual Percentage Rate) rate of 5.5% – however, this can vary.
Once you have made your final payment there are 3 options for what you can do next:
- Return the vehicle with nothing more to pay, as long as you’ve kept within the agreed mileage and the conditions of the car are adequate according to BVRLA’s Fair Wear and Tear Guide
- Part exchange the vehicle and use any equity left towards the deposit of your next car
- Buy the vehicle at the price agreed at the beginning of the agreement (Minimum Guaranteed Future Value)
- Easy budgeting with fixed monthly payments
- Option to purchase if you want
- Can part exchange the vehicle and use the money towards your next car
- Vehicle Excise Duty is included within the first year
- Servicing can be included
- If mileage has gone over fees are incurred
- Can be more expensive than Personal Contract Hire
- If the car is handed back exceeding the mileage or in poor condition and does not stick within fair wear and tear guidelines, you will be charged an excess fee.
- After the first year, the lessee is responsible for Vehicle Excise Duty payments (which can increase over the agreement)
So, as you can see, there are a lot more goods than bad and uglies around a PCP agreement. But remember, it’s only worth using this agreement to get the vehicle you desire to have if it’s the right finance scheme for you and your needs.
Hire purchase (HP) is a finance agreement where you pay fixed monthly payments for 2 to 5 years, once you have made the final payment you will then have the option to officially own the vehicle outright. To own this officially, you must pay an option to purchase fee. Note: you do not own the vehicle until the final payment has been made.
- Easy budgeting with fixed monthly payments
- You own the vehicle at the end of the agreement
- You do not own the vehicle until the final payment is made
- You cannot sell the vehicle without the finance house’s permission or until the final payment has been made on the agreement
- If a payment is missed the car can be repossessed
It’s useful to think of this agreement as more of a loan you’re paying back, rather than renting a car for that time period.
Contract purchase (CP) is perfect for business owners looking to lease a car between 2 to 5 years. You simply make monthly payments throughout the contract and at the end of the agreement you can either sell, buy or return the vehicle.
- Affordable payments due to the balloon at the end of the agreement
- Should you wish to claim full ownership of the vehicle, you can do so at the end of the agreement for an option to purchase fee (usually around £10)
- The price of purchase is agreed at the start of the contract, so you can budget in advance for this
- Flexible options at the end of the agreement as you have the choice to return, part-exchange, or buy the vehicle
- The vehicle can be depreciated into business accounts, which allows tax benefits
- Any money that is made above the final finance payment is yours to keep
- You avoid the risk of depreciation which is great if you choose to own the vehicle.
- The monthly payments tend to be more expensive than if you choose Contract Hire
- You’re still subject to mileage and vehicle condition (fair wear and tear), especially if you’re planning on handing the car back
- You’re responsible for taxing the car every year
- The whole cost of the vehicle is shown on your credit file which could affect your credit score
- The interest rate is slightly higher than with a Hire Purchase agreement
Does car finance affect mortgages?
So, now that we have gone through the different types of car finance, explained the alternatives available, and the ups and downs to each, we should next answer the question: What if you’re planning on getting a mortgage? Does financing a new car affect this?
A mortgage is agreed on affordability, but so is car finance. So, if your salary has only just been enough to be approved for getting a mortgage, we wouldn’t advise getting a car financed until the mortgage has been agreed.
If, however, your salary has comfortably allowed you to get a mortgage, then as long as the car finance agreement is sensible then this shouldn’t cause any financial issues.
If you’re wanting to get a vehicle on finance as your mortgage is going through, some finance houses do a soft search.
What is a soft search?
A soft search is when only you yourself can see the search, the mortgage company will not be able to see it. So, it’s fine to get the car finance in place, but you should wait to ‘activate’ it once the mortgage on your house is finalised.
Can car finance be transferred to another person?
Whether or not you can transfer your car finance to another person completely depends on the finance house.
You can ask for a settlement figure from the finance house, you would then clear off the finance with anything left to pay and then the other person can buy it.
On a vehicle lease, however, some finance houses will consider transferring the car finance to someone else. It depends on how creditworthy the proposed person is, and there could be some sort of fee from the bank when doing this.
Ultimately you cannot reassign it; you can only refinance your car.
Can car finance be in someone else’s name?
What about if you know you want or need to finance a new vehicle, but you want it in someone else’s name?
One option that used to be available was an accommodation deal. However, this isn’t usually allowed and rules around using this option have become a lot stricter in recent years.
Why is this?
Often, to insure a car you have to have financial interest in it, and often you have to be the main driver.
What does this mean?
This essentially means that when a person has a car, but it is funded in someone else’s name, the person with the car is pretty much uninsured.
In the terms and conditions of the insurance, it will be that the insured said vehicle is typically at your home, as you are the main driver. Now, with an accommodation deal, the vehicle is typically at a different property to the ‘main’ driver (the named person on the car finance agreement), which means the driver on the insurance isn’t the one actually driving the vehicle.
So therefore, one of the reasons why it’s not allowed is because the car is normally uninsured. Even if they have a certificate, it means nothing if they have done an accommodation deal.
It used to be that parents could finance a vehicle for their children. Now, parents can be a guarantor but they are not allowed to finance the car for their child.
Funnily enough you are allowed to finance a vehicle for your spouse or partner. However, again, this usually isn’t a favoured option due to potential circumstances that may arise, such as a couple breaking up, which could become quite a messy situation for the finance house and vehicle supplier.
Can car finance be in joint names?
We’ve explained whether a car finance agreement can be in someone else’s name, but how about if you want a car finance joint with someone else together?
Some vehicle finances can be in a joint name but, again, it depends on the finance house. You’d normally finance a car in joint names with someone when neither of you can afford to finance it yourself.
Typically, if you are leasing a vehicle then you cannot finance this with someone else. It usually has to be part of a purchase scheme such as PCP or HP.
By being in joint names you are equally liable, but if one party stops paying then the other party becomes 100% liable.
As car finance is in joint names it makes it a lot easier to get credit, this is because there are two people taking the risk.
If the people in joint finance break up or have a dispute, if one of them stops paying this then leaves the other to make up the difference.
If this happens, this affects both of their credit. As far as the finance house is concerned both parties will get adverse.
What if one person wants to leave the finance agreement?
They should speak with the finance house and ask if they would consider taking them off the agreement. This will depend on the credit strength of the remaining person on the agreement.
It should be noted that this is completely up to the finance house whether or not to approve this. So, once you’re in the car finance agreement, you could be in it for good.
Why is car finance a bad idea?
So, now you fully understand the good, the bad and the ugly of car finance explained. What if car finance is just a bad idea altogether?
Vehicle finance is a bad idea when, just like anything else, you cannot afford the financial payments of the car.
If you choose to prioritise the wrong things for your needs, such as choosing the fanciest trim level on a premium sports car, when you should instead focus on affordability, then vehicle finance could be a bad idea.
If getting a car on finance would improve your lifestyle, then it is a fantastic idea. It all depends on each and every individual’s needs and requirements. A family with two dogs isn’t likely to need the same car as a business owner.
Another situation where car finance would be a ‘bad’ idea, would be if you only needed a vehicle for a short period of time. A better option for this would be a car rental or a short-term rental.
Hopefully, now you’ve read through the different types of car finance explained, understood the good, the bad, and the ugly of each and are one step closer to securing your car on the best finance agreement for your needs.
Top 5 safe family cars
- What makes a safe family car?
- Top 5 safe family cars
It always feels like the next family holiday is just around the corner. With so much already to plan and organise, the last thing you want to think about last-minute is how suitable your car is for your family. Or whether or not your car is big enough for your growing family and furry friend? Or maybe that last MOT bill has you wondering how secure and safe your ‘reliable’ car really is for your family? We know how difficult it can be to choose the best and safest car for you and your family. Which is why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of the top 5 safe family cars.
What makes a safe family car?
So, you now know that safety is the top priority when looking for your perhaps new or next family car. But what exactly makes a car safe for a family?
This is the international standard for child car seat fittings in vehicles. It’s essentially a piece of metal attachment fitted into your car’s rear, middle or front seating; with this you can securely attach the children’s car seat to the metal fitting. Note: this isn’t always fitted in every car, so it’s worth checking your manufacturer’s specification listing first.
Many may think a big boot is what you need so you can chuck all of the buggies, toys, baby wipes and everything wonderful into the boot in one safe space. What is actually needed is more than just one storage compartment. Easily accessible small to medium pockets of storage throughout the car is what can help in moments of chaotic meltdowns. Need your child’s favourite toy to help calm them down? Thankfully it’s within hands reach and not in the boot!
Child Safety Locks
This one is probably quite self-explanatory. But most parents wouldn’t want their children playing by opening and closing the doors whilst driving at full speed down the M6. This is where a child safety lock comes in handy. If you don’t already know, this feature ensures those sitting in the rear seat cannot unlock the door once they are inside the car with all doors locked and shut.
Front Passenger Airbags
Something people sometimes forget is you may need to, for whatever reason, transport your infant or child in the front seat. To ensure full safety in the event of a crash, it’s important you disable the airbags where the infant is sitting. This is because the force of the bag when activated will be too powerful for a non-adult and could cause injury. It is worth noting that infants past the age of 15 months no longer have to be seated facing the rear if they are in the front seat.
Rear View Camera
Regardless of whether you are a family of two or twelve, when little ones are running around with bundles of energy it can feel impossible to keep up. Especially when pulling out of a driveway or parking space, it’s easy to be unaware of any potentially vulnerable children or pets who may be in the way. One thing that can seriously help with this is a rear-view camera. It means one less trip to the hospital should anything catastrophic happen!
If you typically have screaming kids, then perhaps an integrated TV could be ideal for you, particularly for the longer journeys. Families may not want to encourage regular screen time on the more daily drives. Multiple and accessible charging ports will also come in handy for this.
Rear Electric Windows
Regardless of whether you have an infant or a toddler, eventually, they will grow and become the curious beings we all are today. During that journey it’s likely they will want to play around with any buttons in sight near them, this includes window buttons. This is where full control from the front of the car in relation to locking, of all rear electric windows comes in handy, preventing any unhappy accidents.
Top 5 safe family cars
1) Mercedes EQS
Mercedes offers an impressive, stylish electric saloon, the EQS. This model is suitable for smaller families, especially situated in larger cities which include ultra-low emission or clean air zones. With a bundle of spectacular safety features and high technology, could this be your ideal safe family car?
- 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating with a 96% protection score for adult occupants and 91% for children
- Has a real-world electric range of over 350 miles
- Superb safety features including lane keeping assist, blind spot assist, anti-theft alarm system, interior monitoring system
- Outstanding and relaxing interior comfort, perfect for long journeys on the road
- The seats could be a tad more comfortable
- Weighs more than 2.5 tonnes, meaning the range could greatly reduce when towing
- Doesn’t offer ISOFIX as standard
- Hefty starting price at £102,160
2) Nissan Qashqai
- Offers immense practicality. Although the previous generation models had a seven-seater option, the newer five-seater version provides a much more spacious interior and luggage space
- Overall ride quality is brilliant
- The best comfort out of any generation model thanks to its active engine brake which reduces jerkiness, and body motion control technology making it a smooth ride when going over bumps in the road
- Extremely economical with the petrol version giving just 50.4 miles per gallon
- Lots of standard safety kit including ISOFIX, parking sensors, side airbags, intelligent emergency braking, lane departure prevention and rear automatic braking
- Although the model does offer a spacious interior for storage and luggage, the rear legroom is a bit cramped for adults – which will be noticed on longer journeys
- It has had some issues related to reliability, although the Qashqai did score better than any other Nissan model
3) Mercedes C Class
Mercedes offers a luxury family car, the C Class saloon. The German luxury automotive brand almost never fails to impress when it comes to enjoying a vehicle with a premium feel. With a classy, luxurious fresh design, this particular saloon takes the concept of premium to new heights. So, could this be the car for you and your family? Let’s find out…
- Very economical. The petrol version can return 53.3 miles per gallon
- The boot is much bigger than previous generations, with a notable size of up to 490 litres and 1,510L with the seat area
- Parents have easy access to numerous storage areas fitted throughout the vehicle, great for times of potential tantrums!
- Highly practical, don’t let the saloon label fool you. It’s wider and lengthier than ever before, meaning much more room for rear seat passengers as well as necessary luggage
- Interior is kitted with immense safety equipment including; reversing camera; ISOFIX child seat anchor points; passenger and side airbags
- Those who prefer diesel will be disappointed by the loud road noise whilst driving
4) Polestar 2
Next up we have the distinct, formidable Polestar 2. The Swedish brand caused quite a stir to the electric car sector once it introduced its dynamic fastback model, the Polestar 2. Not only does this model promise ultimate safety with an impressive safety pack and a 5-star Euro NCAP rating, but you are more than likely to enjoy cruising around in this classy model.
- Excellent Euro NCAP rating, with a 93% score for adult occupants and 89% for children
- Features a superb safety kit, notably featuring family necessities such as ISOFIX child seat anchor points, side airbags, passenger’s airbags and parking sensors
- In the case of an accident the battery pack has several protective features to safeguard this
- As an electric car it offers a number of safety advantages over conventional vehicles
- The rear doesn’t offer great space for the passenger’s head and legroom
- The dual motor models are in the higher range in relation to cost
- The weight at 2,123kg compromises the range and efficiency of the car
- There is a noticeable road noise whilst driving at high speeds
5) Volvo C40 Recharge
Finally, we have Volvo’s stylish small electric SUV, the C40 Recharge. With a full 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, along with a 92% safety protection score for adult occupants and 89% for children, the C40 is a reliable contender in the safe family vehicle sector. So, could this be your ideal safe family car?
- Excellent performance with a real-world electric range of 215 miles and a 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds
- Offers an incredibly comfortable interior in terms of seating and ride quality
- A practical car that’s very well-equipped with lots of tech as standard, perfect for growing families
- Features outstanding safety tech, including; traction control; side and passenger airbags; ISOFIX child seat anchor points; parking sensors
- On the higher end of the price spectrum starting from £44,809
- Rivals can offer a longer electric range
- The headroom in the rear is quite tight for adults
Hopefully by now you are just that one step closer to finding your most ideal safe family car. Often when people ask us about what the best car is for a family, there is no answer that fits to all. It really does depend on your individual needs, wants, and requirements. When you are ready to make the move, we are here to help.
Cheap personal car lease deals: why you should avoid them
- What is the cheapest way to lease a car?
- Is it cheaper to lease or buy a used car?
- What are the downsides to cheap personal car lease deals?
Cheap personal car lease deals: are they really worth it?
Last year upon moving into my new flat I scoured the internet in search of the best and cheapest fridge I could find. What I really was looking for, was to make a purchase of the best product money could buy – at an affordable price. This resulted in me buying my well-researched, reliable refrigerator from the well-known national electrical retailer, Currys.
As a result, this ended in a four-month delivery delay accompanied by very limited contact with any real human. When the arrival of the long-awaited giant cooler finally came, it was broken. Just like my relationship with Currys.
If I had, however, gone to and supported a smaller company and paid a small percentage more, it is very likely this type of service and experience would never have happened.
Life lesson learned: you pay for the service you receive.
So, is ‘cheap’ something you want to look for when selecting your ideal car? Is ‘cheap’ what you want in mind when you are driving down the M5? Or do you simply want something that will take you from A to B with four wheels?
There are many reasons why you should avoid, at all costs, cheap personal car lease deals. Simply because you really do pay for the service you experience. So, if you are happy to finance a car which is likely to give back ‘cheap’ service, then by all means I would advise leaving this article here…
What is the cheapest way to lease a car?
Now, like most people when they enter into Google, ‘cheap [insert desired product]’, more often than not they are not actually asking for the cheapest option. As I mentioned about my fridge buying experience beforehand, a lot of us want something that offers great value. No one wants to feel ‘ripped off’ or like they are paying more than they should for something.
So, keeping in mind that you still want the best value from your car, how can you achieve this whilst on an affordable budget? Can this even be done?
- Have a 900+ Credit Score with Experian
- Do not be specific about which vehicle you want
- Compare maintained and non-maintained prices and reflect which presents better value for you
- Lease over a longer period of time e.g., 4 years
- Go for the lowest mileage you think you will need. If you need more, it is better to pay a small excess fee at the end of the agreement
- Avoid adding unnecessary extras such as metallic paint and huge alloy wheels
Is it cheaper to lease or buy a used car?
Whether you will save money leasing or buying a used car will depend on a number of factors. This includes the brand, how long you would like to keep the vehicle for, and your estimated usage such as the annual mileage. This is not necessarily down to cheap personal car lease deals.
The vast majority of the time, if you are looking to drive a used vehicle, then the more affordable option is to lease rather than to outright purchase the vehicle.
Why is this?
When you outright buy a vehicle – new or used, the minimum guaranteed future value (how much the car is worth in the future) affects you directly. When and if you come to sell your vehicle, if its value has dropped, you tend to lose out on money. With leasing, this does not affect you in the slightest.
If we take the effects of world events such as COVID, the microchip shortage, and the Ukraine war, then there has been an exception to this rule. Used car prices have increased by 30%, plummeting in March 2022 and are due to decrease again by August 2022. Overall, with such unstable figures, it is a high-risk market to dabble in.
What are the downsides to cheap personal car lease deals?
It really is true that when things go wrong, only then will you discover whether you have picked the right supplier – this applies to all products and services. Do you want to be buying from a company that offers superb customer support, or doesn’t care?
In our experience, those who look for cheap personal car lease deals and obsess with getting their car for the cheapest price, usually end up with a vehicle they are not happy with.
Over 70% of motorists experience buyer’s remorse within the first month of receiving their new car. Quite a bit of this is down to obsessing over the price, rather than prioritising the value and what you want to experience with your new vehicle.
Let’s take the story of Steve and his SUV. Steve wants a new stylish and overall swanky SUV he can trust and rely on. He begins his vehicle search by looking for cheap personal car lease deals for the lowest priced SUVs on the market.
The lowest priced option for this is typically a Dacia Duster. This model is not really what Steve had in mind when he envisioned his stylish new SUV.
If Steve goes ahead in buying a Dacia Duster, then he will have successfully achieved finding his car through cheap personal car lease deals – but at a price.
Every car wash and valet service, every trip to the supermarket, every journey driven in the Dacia, Steve is reminded for the next four years that he did not follow through with securing the ideal SUV he really wanted, or that perfectly suited his needs.
Often people forget to invest in something as big as the vehicle you will be driving for years of your life. As one of the major purchases you will make in your lifetime, it is worth investing a little bit more so you receive the best experience you can get.
It is also worth remembering that service has a cost. If you squeeze your vehicle supplier to the last degree and push for the lowest price, they may not have the margin of support when you need it or things go wrong.
This ultimately comes down to company culture and what each brand values most. It is easy to generalise ‘brands’ from whatever industry and assume they are similar to the next one. But what a company values really does differ between each one.
Let’s take a vehicle supplier that pushes and promotes the cheapest possible car deals on the market, and compare this with a company that provides a quality personal vehicle shopping experience.
Which do you believe will value you the most? Which do you think will provide you with the best experience, where you know you can trust the person behind the brand rather than the logo?
So, whether or not you do choose to prioritise searching for cheap personal car lease deals will depend on what you value as an individual. If you prefer to be treated as a person rather than a number, OSV could be the right broker for you. Find out if you are a good fit for OSV.
Top 10 best luxury electric SUVs
- What should you consider when selecting a luxury electric SUV?
- What is the best luxury electric SUV?
Have you been browsing the web for your next vehicle? Perhaps you’re looking to upgrade to a more luxurious level of driving. Whatever your reason, it’s likely you want to quickly know what the best luxury electric SUV on the market is. If so, keep on reading!
If you’re not interested in driving a luxurious premium stylish electric vehicle, we’d advise stopping from here to avoid disappointment.
A lot of people might debate the term ‘luxury’ and what that really means when it comes to cars. Is it something that should be angled from the perceived brand being considered luxury? Should other brands offering top of the range luxurious interior and service be ruled out? There are premium brands and there are brands that position some models towards the premium end of the market.
Now, you can get a premium feel from day-to-day brands as well as brands that are established and marketed as luxury. With this in mind, in this article, we’ll look at vehicles offering fantastic safety features, ultimate comfort, and an impressive infotainment system all with a premium feel.
Another thing to think about when looking to buy your luxury electric SUV is the size of the car. Do you need a large SUV for your family getaways? Are you looking for a car strong enough to put a bike rack on for weekend trips?
As of 2022, you could be waiting around a year for the delivery of your new vehicle due to long lead times. So, if you know the vehicle you’d like to get it’s best to get the ball rolling early on.
However, if you’re looking for a medium or small SUV, you will have better luck getting the vehicle you want. Small SUVs offer more choice and are a lot more workable. Medium luxury electric SUVs will completely depend on the range it offers.
What should you consider when selecting a luxury electric SUV?
So, what should you consider when selecting a luxury electric SUV? If budget isn’t an issue for you and you’re happy to spend over £60,000 on a vehicle, one of the first questions you should ask is “what is my typical journey”. From then, you can understand the mile range you’ll need from your vehicle.
If you do regular long journeys and are often on a time crunch you should consider the charging time as well as how easy the vehicle is to charge in terms of accessibility and finding the right charger. Another factor you’ll want to take into consideration is how you are driving the vehicle, such as how fast you accelerate and the type of terrain environment you drive in regularly.
Why should you consider how you drive?
How you drive your car will hugely affect how long the electric range will last. Speeding up unnecessarily, or driving in challenging environments regularly will sacrifice the length of your vehicle’s range.
If you are someone who likes to adventure on weekend breaks or takes the family on trips across the country that involves piling your car up with luggage, the kids, the family dog, and a bike rack on the back – range should be your number one priority.
If you often fill your vehicle with a lot of weight, including some of these things, then you will want to halve the expected range. This is because all this weight kills the economy of the vehicle, even with a petrol or diesel car.
Once all the above has been thought about, only then can you consider the ‘normal’ things you want from a car such as the colour, the interior material etcetera.
What is the best luxury electric SUV?
So, what is the best luxury electric SUV? The answer to this will completely depend on what you’re looking for. Are you looking for a vehicle you can tow with? In need of a spacious yet efficient car for your ever-growing family? Just want an understanding of the most practical luxury electric SUV on the market? There is a lot to consider.
The Tesla Model X is the brand’s largest electric car to enter the UK. The stylish SUV offers very distinctive looks which ooze innovation, but is it the perfect luxury electric SUV for you? Let’s find out…
- Highly distinctive styling with ‘falcon’ doors which open upwards – this also allows easier access to rear seats in tight car parks
- Offers amazing practicality as a seven-seater with an incredible 348-mile range, so very ideal for families
- 2268kg towing capacity
- Packed full of incredible technology
- Benefits from Tesla’s world-beating charging infrastructure
- 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating
- At the high end of the price spectrum from £100,000
- Interior quality doesn’t reflect the price of the car
- Ride comfort isn’t great
Overall, the Model X not only offers a unique dynamic exterior, but it also provides a safe and secure ride for safety-concerned parents. Although the interior may not reflect the high price of the car, it’s access to world-beating infrastructure, outstanding technology and towing capacity is enough to make up for it. Families of 5+ looking for their next best luxury electric SUV, I’d recommend getting a head start today to secure your EV as soon as possible.
Mercedes offers us the first of many of its pure electric vehicles, the EQC. This large luxury model shows off a beautiful exterior, but how does the mile range compare to its rivals?
- Supremely quiet and comfortable on motorways
- Brilliant infotainment system
- Moderately practical with an 1800kg towing capacity and a 500 litre boot
- It doesn’t ride or handle well and isn’t fun to drive
- Average real range of 230 which halves when towing to just 115 miles
- Although it’s somewhat practical it’s not ideal for families due to the small electric range
- Other rivals offer longer ranges and bigger boots
Mercedes provides a quiet, comfortable electric SUV with supreme external beauty. The driving experience could be amplified with better range and a more enjoyable drive; however, the spacious boot and impressive infotainment system somewhat make up for this.
The iX provides a very new and radical change in BMW technology since its first electric car the i3. Is this the best luxury electric SUV on the market? Could this be the one?!
- Very quiet to drive
- Spacious and luxurious interior perfect for businesses
- Great infotainment system
- Impressive claimed range of 380 miles (xDrive50)
- ‘One of the safest premium electric cars’ with a 5-star safety rating by EuroNCAP
- 2500kg towing limit
- Four-wheel drive ensures excellent grip when towing in slippery conditions
- Need to upgrade to the xDrive50 for more money to enjoy a longer range, smoother ride and quicker charging time
- Air suspension and rear-wheel steering only available on xDrive50
- xDrive40 has a disappointing real-world range of 215 miles
In summary, the iX is ideal for business owners looking to impress, thanks to its premium interior and superb infotainment system. The xDrive50 does not compromise anything in terms of practicality with a fantastic electric range and smooth ride, however, this upgrade asks for a higher price tag. The xDrive40’s range isn’t as impressive, plus air suspension and rear-wheel steering aren’t available with this trim level. The iX, overall, is rated highly for its safety, four-wheel drive grip and towing capacity.
This premium-badged vehicle offers an outstanding interior and is bound to turn heads on the road. Is this a car you see yourself driving, and more importantly, does this luxury electric SUV suit your needs?
- The fantastic interior is indeed a feast for the eyes
- Well equipped with an impressive build quality
- Decent rear seat space by small electric car standards
- Towing capacity ranges from 750kg to a whopping 1800kg
- Fairly affordable for a luxury vehicle at £45,645
- Poor ride
- Not very quick, rivals are quicker – average 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds
Mercedes provides a well-equipped, practical small electric SUV with an outstanding interior and build quality. This luxury model is somewhat affordable and although its 0-60 is beaten by rivals, it provides a fantastic towing capacity, perfect for families holidaying across the UK.
This large stylish SUV promises excellent practicality and could be ideal for most business owners. How does the e-tron fare against its luxury electric SUV rivals? Time to investigate…
- Very practical with an 1800kg towing capacity and charging ports on both sides of the car
- Lavish interior
- Extremely quiet at high speeds
- One of the most comfortable large electric cars
- Spacious interior
- Poor real-world range of 173 miles for the price of £60,600
- Fiddly infotainment system
- Not fun to drive
To summarise, the e-tron offers a fantastic practical vehicle perfectly suited for those who need a vehicle to go around the town. Although this model does not provide the highest electric range, it does offer a lavish, comfortable and spacious interior. If we ignore the lack of driving excitement and the fiddly infotainment, we can then appreciate its brilliant towing capacity along with charging ports on both sides of the car for easy access.
As Jaguar’s first ever electric car, how does it fare against its rivals? Is it a car you can see yourself driving? Let’s find out…
- Can travel far on a full charge than most rivals – offers a real range of 235 miles
- Very quick, capable of 0-62mph in a speedy 4.8 seconds!
- Comfortable ride with a plush interior, suitable as a business vehicle
- Lacks in terms of practicality due to visibility and charge time, so not very ideal for families
- Poor rear visibility
- On the expensive end of the market at £64,625
- Rapid charging time of 44 minutes 10 to 80%
The i-pace overall, offers a somewhat practical electric SUV, although families looking for ultimate practicality would be better at taking a look at other options. This model would be most ideal for business associates looking for an exciting, plush premium vehicle. Although it has a slower rapid charging time compared to rivals, the i-Pace does offer a fantastic electric range.
The XC40 petrol and diesel model came first in What Car?’s Car of the Year Award, so how does the fully-electric version compare? Could this be your best luxury electric SUV?
- High quality and appealing interior
- Fairly decent electric real-world range of 195 miles
- Rapid performance with a top speed of 99 miles per hour and 0-62mph in a rapid time of 7.4 seconds
- Impressive safety credentials with a 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating
- Somewhat affordable for a luxury electric SUV starting at £43,550
- The infotainment system is fiddly to use, and not very practical whilst driving
If we ignore that the infotainment system is ‘fiddly’, overall, Volvo provides a fantastic luxury electric SUV, with a quality interior, brilliant electric range, exciting performance and a full five-star safety rating – all this for a fairly affordable starting price, almost seems too good to be true…
Audi generously gives a fairly affordable SUV in the luxury market, offering a classy and stylish exterior with superb safety features. So, is the Q4 e-tron all that good? Let’s dive in…
- Comfortable ride at all speeds
- Classy and spacious interior with excellent practicality
- Fair starting price at £40,750
- Lots of safety equipment including Lane Keeping Assistance and Automatic Emergency Braking System
- Hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP so no safety rating
- Average performance
- Visibility could be better
- Entry level versions provide the shortest range with 177 miles
Audi offers a classy, comfortable and spacious electric SUV with an affordable starting price. Although it hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, it does feature great safety equipment. The Q4 e-tron is ideal for those looking for their best luxury electric SUV at the more affordable end of the premium market. Those wanting a higher range and more exciting performance, many rivals can cater to this.
As a seven-seater, the Mercedes EQB is a direct rival to the Tesla Model X. Does it offer more for half the price? Is it the ideal luxury electric SUV for you?
- Incredible real range of 208 miles
- Classy and enjoyable to drive
- 80% charging time in 32 minutes
- 1800kg towing capacity
- Highly practical and flexible so a fantastic choice for families
- At the higher end of the premium market starting at £52,145
Families looking for flexibility and practicality needn’t look further than this nifty model. The EQB is an outstanding choice for those looking to enjoy a reliable electric range whilst feeling classy. Other than the EQB sitting at the higher end of the premium-priced market, the model provides an overall enjoyable and reliable luxury electric SUV.
Transformed from the non-electric Mercedes V-Class, the EQV provides huge interior space and a very enjoyable luxury feel. How does this luxury electric SUV fare against its rivals?
- Well-equipped vehicle with spacious seating
- Superb infotainment system
- Overall perfect for families
- Doesn’t offer a great real-world range for its size at just 189 miles, rivals provide a much better range
- Very high starting price at £71,645
- There are more affordable vehicles on the market that are better suited for families
Overall, the EQV is an ideal choice for larger families (including furry friends) who are looking for a more luxurious feel whilst driving and cruising in an electric SUV. This may not suit those interested in a more affordable vehicle.
Have you seen your best luxury electric SUV? Regardless of which vehicle has been rated the highest in reviews, what is most important is selecting the vehicle that is right for you. Whether your priorities lie with needing to tow your holiday caravan, driving a spacious vehicle for family holidays, or simply understanding more about what the luxury electric SUV market has to offer, hopefully by now you’ll have a better understanding of the kind of vehicle you’re looking for.
Why is there a fuel and car shortage?
- Is there a fuel shortage?
- Why is there a car shortage?
- How long will the car shortage last?
- Will the car shortage get worse?
Did you know there is a car shortage? Typical scaremongering you may think. Car shortage?! Well, what we mean by this is… exactly that.
Due to the recent European conflict manufacturers have struggled to receive the parts they need to make the cars you want. Now, the car shortage isn’t solely down to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. This is not what we are implying.
However, these current events, along with the infamous microchip shortage has pretty much fueled the shortage of cars available today.
So, what caused the car shortage, is there really a shortage of fuel and is the Russia-Ukraine conflict really to blame? Read on to discover the answers to all your burning questions and more…
Is there a fuel shortage?
Before we dive into the car shortage, let’s just establish and answer the burning question: is there a fuel shortage?
If you own a car, get driven around or simply know someone who drives, it’s near impossible you won’t have heard about the prices of fuel going up. UK fuel has nearly tripled in cost since the pandemic. Just 6% of the UK’s crude oil is imported from Russia, however the UK’s cost of fuel is still impacted when global prices rise.
March 8th 2022 saw the price of crude oil more than triple since the pandemic on April 20th 2020 (see graph below). This spiked from £28.53 to a whopping £90.72 per barrel of oil.
In relation to the events of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the media exploding on the Russian oil crisis, there may be some confusion about whether or not there is a fuel shortage.
It depends on how you look at the situation. There isn’t really a shortage of fuel, but because of the hike in recent fuel prices people may think this also means a shortage of fuel altogether.
If we compare now to the Autumn of 2021, when there was a fuel buying panic due to rumours around there being a fuel shortage, this is nothing really like that. Usually, a decrease in supply means an increase in demand and thus astronomical pricing. This does not mean a shortage.
There have been words like ‘diesel rationing’ come up which have scared motorists, understandably. This may be where the confusion lies.
Now that we have covered off what is really happening with fuel ‘shortage’ in the UK, what about the shortage of cars?
Why is there a car shortage?
So, you may have also heard the recent news about a microchip, computer chip, semiconductor chip, chip shortage – these are all the same thing. This is the cause of why it is so hard to buy a new car today and have it delivered within the month. Why is it so difficult to get a new car?
The microchip shortage is a shortage of chips, these chips are needed to make all new cars. A car is made up of around 3,000 of these chips. So if there is just one chip missing, it cannot be made, therefore your car won’t be delivered until it can be made.
What happens when there is a global shortage of these chips? Well, you see, people from across the globe struggle to get cars and vans. What does this mean for you if you’re trying to secure your new car? It means competition.
It also means that there is a car shortage in terms of what is in stock, what you can choose from and what can be delivered to you in a timely manner. Although the definition of ‘timely manner’ will likely change in due course.
Another recent aspect of worldly events that have impacted car production is the conflict of Russia vs Ukraine. Factories, as well as many other places, have been forced to a close because of the invasion.
One piece of equipment Ukraine is solely responsible for making are wiring looms, these are also known as cable harnesses. These are an essential part of making a car, and make up 3.1 miles of cables in the average vehicle. So, without wiring looms the car cannot be built.
The fact that wiring looms aren’t simple to replicate or make it yourself has meant manufacturers have been faced with challenges. Which manufacturers have been impacted?
- Volkswagen’s assembly plants have been disrupted in terms of delivery.
- Porsche has been forced to reduce the number of shifts at its German Leipzig plant, whilst also suffering from production issues due to shortage of parts.
- Mercedes’ plants are still running but have been forced to make shift adjustments to work around shortages of car parts. Certain model lines may not be built and could result in delayed delivery lead times.
- Stellantis suspended production at its plant in Kaluga, Russia. This plant is responsible for making the Peugeot Opel Vivaro, Peugeot Expert and Citroen Jumpy.
- Skoda has closed its factory in Ukraine, responsible for producing the Superb, Fabia, Karoq and Kodiaq.
- Audi did put a hold on production at various Audi locations, this has since restarted but only at a reduced level. Namely affected models TT, Q8 and Q4 e-tron.
Now, going back to the chip shortage, the conflict has also fed into this issue. Ukraine are a supplier of neon gas, which is critical to producing semiconductor chips. It’s estimated Ukraine produce around half of the global supply of neon. That’s quite a bit, huh?
Let’s imagine that the production of this half supply of neon has been halted, which has happened. Then the inevitable happens: long lead times and therefore a seemingly ‘shortage’ of cars.
On top of this shortage of neon gas and subsequently chips, China have boosted prices of the now very valuable neon gas by as much as 500% more. What does this do? Makes it more expensive for manufacturers to make cars, which in turn, increases how much cars are to buy overall whilst also growing the already very long lead times of new vehicles.
2022 could see the loss of millions of vehicles produced because of all these impacts. Although it’s worth noting that some companies do have a backup of stock of around two to three months’ worth of neon gas on hand, so it’s not all bad, for now.
How long will the car shortage last?
Now, you understand why there is a car shortage. You are perhaps now thinking “how long will the car shortage last?”
The microchip shortage is said to return to normality by late 2023. How many cars are available will depend on a few things, mainly the brand. See below the expected lead times (time of writing 05/04/2022):
- LVC order bank temporarily closed
- 4/5 month order to delivery for all cars
- 14-16 weeks
- Ibiza 4-10 months
These are just a few brands to name.
What needs to happen to solve the car shortage?
There are plans for £105 billion to be invested into creating 29 new plants, these plants will help make more cars. These plants also need over 2.6 million chips per month. Whilst we’re in the middle of a microchip shortage crisis, this will take a while to readjust and make this plan a reality.
Plants also take around two years to build. So, perhaps in the time it takes to build those plants, the chip crisis will adjust back to normal levels and be less of a crisis.
It’s worth noting that these plants won’t be created solely for the automotive industry. So there will be competition to use these spaces.
What can you expect moving forward?
From now (06/04/22) until the end of 2022 you can expect the wait for cars to return slowly back to ‘normal’. However, ‘normal’ as we know it before covid will never be the same again. So expect changes in some form along the way.
New chip factories will have opened up and started working to create new vehicles once again. By 2023 there will be major new chip production facilities opening up, as mentioned previously, including the well-known TMSC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company).
Will the car shortage get worse?
Restrictions in relation to Omicron (COVID) have been relaxed in Shanghai, so component shortages will soon less likely be an issue.
However, if we keep in mind the recent events of COVID, the chip crisis, the Russian-Ukraine conflict, there’s no real telling of what will get better or worse. We can make calculated predictions as to how we can react to these situations.
What about if the car shortage goes away?
This is, at this moment in time, unlikely. However, we have said the future is unpredictable, so it’s best to prepare for anything.
If the chip shortage returns to normal, COVID stops impacting our everyday lives, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict ends, then yes, by default (if nothing else happens) the car shortage should go away once the backlog has been fulfilled.
If this happens, then the used car value should go down, lead times will return to normality and you should be able to happily buy your car and take delivery of it within the same year…
However, to be brutally honest, this most likely won’t be the case for a while.
So, what happens if the car shortage gets worse? What can you do now?
Our best advice would be to invest your money wisely. By this we mean that you could be paying more if you were to purchase a new or used car outright than if you were to lease your vehicle.
Why is this?
The future value of used vehicles is estimated to plummet:
What does this mean for you? Purchasing a vehicle now could mean you are setting yourself up to fail when you come to sell your vehicle, as you may sell it for a lot less than you purchased it for. This isn’t down to how well you’ve kept it, or how new the vehicle is, this is down to deflation which isn’t something you can control.
What you can control is the way you ‘buy’ your vehicle, such as leasing which is likely to be your next best option.
Are you in need of a new car now? Financing a new vehicle through a sensible finance scheme where you aren’t responsible for selling the vehicle, today, is the best way to go. As you don’t have to worry about the depreciation value of the car.
Which are the best autonomous cars in the UK?
- What autonomous technology exists today?
- Which are the best autonomous cars in the UK?
- Are autonomous cars the future?
Did you know that 55% of small businesses believe they’re going to have a fully autonomous fleet in the next 20 years? With a whopping £40 billion already sitting in the self-driving car market, it’s no wonder businesses are starting to shift their focus onto autonomous cars.
Fully autonomous cars are not yet legal in the UK today (11/05/2022). However, it is very likely, having seen autonomous technology develop in vehicles already, that we will see cars with full automation on UK roads in the near future.
Which cars have autonomous driving? What autonomous technology already exists today? In this article, we delve into the type of autonomous technology that could already exist in your car and many others, and the best autonomous cars you can buy now.
What autonomous technology exists today?
- Adaptive cruise control – this adjusts the car’s speed to match the surrounding traffic
- Auto-steer – this helps the driver by taking control of the steering and manoeuvring of the car, although the driver must keep hands on the wheel at all times
- Auto-park – this technology parks the car itself, with some models working fully autonomously by just a push of a button
- Autonomous emergency braking – this system scans for any potential collision and activates the brakes if the driver does not stop the car when necessary
- Blind-spot monitoring – this system checks how much space there is in the rear areas of your vehicle and will notify you if an approaching vehicle is too close to your car
- Lane-keep assist – keeps the car in the centre of the lane and will warn the driver when drifting via a visual warning or a sound. Some models will automatically brake if the driver doesn’t take action when asked to.
- Sign recognition – this lets the driver know of any traffic signs on the road ahead
Which are the best autonomous cars in the UK?
Probably the electric brand most known for its autonomous technology is Tesla. All of its models in the UK offer the Autopilot system as standard; this includes:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Emergency braking
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane-keeping assist
Tesla offers an Enhanced Autopilot which changes lanes for you. That’s right! Once you have indicated which lane you wish to move onto, the system will scan the road and switch lanes when it is safe to do so. The vehicle also has the ability to park itself.
The most advanced option is the Full Self-Driving Capability. This allows the Tesla Model 3 to stop at traffic lights without any control from the driver.
Volvo offers an excellent family SUV that features Pilot Assist. This kit focuses more on helping the driver rather than taking over and having full control. It provides steering assistance; this is somewhat similar to auto-steer but it does not take full control of the wheel.
The technology also helps keep the car in the correct lane and maintains a safe distance between the XC40 and its surrounding vehicles.
Like most semi-autonomous cars, the driver’s hands must remain on the wheel, otherwise, an alarm will go off reminding the driver to stay active.
Similar to the XC40, the V60 features a bundle of autonomous technology including:
- Lane-keeping assistance
- Steering assistance
- Park Assist Pilot (optional as an extra) – this includes a self-parking system which guides drivers into a parking spot only 20% bigger than the car
The German manufacturer offers a range of vehicles featuring autonomous technology, named by BMW as “Intelligent Driving”.
Many of these features include:
- Adaptive cruise control (ACC)
- Lane-control assist
- Steering assist
- Stop & Go – an extension of the ACC, this gives the driver a visual and acoustic signal if a car ahead of the road has made a sharp break. If no action is taken to stop the car, the system will automatically press on the brakes.
With the goal of reaching ‘level 3 functionality in the medium term’, it’s hard to dismiss this electric SUV as anything other than impressive.
Here are some of the best autonomous features of the iX:
- Front collision warning – this uses a radar to scan the road for any cyclists and pedestrians and will alert the driver with a visual warning for any potential collisions
- Steering assist – this is more similar to lane-keeping assist and works to keep drivers in their lane on the motorway
- Adaptive recuperation – uses five cameras, five radar sensors and 12 ultrasonic sensors and works together to avoid a hazard. How does it work? When approaching a potential hazard, the regenerative braking is ramped up so that the car slows as soon as the driver lifts off the accelerator.
Nissan Leaf & Qashqai
Nissan’s autonomous technology ProPilot includes:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane-keeping assist
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Autonomous parking – The car parks itself once the driver has selected the Autonomous parking system
Another impressive fact about Nissan, the Leaf model travelled 230 miles across the UK – the single longest journey ever completed by an autonomous car in the UK. This included a whole range of road types such as motorways, roundabouts, B-roads and overtaking manoeuvres.
The Audi A8 was the first production car to successfully reach level 3 of autonomous driving. In certain conditions, this means that the autonomous car is able to cover almost every aspect of driving.
This allows the driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel for longer than usual during stop-start traffic – perfect for when you’re barely moving in morning traffic. Once you reach over 37mph you must take back control of the vehicle.
Are autonomous cars the future?
Will autonomous cars become the future of driving? Should we help develop this technology and improve road safety?
Self-driving cars could well be the answer to a medley of problems such as catering to the elderly, disabled and children. Self-driving cars are essentially programmed computers, so there is the possibility that they can be programmed to drive more efficiently than a human. This, in turn, could reduce traffic congestion in cities and motorways, which would decrease the number of road accidents.
Another benefit to autonomous cars being coded like a computer is that not only will they work a lot more efficiently, but they also don’t have the downfall of experiencing human error or emotion.
With the ever-growing autonomous technology seeping into our everyday lives, it’s likely we will soon look back and wonder how we ever drove cars that were not self-driving! So, is there a car most suitable for you? Which is your perfect vehicle with autonomous technology?
Self-driving cars explained
- How do self-driving cars work?
- What are the levels of autonomous driving?
- Are self-driving cars safe?
- Is insurance more expensive for self-driving cars?
- Why do we need self-driving cars?
- What are the ethical issues related to self-driving cars?
- When will self-driving cars be available?
Autonomous technology, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and robot vehicles are probably all terms you have come across in your lifetime. Whether you read it in an article, saw it in an 80s sci-fi film or have experienced it first-hand in a Tesla, the idea of self-driving cars is seeping more and more into our reality every day.
Experiments on autonomous cars began in the 1930s. The first model vehicle to welcome autonomous technology was also built in the 1930s. Guided by a controller, this electric model moved via sensors and wires embedded on the road to guide it.
Interested in how the future of autonomous technology will change driving forever? Keep on reading.
How do self-driving cars work?
Self-driving cars work by making a map of their surroundings which they can see through sensors placed on various parts of a car. This includes radar sensors that scan nearby vehicles and pedestrians, video cameras that read road signs, traffic lights, and again other vehicles and pedestrians.
It also uses light detection sensors to measure distance, identify road edges and lane markings. Wheels detect curbs and other vehicles when parking thanks to ultrasonic sensors.
Autonomous software then processes all this information and communicates it to the vehicle’s acceleration, braking, and steering system.
What are the levels of autonomous driving?
- Driver Assist – Steering and braking can be autonomous, but the driver must be ready to take control
- Partial Assistance – Steering and speed in unison can be controlled by a computer, but the driver must still be engaged and monitor the surroundings and be ready to take over when needed at any point
- Conditioning Assistance – The car can monitor its surroundings, can control braking and steering in certain conditions, the driver must monitor the situation at lower levels and should take control if needed
- High automation – The car can drive itself but must have a human inside, it can start, drive, monitor its surroundings and park in some environments. The driver can choose a fully autonomous option and relax in the car, however, if the vehicle needs assistance it will request help from the driver and will continue driving if ignored.
- Full automation – The car does not need any human control, it is capable of completing all driving tasks in all environments and conditions, it understands all scenarios including traffic jams and collisions. It also does not need any pedals or a steering wheel.
Are self-driving cars safe?
Self-driving cars have the potential to do some amazing things like improving our day-to-day safety on the roads. But there are two sides to see here.
Yes, it can and has gone wrong and created severe fatalities.
But it has also saved a number of lives. There has been thorough research about how human error is in fact worse than computer error.
One case in Norway happened where an intoxicated driver became unconscious whilst behind the wheel. His Tesla recognised he wasn’t driving and slowly brought the vehicle to a halt, saving him from a potentially fatal accident.
So, using this clever tech, could human conditions such as drink driving, fatigue and distraction be conquered by self-driving cars? Let us know in the comments below!
Another plus is that autonomous cars have the ability to see better than the human eye can, as weather conditions such as fog doesn’t defeat the technology’s laser vision to see and perform driving tasks.
Is insurance more expensive for autonomous cars?
Until fully self-driving cars are legal in the UK, the cost of how much it will cost to insure them is a bit of a guessing game.
It really just depends on how likely self-driving cars are to cause accidents on the roads. If, as promised by many brands, autonomous cars will provide safer driver and fewer accidents, then it’s very likely that the cost of insurance will be massively reduced.
If this happens, then insurance companies could reward owners with a decrease in their premium. However, this is just a guess for now.
A statement by the Association of British Insurers said it is 100% committed to supporting the development of automated vehicles. So, the future of insurance is looking good for self-driving vehicles.
Why do we need self-driving cars?
Self-driving cars have the potential to reshape our world in a plethora of positive ways. It’s been found that traffic jams have been linked to road accidents and poor road safety. Autonomous technology has the opportunity to reduce traffic congestion in cities and on motorways, improving safety for everyone.
An increase in the congestion level is likely to cause a higher number of less severe accidents.
Another possibility that this technology could achieve is driving more efficiently. If we are coding a computer to drive, then it’s likely it will be able to drive a lot better and smoother without any human emotion or error.
There could even be an exclusive lane on motorways just for self-driving vehicles. This could further help with efficiency and speed overall.
If our self-driving car can drive itself, this could eradicate the need for parking spaces, as it could drive itself back to your home and park there. General parking spaces could be used instead for something more beneficial such as growing greenery to help support the environment or storing bike racks to encourage people to cycle.
Autonomous driving also introduces improved accessibility for vulnerable passengers such as children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and more.
What are the ethical issues related to self-driving cars?
Want to own a fully autonomous car? Well, just like with your mobile phone, smart TV, Alexa and GPS device, you will need to accept that when you’re using your self-driving car your information is being tracked and watched.
This isn’t part of a conspiracy theory about the Government stalking you or big brother watching your every step. The reality is, if you’re asking a car to take you somewhere without you doing anything, it’s going to need to track your location to be able to do the job.
So, in terms of your personal data, your self-driving car will need access to it to work. Unless you agree to it, it will not use or pass on your data without your consent.
There have been issues raised, however, in relation to the moral minefield of autonomous cars.
What happens if the car is about to hit another car so it’ll need to swerve away, but by doing so it will hit a group of children on the side of the road? Which direction should the car choose?
This will ultimately come down to the coding in how the computer will make this decision in just a split second, which, as you can imagine, invites a lot of complexity into what the right course of action is for each and every moral scenario.
When will self-driving cars be available?
Autonomous technology is integrated into today’s vehicles. Cars that are fully capable of self-driving, however, are not yet available on the roads or legal to drive in the UK.
If we think back to around 10 years ago, cars could not park themselves. Whereas there is technology today that enables cars to do this.
If we imagine 10 years ahead from now, it’s very likely that we will see many of the major manufacturing brands offering fully autonomous cars.
What about when self-driving cars become mainstream? We can only guess, but this could happen by 2050. When there is enough evidence that autonomous technology radically improves safety on the roads, only then will it become the norm of driving.
What are the capital allowances on electric cars?
- What is capital allowance?
- Who qualifies for capital allowance?
- How can you claim a capital allowance on electric cars?
- Can you claim capital allowances on leased electric cars?
- Should I apply and claim on capital allowance?
Is your company looking to supply electric vehicles to your employees or company? Need a better understanding of the best way to do this? If the answer is yes to either of these, then you need to look into the benefits of claiming capital allowances on electric cars before getting your new vehicle.
There are a multitude of advantages to buying an electric car this way. The two main factors you benefit from are getting an electric car for free (read on for clarification) whilst also enjoying tax savings at the same time.
How is this even possible? Read on to discover how…
What is capital allowance?
Capital allowance, also known as a write down allowance, is essentially the government allowing a financially beneficial loophole. This allows you to take a percentage of the value of an item your business owns off of your profits each year.
Let’s start at the beginning. Companies pay tax every year depending on their profits. Nearly every company measures success in how much money they make every year. So, it’s fair to say that the goal of almost every company is to avoid paying tax if they can (most times).
The main way to do this is noting down everything you own including workspace, work furniture, cupboards overloaded with mugs and cups – every physical asset can go towards taking off the annual tax you pay. For this, you can thank the existence of depreciation.
The same goes for any vehicle you own, because of depreciation the value of the asset is reduced, meaning, you pay less tax each year.
This is good if you own a car, this is even better if you own an electric vehicle.
First year allowance (FYA). Forewarning: rest your chin safely, your jaw will drop. Thanks to FYA you can claim 100% of the cost of your new or unused electric car in the first year of purchase. That’s right. Grab your jaw. The cost of your new company electric car is essentially free for the first year.
It’s worth noting the vehicles that help you benefit from these tax savings must be purchased through a hire purchase, contract purchase or just plain outright buying it. Any vehicles under contract hire or finance lease will not be eligible for capital allowance.
Who qualifies for capital allowance?
Those who are eligible to apply for a capital allowance on electric cars is any business. This includes:
- Sole trader
- State Limited company
- Public limited company
Individuals or self-employed workers cannot apply for the capital allowance scheme. If you fall under either of these categories and are looking to get a vehicle, our best advice is to get it through a business lease. The two options include contract hire and finance lease.
How can you claim capital allowances on electric cars?
As mentioned previously, when you claim capital allowance on a new or unused electric car, not only do you benefit from this, but you also get to enjoy the first year of purchase completely cost free!
Let’s imagine you’ve decided to buy the latest Polestar 2 for £49,900. You may think ouch, but your wallet won’t feel a thing! (For the first year).
What happens after the first year?
The years following the first year of purchase and claiming first year allowance, you cannot claim any more tax benefits from your new electric vehicle. This is because you have claimed 100% of the cost of the vehicle in the first year.
When you come to eventually sell the vehicle your accountant will make an adjustment for you, and you will have to pay back some of the money you originally claimed to HMRC based on the selling price.
So, you essentially pay back the percentage of tax you saved at the beginning based on the sales price. For example, say you saved 20% of tax in the first year, you would then pay this percentage back when you sell the vehicle.
If you sell the vehicle for £30,000 you would pay 20% of this back to HMRC.
What is corporation tax? Corporation tax is the amount of tax a company pays depending on their annual profits. This tax is paid only by UK limited companies. Sole trader and partnership companies do not have to pay corporation tax, instead, they must fill out a tax return and apply income tax to their earnings.
There are certain items a limited company can take off of their total profit made, which then reduces how much tax they pay. This includes expenses such as investments, assets like land, property, shares and machinery, and any trading profits.
How much tax you pay will depend on the profit you make annually; this is due to change year by year. See the table below for clarity.
So, let’s say you’ve made a profit of over £100,000 in 2022, you will pay 19% of your profits, the same as those who have made less than £50,000. Seems fair, right?
When the tax year of 2023 to 2024 arrives, strangely if you make £100,000, you will fall in the £50k-250k bracket and will pay 26.5% in tax, which is more than those who earn over £250k and only have to pay 25% in tax.
Now, let’s relate this back to claiming capital allowance on electric cars.
Your company has earned £100,000 in 2022/2023, which means you must pay (19%) £19,000 in corporation tax.
Remember that Polestar 2 you bought (let’s pretend)? This can be taken off the total profits made in a year. So, thanks to your premium electric car your total profits come to £50,100.
What does this mean?
You still have to pay 19% corporation tax, now however, it’s just 19% of £50,100 rather than £100,000. Not too shabby!
What do you get from this? A huge decrease in tax AND you own something. What a win win!
So, by buying an electric car through your company, not only do you save a load of corporation tax but you also get to enjoy huge tax savings whilst also fueling your company’s sustainable ethos.
What happens after the first year of owning the vehicle?
When it comes to the tax year of 2023/2024 nothing changes. Of course, the first-year allowance no longer applies. This means in terms of paying corporation tax you cannot benefit from taking the full cost of the vehicle off of your total annual profits. You can, however, enjoy low company car tax on your electric vehicle and reduced fuel costs.
What about when you come to sell your vehicle?
How much you sell your vehicle for will rely on the depreciation. Let’s say you sell it for £20,000, because you took the benefit of 19% tax savings when you bought it, you would now pay back 19% of £20,000 to HMRC.
So, a key thing to remember here, although you do get 19% off your total profits when you buy your electric vehicle, you must pay back 19% of whatever you sell it for.
This may seem like an annoyance or a catch but remember the years of tax savings you got because you bought an electric vehicle. This isn’t a cost or investment, in the end it’s a massive saving.
Can you claim capital allowances on leased electric cars?
To this date (14/03/2022) you cannot claim capital allowance on a leased electric car. To benefit from this tax saving you must have the option to purchase at any given point.
What types of vehicle contracts can you claim capital allowance on?
You can claim capital allowance on electric cars that are financed through a hire purchase and contract purchase.
In terms of getting the most out of your tax savings, the general rule of thumb is that vehicles worth £50,000 upwards, generally, are more beneficial to get through a contract purchase.
The best vehicles to stick with whilst doing a hire purchase would be those in the range of £35,000 to £50,000.
Generally, if you’re looking to buy an electric car worth £75,000+ your best option is to finance it through a purchase scheme rather than a hire purchase. However, it does depend on the vehicle.
Why is this?
Not all vehicles depreciate in the same way. So, investing in a car on the higher end of the price bracket which has a high depreciation would be a risk. This is because when you come to sell the vehicle you may lose out on money rather than make any money. So, this would be a cost rather than an investment.
It’s also worth remembering that a fleet of electric vehicles can also be claimed under capital allowance.
Are you a fleet manager that has been given the task of sorting out the company fleet but not sure where to turn? We can help.
Should I apply and claim on capital allowance?
Are you a business owner, sole trader, partnership, LTD or PLC company interested in saving money? Then claiming capital allowances on electric cars is a no brainer.
This is a very rare and unusual opportunity that isn’t likely to be around forever. At some point revenue will close the doors on this opportunity and it will become history.
If we consider the fact that the UK Government has spent billions on Covid, we should also assume that they’ll need to make this money back at some point. On top of this, with the effects of the microchip shortage, revenue will be looking at how they can save or make money. Tax loopholes like this will not last forever.
In order to benefit from capital allowance on electric cars, you need to have taken delivery of the vehicle before this scheme stops. If your vehicle is on order and the capital allowance scheme stops, you will not be able to make a claim.
So, if you’re serious about reaping the benefits of electric vehicles and capital allowance, it’s important to act today.
*Disclaimer: we are not tax advisers and you should seek your own advice from professionals
Safest electric cars: top 5 to drive in 2022
- Are electric cars really safe?
- What are the safest electric cars?
- What is the safest electric car for me?
Perhaps the endless electric car adverts have got you on the fence about going electric, but it’s just the safety aspect that’s holding you back? Or you’re just not quite convinced of how safe the electrical technology is? Or maybe you’ve heard about the world’s first ‘flying’ Tesla? Whatever the reason, I know if I were planning on going electric, I would want to know the safest vehicles available to me on the market. What’s better than this comprehensive list of the top 10 safest electric cars of 2022?
Are electric cars really safe?
Before we dive into the safest electric cars to buy, let’s settle the debate. Electric vehicles are safe. Of course, you can still crash and have an accident like any other vehicle on the road, but there is no real significant difference between electric and non-electric vehicles in terms of safety.
Autonomous vehicles, however, that’s a totally different topic. There has been a history of autonomous vehicles crashing in the last few years. Due to the connection between electric vehicles and autonomous technology, the two often get glued together when the question of safety is raised.
However, it’s important to remember that yes, all autonomous vehicles are usually electric, but not all electric vehicles are autonomous. So, it’s not fair to say that because autonomous technology has been found to be fatal this doesn’t necessarily reflect the safety of all electric cars.
Interestingly on the flip side, autonomous technology has actually saved lives too. So there are two quite heavy sides to this.
The fact that 75% of motorists prefer driving a car to riding a self-driving one confirms a lot about the collective opinion of autonomous technology, and perhaps even electric cars.
Today we’re here to relieve that burning worry around the safety of EVs. So, what are the safest electric cars? Let’s find out…
What are the safest electric cars?
- Polestar 2
Right at the top of the leaderboard is the Polestar 2! This premium electric fastback is the brand’s second vehicle and first ever electrified vehicle. The manufacturer markets this vehicle as ‘the way electric cars should be’.
That’s a bold statement to live up to. However, seeing as it’s at the top of Euro NCAP’s safety ratings, it may be safe to assume this bold statement to be true.
How does Euro NCAP score the Polestar 2?
- 5 star rating in total
- Adult Occupant 93% – The test showed that adult passengers of all sizes were well protected from all angles. The Polestar 2 showed ‘aggression’ towards other vehicles, which is a plus for your safety but not in the case of insurance and other vehicle’s occupants. The test also showed great whiplash protection in the case of a collision.
- Child Occupant 89% – The Polestar 2 scored maximum points in the protection of the frontal and side barrier impact for both child dummies. The car offers a flexible airbag which can be disabled to allow children to be seated facing the rear.
- Vulnerable Road Users 80% – Polestar’s equipment ensures more than adequate safety for pedestrians and other passers-by in its surroundings. It uses an ‘active’ bonnet which raises the bonnet of the car during an impact with a pedestrian. This creates a cushion between the head and the main part of the front vehicle. The autonomous emergency braking worked very well at detecting vulnerable cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles.
So, what are some of the safety features of this luxury electric fastback?
- Support systems such as a rear camera, front park assist and rear park assist
- Security protection including an alarm system and power child safety lock
- Collision Avoidance and mitigation
- Run-off road mitigation
- Forward collision warning
- Lane keeping aid
- Post impact braking
- Prevention system including protective technologies designed to keep occupants safe
- Mercedes EQS
In second place is the Mercedes EQS model. This premium electric saloon is a typical choice for business owners looking to impress. Mercedes label this model as ‘sensuous’ and ‘breathtaking’ – let’s hope they don’t mean literally.
So, is this a car you can enjoy ‘sensuously’ and safely? Time to investigate…
How does Euro NCAP score the Mercedes EQS?
- 5 star rating in total
- Adult Occupant 96% – The EQS scored maximum points in providing protection to all critical areas of the adult body including the driver and rear passenger. Occupants of all sizes and sat in various seating positions have good protection of the knees and femurs. The EQS also provides good whiplash protection for adults as well as head impact from driver to passenger thanks to a centre airbag. The EQS also provides a multi-collision braking system which prevents secondary impact after being involved in a collision.
- Child Occupant 91% – The EQS provides a pretty decent protection system for children. If an impact happens at the front or side of the car, all critical body parts will be well protected. On top of this, you can be very flexible with seating and securing children in the car. Where a rearward-facing child is sat, the front passenger airbag is automatically disabled.
- Vulnerable Road Users 76% – An ‘active’ bonnet is provided which ensures good protection of the head, legs, and pelvis (although the pelvis got mixed test results). The autonomous emergency braking system works well at detecting and avoiding collisions with vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists.
What are the best safety features of this luxury electric saloon?
Assistance package including:
- Blind spot assist
- Active lane keeping assist
- Active distance assist
- DISTRONIC – this is an adaptive cruise control system, which brings the driver up to speed, braking when necessary and helps maintain a safe distance between other vehicles near you
- PRE-SAFE Impulse side – this is essentially technology that shifts the driver inwards away from the door when in a collision
URBAN GUARD vehicle protection plus including:
- Anti-theft alarm system
- Interior monitoring system – this essentially provides an all-round monitoring system and barrier
- Tow-away protection which detects changes in vehicle movement
- Stolen vehicle location
- Interior monitoring – this will trigger an alarm if there is detected movement from inside the vehicle
- Volkswagen ID.4
Coming third is the award-winning Volkswagen ID.4. This family-friendly electric SUV is a very smooth, easy electric vehicle.
What does the ID stand for you ask? It stands for Intelligent Design. How is the design intelligent? Well, both the exterior and interior follow the smooth and simple style, very on trend for 2022. It features gloss black, shiny silver and soft-touch surfaces.
Enough about the fancy looks, how does it rate out of this list of safest electric cars?
How did the ID.4 score in Euro NCAP’s rating?
- 5 star rating in total
- Adult Occupant 93% – The ID.4 scored highly in terms of protection to occupants in the event of a side collision into a barrier or pole. On top of this, the car is installed with a centre airbag protecting both the front passenger and driver from head to head contact in the event of an accident. There is also good protection of the heads against whiplash for the front and rear occupants. Overall the ID.4 showed good protection to the driver and passengers including all critical body parts and the knees and femurs. Occupants of all sizes and in any seating position are also protected.
- Child Occupant 89% – For the protection of 6-10 year olds when the car is impacted from the front and the side, the ID.4 scored maximum points in this section of the test. You can disable the front passenger airbag so that a child can be seated rearward-facing safely.
- Vulnerable Road Users 76% – This car offers an autonomous emergency braking system that detects close pedestrians and cyclists, however it cannot detect pedestrians to the rear of the car. In response to vulnerable road users in avoiding collisions was said to be adequate. The head, legs and pelvis of the ‘struck’ pedestrian was either good or adequate in test conditions.
How about a taster of some of the fantastic safety features?
- ‘e-call’ Emergency call service
- Front Assist – Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist monitoring
- Isofix child seat preparation, easy-fit (for two outer rear seats, and front passenger seat), compatible with I-size
- Proactive passenger protection system in combination with Front Assist
- Driver alert system, fatigue detection
- Oncoming vehicle braking when turning including swerve support
- Skoda ENYAQ iV
The Skoda ENYAQ iV earns fourth place, but does its fresh design and practicality work for families?
With a sensible electric range of 253 miles and generous interior space, we may be safe to assume it is the perfect family electric SUV, but what about its safety?
- 5 star rating in total
- Adult Occupant 94% – The ENYAQ received maximum points in the protection of the driver and passengers in the event of a side impact hitting a barrier or pole. Occupants in the front of the car have good or adequate protection of all critical body parts. All passengers are also protected in the event of whiplash injury if the car is hit from behind. In addition, a centre airbag protects the occupant’s head from a far-side impact. A far-side impact would be when a passenger is thrown from one side to the other.
- Child Occupant 89% – When in a front or side impact, the ENYAQ offers good protection for 6-10 year olds, and scored maximum points in this test. Similarly to the previous electric cars mentioned, the front passenger airbag can be disabled for a rearward-facing child to sit in the front seat.
- Vulnerable Road Users 71% – Protection of the pedestrian’s head, legs and pelvis is good or adequate. However, the pelvis protection got mixed results with some areas performing well and others poorly. Similar to previous cars mentioned, the ENYAQ detects nearby pedestrians and cyclists through an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system
,and works adequately to prevent a collision. However it cannot detect any pedestrians behind the car.
What safety features does it offer?
- Front assist with assisted automatic braking
- Anti-theft alarm system with interior monitoring, backup horn and towing protection
- ISOFIX child seat preparation to front passenger and outer rear seats including top tether hooks
- Manual Child safety lock
- Standard electronic engine sound
- BMW iX
In fifth and final place, we have the BMW iX! This sports activity vehicle offers up to 275 miles in electric range and is perfect for when you’re in the mood to adventure on and off-road.
It has a luxurious and spacious interior with a superb infotainment system, it’s an ideal choice for many electric vehicle buyers.
How does Euro NCAP rate the iX on safety?
- 5 star rating in total
- Adult Occupant 91% – The iX was awarded full marks in the protecting all critical body areas in the event of a severe side impact into a barrier and pole. The knees and femurs of the driver and passenger is well protected at the front, this includes occupants sat in different positions and of all sizes. In a frontal accident with another car, the BMW iX will act aggressively towards the other vehicle. The iX scored well in protecting occupant’s heads and all critical body areas except for the passenger’s chest which was scored as adequately safe. Overall whiplash protection for all occupants was rated as good in the event of a rear-end collision. This EV will notify the emergency services in the event of an accident thanks to its e-Call system.
- Child Occupant 87% – Very similar to the previous cars, the iX offers very good safety for children. In a front and side impact, all critical body parts are well protected. The front passenger airbag can also be disabled allowing a child to be sat and secured rearward-facing.
- Vulnerable Road Users 73% – The iX offers an active bonnet, this, as mentioned previously, detects when the car is in contact with a pedestrian and will lift the bonnet to create a ‘cushion’ between the pedestrian’s head and the hard components of the car. In test conditions, this BMW tested well in protecting the head and legs of the pedestrian in the whole Euro NCAP overall. The AEB system performed well at detecting surrounding vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists, avoiding collisions in most cases.
How about some of its safety features?
- eDrive Exterior Sound – Electric vehicles when driven are often soundless as they have no engine to create a ‘rev’ sound. This can often post a risk to surrounding pedestrians if they do not hear a vehicle coming. A synthetic sound helps to alleviate this risk
- Parking Assistant – this will enable the driver to park very precisely using intelligent technology to scan a space and guide them in via a camera
- Driving Assistant Professional – this is a radar-based camera system offering help during critical traffic situations for example blocking a lane, trying to enter a jammed highway and a junction with deadlock risk (where there are too many cars exiting and entering the main road of a junction)
Which is the safest electric car for me?
In this article we’ve looked at the top 5 safest electric cars, but which earned the top spot for you? This is solely down to your personal decision and what you feel best meets your requirements.
Hopefully, the information we have provided has helped you decide which is the safest electric car that most suits your needs. It’s understandable if you still have doubts, these are still fairly new cars. There’s still plenty more new and improved technology to come. But if we are comparing the safety of EVs to ICE vehicles, then there simply is no real comparison to be had.
How safe are electric cars?
- Are electric cars safe to drive?
- How safe are electric cars in floods?
- How safe are electric cars in a crash?
- What if your electric car breaks down?
- What about EV charging safety?
- How safe are electric cars?
Does electric car safety scare you? Nearly as much as paying tax? Only joking, that’s a much scarier topic. But seriously, we need to alleviate the worries surrounding driving electric vehicles (EVs). If the question ‘How safe are electric cars?’ is stopping you from getting the electric car you dream and desire to drive, then keep on reading. We will tackle this anxiety together!
Are electric cars safe to drive?
So, the first thing you may question is are EVs even safe to drive? They are very safe to drive. If not, arguably even safer than the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) car.
There are many misconceptions around the difference between electric and non-electric cars, but there are in fact many similarities as well as technological improvements in EVs.
What about changing a tyre on an electric vehicle? This is the same as changing a tyre on any other standard vehicle.
Most EVs come with a space-saver tyre, this is essentially a smaller, but still functional, tyre that weighs very little – as a heavy tyre will suck up the vehicle’s electric range.
However, many non-electric vehicles no longer come with a spare tyre in the boot ready for emergencies. They usually will provide a canister, which will fill the tyre with foam in the event of a breakdown.
If you prefer to have a spare tyre you now have to purchase this separately on top of buying the ICE car itself. Whereas with electric cars this isn’t the case.
According to EuroNCAP, electric cars are doing very well in terms of safety ratings. The Polestar 2 is the safest electric car, and the safest car overall of 2021! Not bad, eh? Looking for a safe EV? Read our article on the top 5 safest electric vehicles.
How safe are electric cars in floods?
So, we’ve covered electric cars being safe to drive, but what about in floods? Can electric vehicles handle floods? You may have guessed it, but electric cars can indeed drive through floods.
As you may well know, a conventional petrol or diesel car suffers in floods because its engine fills up with water, ruining the car pretty much indefinitely. But with an electric car, there is no engine to flood.
Usually when a conventional ICE car is flooded there are a number of things affected by water impact:
- Exposed metal and bodywork can begin to rust
- Infotainment and other electric appliances can pose a risk of electric shock after flooding
- The brakes and clutch are damaged because there is now less friction between the two moving parts
- Most known problem is Hydrolock which is when the engine is flooded with water pretty much ruining the pistons and combustion cycle.
An electric vehicle, however, poses minimal risks to the vehicle when exposed to flooding and water damage. The infotainment system could be damaged, but this shouldn’t be the case as all electrical circuits are isolated and sealed.
You may be thinking, “what about the EVs battery?” Well, you see, the battery is also sealed and protected, so any contact with water should not cause any electrical hazard to the driver, passengers or any by-passers.
You can drive electric cars out in the rain without any issue. This is because the cars must be engineered to be waterproof so it can handle all types of weather.
So, it’s likely to experience less damage, and therefore, may not be as worthless as an ICE vehicle that has been flooded.
The most likely damage you may see in an electric vehicle from a flood is the paintwork and possibly the infotainment system.
What about the health risks? You may experience:
- Battery fire risk
- Electrocution risk
Although there are fewer risks in terms of damage to your electric vehicle compared to a petrol or diesel car, we would not recommend intentionally driving it through large levels of water as it can not only cause damage but also pose a serious health and life risk.
The best advice we can give is to avoid driving through large levels of water, which of course, can sometimes be unachievable thanks to the lovely weather we get in the UK.
If you must enter water, we would recommend only letting water levels reach half the height of the tyre.
What about if your electric vehicle has been flooded? What should you do?
Do not at any point try to start the car.
If your car is not in a safe place to dry out, contact a towing company as soon as possible so that the vehicle can be moved to a safer place.
Make a note of the initial damage you’ve spotted, how high the water rose in your car and if it was saltwater that flooded the vehicle.
Why is this?
Depending on how high the water rose around your car, it may have entered the interior. If this has happened you’ll need to treat any possible mold and water damage.
Additionally, saltwater negatively affects your vehicle’s paintwork and electronics. So, when it comes to having a conversation with your insurance company, the more information you have the more it will help with your claim.
How safe are electric cars in a crash?
So, now you know your EV has the potential to survive in a flood. What about accidents? How safe are electric cars in a crash? It’s likely you’re imagining a dramatic explosive scene with flames flying to Mars and back.
Well, we can reassure you that electric cars are generally, actually, safer than the conventional internal combustion engine vehicle in a crash.
Due to the lack of gasoline in EVs, there is a huge reduced risk of an explosive episode if something were to catch alight. This is usually the sole cause of any type of explosion in a petrol and diesel car accident, thankfully, not with EVs.
Interestingly, a recent study on vehicle fires found that petrol and hybrid vehicles collectively had 4,983 fires per 100K sales, whereas electric vehicles had just 25 fires per 100K sales.
So, if this is telling us anything, is that going electric is in fact the safer option.
Additionally, all electric cars are fitted with safety features to shut the vehicle down in the case of an accident – similar to how there are safety features in a car to stop the flow of petrol in an accident.
Many EVs provide safety features to prevent an accident from taking place, including:
- Lane keeping aid – this prevents you from leaving the lane you are driving in. How does it do this? It applies steering torque to direct you back to the centre of the lane
- Autonomous emergency braking – This helps you stop your vehicle in the event of an emergency. How? It constantly scans the road ahead and jumps in if the driver doesn’t take action in a collision.
- Forward collision warning – Similarly, this one makes you aware of any potential collisions coming up, it does this by scanning vehicles around you that have stopped or are slower than your vehicle speed
- Distance alert – This system helps the driver become aware when they’re driving faster than the vehicle ahead, this works above speeds of 20mph.
- Tyre pressure monitor – this monitors the air pressure inside of your tyre in real-time, if it needs filling up with air the car usually shows a low-pressure warning light, gauge or a pictogram display
- Electronic stability programme – prevents the car from sliding or spinning if travelling around bends too fast. How? The wheels have sensors that detect the beginning of a slide or spin and apply small amounts of braking to the individual wheels needed
- Attention assist – this analyses the driver’s behaviour to learn about your habits and will detect any small errors you make which tells it you may be feeling drowsy, it will then suggest pulling over to take a break
- Swerve support – this helps you drive
In the worst-case scenario if an EV does catch alight, it could emit toxic fumes which if inhaled directly will pose a serious health threat.
The best thing to do is contact the fire brigade and ensure anyone near keeps their distance from the vehicle, around 15 meters is your best bet.
A lot of EV batteries contain an air-cooling system to prevent it from overheating and causing any kind of fire or in very rare cases an explosion.
Overall, it would appear that safety is just as good if not better than an ICE vehicle. Just remember, if anything does go wrong, leave it to the experts, don’t try to fix it yourself.
What if your electric car breaks down?
This is dependent on the breakdown company you are covered by and why you’ve broken down. According to the AA, you’ll be met with a team of trained EV mechanics who will be ready to assist you with your breakdown issue.
Do not at any point attempt to jumpstart your electric car. This should only ever be done by a trained professional. Trying to do so without a doubt will cause negative or even fatal life effects.
If your battery has run out, your vehicle will be towed to either the nearest charging point or your destination. Although it’s worth noting that towing your electric car can cause serious damage to the motor, the best thing to do is place the vehicle on a truck if possible.
What about EV charging safety?
So, now you know what could happen in the event of a breakdown or if your car battery goes flat. What about when you come to charge your electric vehicle? Can it become unsafe and what are the risks?
There are a few things to be aware of when it comes to charging your electric vehicle:
- Don’t daisy-chain extension leads – this is where you plug multiple extension leads into one another which poses a massive risk of fire and electric shock
- Regularly check your charging for wear and tear to prevent any electric shock or poor charging
- Don’t use multi socket extension leads – if absolutely necessary you can use an outdoor extension lead such as a reel cable
- Book in with a professional to check the wiring in your home is strong enough to support and charge an electric car as old wiring can pose a fire risk
How safe are electric cars?
So, we’ve covered everything from safely charging your electric vehicle to what can happen if your car is flooded. Here are the key things you will have hopefully taken away from this:
- Your EV can handle floods due to no engine
- Most EVs come with a spare space-saver tyre when you buy it
- With no fuel EVs are less likely to catch alight
- You will benefit from many safety features preventing the risk of accidents
- Autonomous technology has the potential to save lives
Our aim was to ease your worries in relation to how safe electric cars are. Hopefully, by now, the question ‘How safe are electric cars’ doesn’t faze you and you have overcome any anxiety around the safety of EVs.
You are in fact now excited to electrify your driving, and get your desired electric car on the road. Not quite there yet? That’s okay. We have a team of vehicle specialists ready to answer all your burning questions about EVs.
Will an electric car save me money?
- Are there hidden costs of owning an electric car?
- What electric vehicle tax savings are there?
- How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
- Is there free electric car charging?
- Do you really save money with electric cars?
- Are electric cars expensive to insure?
- Will an electric car save me money?
Are you ready to go electric, but not quite sure how financially viable it is? Looking for more information on the costs and savings of Electric Vehicles (EVs)? Or maybe you just want to simply know: “will an electric car save me money?”
Well, if you can relate to any of these questions you’re in the right place. In this article, we explore how you can enjoy tax savings, the costs of charging an electric car and the best tips on how you can save money with your vehicle.
Are there hidden costs of owning an electric car?
So, you may be wondering are there any hidden costs of owning an electric car? The answer to this isn’t a simple yes or no, it depends on what you count as hidden. For example, one cost you will incur with your EV is when charging.
There are many ways to go about doing this. Now, it can be a struggle to only use public chargers to fill up your EV if there aren’t any available or it’s not compatible with your vehicle, however, it is completely possible, and there are plenty of people that are doing it today!
What is the typical cost of a public charger?
- Non-rapid charging: 12p per kWh*
- Rapid charging: 15p per kWh*
- Ultra-rapid charging: 50p per kWh*
*Correct at the time of writing 24/03/2022
Although this can sometimes be more expensive than charging from home, it is still significantly more affordable than filling up an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. ICE cars include vehicles with petrol or diesel engines.
Another option is to install a home charger for your vehicle. In terms of charging your EV, this is where you save the most money as you have the option to charge it overnight at a lower cost. We’ll go into the costs of charging a bit later on.
At the time of writing (February 2022) a 7.5kWh charger can be around £700 to install at home, however, this cost could increase if your electrics can’t cope with powering your vehicle charger.
If this is the case, you’ll need to upgrade your household electrics. This could include buying and installing a new consumer unit as your current fuse box may not be large enough to safely power your EV charger.
Why the upgrade?
Running everything on electric at the same time is likely to be unsafe for the home and could create a fire hazard. Your current fuse or consumer box may not be powerful enough to charge a whole vehicle and could impose health and safety risks for everyone in your home.
This is why if you want a powerful charger for a car at home, it has to be installed by a professional to avoid any unwanted risks.
With all this in mind, you’re most likely wondering how much it will cost you to install an at home charger. Truthfully, the cost of a home installation will completely depend on your home and home electrics.
However, you will still save money by switching to an electric in the long run compared to driving a petrol or diesel car.
Here are a few possible costs that are involved in charging your EV:
- Charger and charger installation – this can range from £700 to £1,100 for both*
- Upgrade of consumer unit – on average is between £375 and £550*
- Electricity to charge the EV from home – on average this can be around 15p per kWh. Take a 60kWh car and this will cost £15 for a full charge. (Changing your electric provider can alter the costs of charging).*
- Out of home charging – the time can massively alter depending on where you charge it, for example if you’re at the supermarket you can charge it for free with a 7kWh charger, but we’ll touch more on out of home charging later on.*
*Correct at the time of writing 24/03/2022
All of this may seem like a big cost upfront but once it’s been paid for all you have to think about is the cost of charging it, at home and out and about.
What about servicing and maintaining your electric car? Funnily enough, maintaining an electric car battery can be a lot cheaper than taking care of a combustion engine vehicle.
What electric vehicle tax savings are there?
We’ve spoken a bit on whether there are any hidden costs of owning an electric car. So, what about any savings that come with owning one, specifically tax?
For any business owners or employers thinking of investing in a work vehicle, this will be valuable news to you. One of the biggest tax savings that comes with owning an EV is company car tax.
What is this?
As an employer you are charged tax on your company car. EVs compared to petrol and diesel, offer a much lower tax rate. The tax year of 2022/2023 company car tax will be 2% of how much the vehicle is worth. Compare this to the company car tax of petrol and diesel vehicles of up to 37%, you’ll be saving quite a bit of money on your electric car.
Employees can also enjoy brilliant tax savings through a salary sacrifice scheme. This is when an employee sacrifices a portion of their salary in exchange for an electric work vehicle.
What about road tax? Road tax is based on the CO2 emitted from a vehicle, so this comes under the same bracket as electric company car tax savings.
What does this mean for you?
This essentially means the tax you pay for your EV is the same whether you’ve got it through a salary sacrifice as a company car, or you’ve purchased it as an individual.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
The cost of charging your EV varies between your home, place of work and a public charging point, and of course your vehicle.
Let’s use the example of a family-friendly EV that offers 200 miles of range thanks to its 60kWh battery.
Planning a weekend break away? As mentioned before, you can charge your car from the comfort of your home. For a home charger, this will cost you around £15 for a full charge.
One other source of fueling your family-friendly electric car is to use a rapid charger. These charging points can be found on motorway service stations and will cost you (using the 60kWh EV example) £6.50 for 30 minutes of charging which offers a 90-mile charge.
Is there free electric car charging?
Now we’ve touched on the costs of charging an electric car, what about free charging points? Are there any at all? You’ll be pleased to know that, yes, there are many places where you can charge for free!
Are you out at a supermarket? These offer public charging points and often provide free charging whilst you do your shopping. Two birds one stone! For example, there are plenty of Tesco stores providing free EV charging of up to 22kW.
On your way to work and running low on charge? Your workplace may have available chargers. If not, most employers can install charging points and usually offer EV charging free of charge (no pun intended). Otherwise, you can charge your EV for a cost, usually the same price as charging it at home – this is still cheaper than filling up on fuel!
Why not reap the benefits of charging from work and read more on the Workplace Charging Scheme?
It’s worth remembering that most EV drivers do not charge their cars to 100% in one go due to time. Most EVs at any one time are charged between 20% and 80%.
Do you really save money with electric cars?
So, we’ve already covered that you can save money by making the move to electric as the costs of filling up your EV aren’t nearly as comparable to the costs of paying for petrol or diesel. One major factor is the fact you can fuel your electric vehicle for free. I can’t say I know a single public petrol and diesel fuel provider that offers this.
When your electric car has to go in for a service or regular maintenance, this is a lot more affordable than its petrol and diesel counterpart. The standard ICE vehicle needs oil changes, engine filters, and this is needed at a minimum of every year or so. Whereas an electric motor doesn’t need the same sort of care, as it’s just fitted with electronics.
Both ICE and EVs will need wear and tear items maintained such as the brake pads, tyres and refilling the washer fluid. However, with an EV there’s no engine to service. Arguably, you save on annual maintenance with an EV.
Another saving people often forget are city congestion charges. When you’re cruising through cities in your full EV, you can enjoy your drive to its fullest knowing you won’t have to pay a penny for simply passing through.
Are electric cars expensive to insure?
Another cost you must think about when buying any vehicle is the insurance. How does an EV compare to a standard ICE vehicle? Is it more affordable?
In the past, electric cars have been known to be generally more expensive in terms of insurance when compared to petrol and diesel cars. On top of this, because EV parts are not as common to find and therefore less are available for when your car needs repairing – this will rack up the price of insurance.
How long will it be like this? Well, as EV are becoming more common and with the upcoming 2030 ban on ICE vehicles, it’s very likely the electric car market will soon boom. What does this mean for you? Buying EVs will become a lot more affordable than today and by default, insurance prices will drop.
Will an electric car save me money?
So, you may think: will an electric car save me money? As discussed, it completely depends on how you go about buying one, maintaining it, charging and the insurance you have on it.
All these factors will determine the savings you will get with your vehicle. Generally speaking, of course, there are many savings that automatically come with driving an electrified vehicle.
If you want to actively take advantage of the ultimate way to enjoy great money-saving value while going electric, we recommend the following:
- Lease your EV. Why is this? There’s a lot of uncertainty around what EVs will be worth in the used car market.
- Be wary of how you drive. Just like a petrol or diesel car, if you accelerate at full pelt everywhere, this is going to use a lot more fuel. Then by default, you’ll spend a lot more money.
- Don’t drive in cold weather. Take this one with a pinch of (grit) salt. The warmer the environment is the longer the battery lasts – to an extent. Essentially when you’ve got the heaters on full blast and lights on in the wintery dark mornings, you’re going to be using a lot more electricity than you would on warmer and brighter days. However, on the flip side in the hot summer months if you prefer to use aircon over having the windows down this will also drain your vehicle’s fuel.
- Select the appropriate electricity tariff. If you decide to install a home charger for your car, picking the right electricity tariff is crucial if your goal is to save money as utility companies can misquote.
- Don’t get bogged down on the range. If you usually do one long trip once a year, paying for a long-range EV won’t be worth it. It’ll just mean you have to stop to charge your cars for a few hours on the way.
Will an electric car save me money? Well, you may think “electric cars are more expensive than petrol cars”, but the truth is this: an electric car will not only save you time, energy and the planet, but yes, in the long run, money will also be a very beneficial saver.
Why would you want to miss out on these great benefits?
It may seem like a big cost to begin with, but if you take the plunge and see going electric as an investment rather than a cost, you’ll begin to enjoy the benefits instead of questioning them.Next Page »