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Electric Vehicle Car Buying Guide

A home EV charging connector hooked to the wall of a garage

dcbel on Unsplash

Electric cars – a passing fad or the way of the future? The fact of the matter is, even before the pandemic, 10 million electric cars were on the road worldwide by 2020. Australia may be lagging behind some countries such as Denmark with only 1.6% of all new car sales being electric vehicles, Governments at the state and federal level are racing to catch up with the rest of the world; 700 new fast charging stations will be built around Australia in the next five years.

Though electric vehicles (EVs) are functionally the same as petrol driven vehicles apart from the engine, what do you need to look for in an electric vehicle? Can you take advantage of incentives? What about finance? We answer this all in our guide here.

Give yourself a generous budget

Electric vehicles can often be one point five times or even double the price of equivalent petrol driven vehicles, which means you need to have a generous budget. The upside is that you aren’t paying for expensive fuel anymore – and fewer trips to the garage for scheduled servicing as they don’t have as many moving parts. That said – factor this into your upfront costs, even if you are saving money over time.

 A home EV charging connector hooked to an electric car

Range and charging

The next aspect to consider is the range of your new EV and available charging. Ranges of EVs can vary from as little as 200km on a full charge to even as much as 800km. You can opt for a shorter-range car (which may be cheaper) but you’ll also be dependent on local charging stations. The shorter your range the more time you might be spending on charging. You can use a site like PlugShare to find out where your local charging stations are to make a more informed choice.

Incentives on offer

Federal, state, and territory governments are offering various incentives to prospective owners of EVs to accelerate the uptake of green vehicles. These might be stamp duty concessions, registration deferrals or discounts, or direct tax incentives. You can find out what incentives you can take up on the Green Vehicle Guide.

Financing your electric vehicle

Approaching a car loan broker is your best avenue for financing your electric vehicle, as you can access a wide range of lenders but also cheaper loans known as green car loans. Low emissions (or in this case, no emissions) vehicles are often subject to interest rate discounts, which can help you save money over the course of the loan, possibly offsetting the high upfront price.

If you have difficulty getting approved for a car loan, there are bad credit alternatives available. Bad credit car loan brokers help people with bad or impaired credit gain access to loans, although with higher than usual interest rates. Though there is a short-term pain, it can be a pathway to correcting your credit and refinancing at a lower rate in the future.

The information here is general in nature. Remember to talk to a financial adviser before taking out any type of credit.