Electric car charging

Electric car finance

Zuto can help you find electric car finance or hybrid car finance. As a broker, we work with a panel of lenders who understand the ins and outs of electric car ownership.

Zuto is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 10.6% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances. Representative Example: Borrowing £8,000 over 60 months with a representative APR of 20.9% the amount payable would be £208 a month, with a total cost of credit of £4,486 and a total amount payable of £12,486.

Buying an electric car on finance: what you need to know

Every year, manufacturers add more electric car models (also called electric vehicles, or EVs) to their product line-ups, as part of a big push ahead of 2030 when you’ll no longer be able to buy a brand-new petrol or diesel car in the UK. Electric car registrations are more than doubling every year, with Zuto’s partner AutoTrader predicting we’ll be buying more EVs than diesel and petrol by 2025.

The huge growth in new models means we’re now also seeing an increase in used electric cars, meaning more choice for different budgets.

Zuto can help you find electric and hybrid car finance deals that are right for you. As a broker, we work with a panel of lenders who understand the ins and outs of electric car ownership.

Can anyone get an electric car on finance?

While electric cars cost more on average than traditional models, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get this type of vehicle on finance. Electric car financing can be a more affordable way of getting a more expensive car, and it’s available to a wide range of people. 

Whether or not you qualify for electric car financing is dependent on the same factors that affect accessing finance in general. In other words, your credit rating, your income and how stable it is, plus certain age requirements. But even people with low credit scores may be able to get finance for an electric or hybrid car depending o n their individual circumstances. 

That opens up the possibility of driving a car that offers both environmental and economic benefits. It’s cheaper to run an electric car than its diesel or petrol equivalent in terms of fuel cost, while the reliability of electric models also offers the very real possibility of lower maintenance costs. 

Electric car finance vs a normal car loan

You can pay for an electric car on finance, just as you can a traditional car, with three main types – Zuto HP finance, Personal Contract Purchase finance and personal loans. However, there are some ways that EV finance differs to standard petrol, diesel, or hybrid:

  • While uncommon, some lenders will only finance the vehicle. In these instances, the deal doesn’t include the battery and you would have to lease it separately.
  • Electric cars are usually more expensive to buy than petrol and diesel. Additionally, you might also want to have a charging point fitted at your home.

In the long term, you’re likely to save money financing an electric vehicle, with less to pay than petrol or diesel on vehicle tax and running costs – even with the extra spend on electricity.

  • cms-tick

    Electric car MOT pass rates

    As the UK shifts to electric and hybrid cars, we discover how your favourite models hold up in their annual MOT.

    Electric car MOT pass rates
  • cms-tick

    How to find fuel-efficient cars

    With fuel prices rising, fuel-efficient cars are becoming more popular. Here’s what you need to know about finding a fuel-efficient car.

    Fuel efficient cars
  • cms-tick

    Buying a car privately

    What are your rights when buying a used car from a private seller? Our guide explains everything

    Buying a car privately

What should I consider when it comes to the battery?

An electric car’s battery might not be included in its price, so you might have to lease it separately. The difference in the prices of cars with and without batteries can be large, so it’s best to be sure before you commit.

Although this is different to what we’re generally used to with car ownership, it can be useful – if the battery’s efficiency drops below a set level, it’ll be replaced.

What you need to check when buying a used electric car

The basics are still the same for buying an electric car on finance as they are for a petrol or diesel vehicle. However, it’s worth thinking about the following for an EV:

  • Find the right car for you – an electric car needs to meet your requirements, so think about the size, whether you like the brand, and what owners of the same or similar vehicles are saying.
  • Battery range – this is the number of miles an electric car can travel on a single charge. Range has improved in recent years so a newer model might be preferable if you regularly make long journeys. Before committing to finance on an electric car, confirm the range of your chosen vehicle and whether it suits your lifestyle.
  • Charging cables – you’ll need these to connect your car to charging points. Make sure the cables are included and in good working order.
  • Charging points – it’s worth looking into installing a charger at home. If you can’t install one or aren’t ready, check where your nearest charging points are and ask your workplace if they either have any or might be planning to add them in the future.
  • Compatibility – if you are going to be using public charging, ensure you buy an EV compatible with rapid charging (which can top up batteries to 80% capacity within 30 minutes). EV compatibility depends on its maximum charging capacity and whether it accepts a Type 2 connector.
  • Service history – a complete service history of a used EV should show you whether the car’s had its software updates. Battery life and its deterioration rate will also be examined.
  • Component costs – in addition to the usual maintenance checks on brakes and tyres etc, there are new considerations with EVs. High-voltage relay banks and power-steering pumps also need checking.

Car finance calculator

See how much you could borrow

Why buy an electric car?

It’s a great time to go electric; EVs are becoming more affordable and there’s an ever-increasing selection to choose from. And of course, there are the obvious reasons – they’re good for the environment and fun to drive.

Here are the key benefits to be aware of.

  • Environmental benefits – fully electric cars emit no greenhouse gasses, cutting local emissions. The source of electricity remains a challenge, as it isn’t completely green in the UK – but more than half does come from carbon-neutral sources (nuclear, wind, solar, hydro and other renewables).
  • Economic benefits – the cost of running an electric car is much less than it is for petrol and diesel cars, even though the latter might be cheaper to buy at first. Tax incentives, government grants and cheaper per-mile-energy means you could pay less in the long-term.
  • Driving experience – one of the first things you’ll notice if you take an EV for a test drive is how quiet and smooth it is. They can also be surprisingly quick; even modest hatchbacks can do 0-62mph comfortably under 10 seconds.
  • Reliability – The team at Zuto conducted some research on how electric and hybrid cars hold up in their MOTs, and the answer was pretty well. Our team crunched official UK Government data from more than 1.7million MOT tests between January 2016 and May 2021, with the top 30 vehicles all achieving a pass rate of 84% or higher. Read more in our electric and hybrid MOT pass rate study.

Are there any downsides to buying electric?

Buying an EV comes with plenty of environmental and economic benefits, but there are a few areas you should be aware of before committing to electric car finance:

  • For EVs with lower range, you’ll need to plan longer journeys around charging port locations (making sure ports are compatible).
  • EVs might be cheaper in the short term, but they generally cost more than petrol or diesel cars to buy.
  • Because all in-car features (entertainment, air con, and heating) are battery powered, you’ll have to be conscious of additional power usage as you drive.

Are there alternatives to electric?

If you’re keen to help the environment but don’t think an EV fits your lifestyle, you could consider hybrid car finance. Hybrid cars combine normal petrol/diesel engines with electric. There are two different types of hybrid cars to finance:

  • Conventional hybrid – a conventional hybrid uses the electric motor when travelling at low speeds, but makes use of the traditional engine when accelerating or working at full power. During operation, any excess power is used to recharge the battery.
  • Plug-in hybrid – as well as charging on the move, a plug-in hybrid offers the option to stop and recharge your car at a station. This gives you a longer running time on the electric than a conventional hybrid.

The cost of financing a used electric car?

Used electric cars are getting more and more affordable, with more manufacturers involved in the sector than ever before. Here are some examples of what’s available, although the estimated price quotes can vary depending on condition, mileage and other factors. 

Finance costs are just an estimate, based on a four-year Hire Purchase agreement.

2020 Vauxhall Corsa-e

Estimated price = £16,000

Approximate monthly finance cost = £483

2018 Nissan Leaf

Estimated price = £9,500

Approximate monthly finance cost = £287

2019 Tesla Model 3

Estimated price = £24,000

Approximate monthly finance cost = £725

Zuto is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 9.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances. Representative Example: Borrowing £7,500 over 48 months with a representative APR of 21.4% the amount payable would be £226 a month, with a total cost of credit of £3,369 and a total amount payable of £10,869.

How much does it cost to run an electric car?

Running an electric car comes with different costs to those we’re used to with petrol- or diesel-engine vehicles.

We’ve compared how much a used electric car can cost compared to a diesel-engine vehicle - the Nissan Leaf is one of the most popular EVs on AutoTrader at the moment and the Golf remains one of the UK’s top-selling cars.

Rather than choosing the cheapest cars on the market, we’ve selected ones in a really competitive area – almost £8,000 to buy outright. We’ve excluded MOT, tyres and consumables.


Used Nissan Leaf £7,950

Finance repayments = £232.14

Insurance per month = £22.04

Tax = £0

Dealer servicing - divided by 12 (actual cost in brackets) = £13.25 (£159)

Cost in fuel/energy (20 miles per day) = £24


Monthly total = £350.72



Used VW Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion Hatchback £7,995

Finance repayments = £253.76

Insurance per month = £22.31

Tax = £0

Dealer servicing - divided by 12 (actual cost in brackets) = £15.33 (£184)

Cost in fuel/energy (20 miles per day) = £49.04 (based on combined 74.3mpg)

Monthly total = £427.13


Estimated costs from real-world examples: a 2015 VW Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion Tech (s/s) 5dr with 74,500 miles, on the market at £7,795 and a 2015 Nissan Leaf Tekna with 42,559 miles, on the market at £7,950. Prices correct as of July 2021.

Insurance estimates based on a 42-year-old male driver with 9 years' no claims and living in a low-risk area.

The Leaf works out at an estimated £76.41 cheaper per month than the Golf.

Of course, cheaper versions of both cars are available, and money can be saved through servicing and insurance – but for day-to-day driving? Electric is simply much cheaper.

Fully electric cars are currently exempt from car tax (Vehicle Excise Duty, VED) and the benefit-in-kind (BiK) tax rate for vehicles is also 0%.

It’s also worth noting that cars registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 March 2017 have different tax rates to those built before or after, which is why the Golf in our example (emitting 99g/km CO2) pays no tax – but the identical car registered today would pay £160 a year.

How to buy a used electric car on finance

Now you know more about electric cars and the differences between EVs and traditional vehicles. If you’d like to buy a used one on finance, it’s easy with Zuto.

  • cms-tick

    Apply online or call us

    We need some details from you such as your address and how much you're looking to borrow. This should only take a couple of minutes and you’ll receive a decision within 60 seconds.

  • cms-tick

    Get approved and discuss quotes

    We’ll carry out a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit score. If approved with one of our lenders, we will call you to discuss the quotes and any next steps. 

  • cms-tick

    Find your perfect electric car

    If you're happy with the quotes provided, all that's left to do is to find you the perfect electric car and drive away happy.


Do I need to finance the car and battery separately?

Down arrow

Some lenders will only finance the car and you will have to lease the battery separately. It’s another monthly cost to consider when you budget before committing. But if your battery becomes faulty, most manufacturers will it replace free of charge.

What happens if the battery’s lease runs out before the car loan?

Down arrow

It’s recommended you lease the battery for the same term as the loan itself. The benefits of leasing the battery is if something goes wrong, or the battery life reduces, you should be covered for a replacement through the leasing company.

What grants are available for buying an electric car?

Down arrow

There are no grants for used electric cars.

A government plug-in grant is available for buying a new EV. To be eligible, the car must cost less than £35,000. This is the recommended retail price and includes VAT and delivery fees. The grant will pay for 35% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Do electric car batteries need a refurb?

Down arrow

Electric car batteries typically last eight to 10 years. Refurbished replacements cost around £2,500 and new ones are around £5,000.

Do electric car batteries go flat quicker in winter?

Down arrow

The latest EV batteries are less susceptible to cold weather and battery range is much-improved. It’s unlikely to be an issue in the UK.

What happens if the range drops and I need to buy a car during the agreement?

Down arrow

If you finance the car through HP car finance, you would have to sell the car and pay off the current finance agreement with the money you have sold it for. If this leaves you in negative equity, you may have to add money to it, or account for it in your next finance agreement.

If you finance an EV through PCP finance, you need to be at least half-way through your agreement to do a voluntary termination.

Can I finance an electric car with bad credit?

Down arrow

Yes, it’s possible to get finance for an electric car even if you have bad credit. A poor credit score may mean that you pay higher interest rates on your electric car finance deal, or perhaps you may have to pay a larger deposit or balloon payment, although that will depend on the individual lender and the type of financing you want. As electric cars tend to be more expensive than traditional petrol-fuelled cars, more credit may be required and that can also impact on the size of deposit required.

Customer reviews