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Drivers pay 57% premium when leasing electric instead of petrol cars

Rebecca Goodman
Written By:
Rebecca Goodman

It’s on average 57% more expensive to lease a battery electric vehicle (BEV) than a petrol car, data suggests.

This is equivalent to an additional €233 (£204) per month and €8,370 (£7,340) over a 36-month contract.

The higher price for battery electric car leasing is unjustified, according to the Transport & Environment (T&E) campaign group, which carried out the study of 2.7 million used car prices.

It said these vehicles (which are purely electric and do not have hybrid options), do not depreciate in value more than other cars yet many leasing firms are still charging customers more for them.

One example saw an electric Peugeot 208 priced at €574 (£503) a month compared to a petrol version of the same car for €371 (325).

It comes as news shows that one in five (22%) drivers said they are planning to buy a car in 2023.

In 2022, a quarter of drivers were looking to buy an electric vehicle but that number has fallen to 18% because of rising energy prices. Yet 73% of the 15,000 asked by AA Cars said they plan to buy an electric car in the future.

Electric and petrol vehicles have similar resale values

The group said that previously, leasing companies charged more for electric cars because they expected them to lose more value over the lease term. 

But it argues that this is no longer the case and battery electric cars now have a similar resale value to diesel and petrol cars.

It also said that battery electric vehicles keep more of their value over time and that demand for these cars is at an all-time high. In 2022, leasing companies accounted for 22% of new car registrations in Europe. 

Yet the group said no leasing company has a target of being fully electric by 2030. This is despite government targets being in place which mean that no more diesel, petrol or hybrid cars can be sold in Europe from 2035.

It said the targets for electric vehicles are ‘weak’ because they include plug-in hybrid cars, which have similar emissions to petrol and diesel cars. 

‘Customers are being overcharged’

Stef Cornelis, director of electric fleets at T&E, said: “Today customers are being overcharged by leasing companies if they want to switch to a battery electric car. 

“Leasing firms are too conservative when setting their monthly prices. Their rates reflect the state of play from five years ago.

“With this pricing strategy, their profits are obviously high and consumers are overpaying to go electric. At the same time, they are harming the BEV transition.”