Are electric cars cheaper to insure compared to petrol cars in Singapore?
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With lesser mechanical parts and alternative charging options, an electric car may be cheaper to maintain - but what about insuring them?

Category: Car Ownership Advice

Electric cars are up and coming in Singapore. With the government announcing plans to stop the sale of internal combustion engine powered cars by 2040, along with better incentives over the years, we will slowly see more Electric Vehicles (EVs) plying our roads.

From the get go, EV maintenance is cheaper and easier compared to petrol cars. With lesser moving parts thanks to the lack of an internal combustion engine, the main wear and tear components are generally limited to only your tyres and brakes.

Although charging might take longer than filling a car up with petrol, it costs significantly less to travel the same distance
The equivalent range offered per charge is significantly cheaper than a petrol car's tank of fuel. It might sound inconvenient and requires a little change in routine, but there are savings to be had.

But there is another element of upkeep that needs to be considered - car insurance, and the yearly renewals that follow.

So, just how much difference is there when it comes to insuring an electric car? Is there a cost difference between an EV versus a petrol car when it comes to car insurance? We find out.

Are EVs more expensive to insure? Why?

While sharing the same platform as their petrol-driven counterparts, many EVs have bumpers and body panels unique to them
There are logical reasons as to why insurance for electric cars can cost more.

First is the outright cost of the car. EVs generally cost more to manufacture, and in Singapore, also cost more than their equivalent petrol models and segment peers.

A general rule of thumb is if the value of the car is more, it can get more expensive to insure. This applies also to petrol cars.

While wear and tear components are lesser, the cost to replace certain parts of the vehicle should be considered, especially in an accident.

Electric components such as the battery and motor require special tooling and training. While you might not damage such components in an accident, even bumpers and body panels may sport design differences compared to its petrol-driven variants. These items may not be commonly stocked, and require to be shipped in.

All these things are taken into account. But there are other factors when it comes to car insurance. Things such as your profile, driving experience and No-Claims Discount (NCD) also matter.
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Finding an equivalent car

It costs slightly more to insure the driver with the MINI Electric as compared to the MINI Cooper S 3-Door
While there are many manufacturers looking towards introducing electric vehicles to our market, they usually are individual models.

Meaning which, you rarely see a car that has both a petrol or electric option available.

BMW and MINI on the other hand each have models with variants with different powerplants. The BMW X3, for example, has the X3 Plug-in Hybrid, and the fully-electric iX3, coming later this year.

The MINI Electric on the other hand is based off the MINI 3-Door, and you can have a variety of engine options - the 1.5-litre turbocharged MINI Cooper as well as the hotter MINI Cooper S - which closely resembles the MINI Electric in terms of verve and power output.

To put things into perspective, we pulled out insurance quotes for the MINI Electric, MINI Cooper, and MINI Cooper S from Etiqa's online car insurance website.

Not many insurers offer an online platform to check out the premiums of an EV, and also have their equivalent petrol models too.

All these quotes are based off a single profile: A 30-year old married male, with 11 years of driving experience, 50% NCD, and an excess of $1,000.

Comprehensive Third Party, Fire and Theft Third Party Only
MINI Electric $1,964.79 $1,520.65 $868.95
MINI Cooper S 3-Door $1,751.32 $1,423.57 $842.30
MINI Cooper 3-Door $1,257.71 $1,087.08 $739.53

More to car insurance than just the type of car

Our earlier assumptions for what makes an Electric Vehicle more expensive seem to be true. But it isn't by much, just $213.47 more to get comprehensive coverage over a Cooper S. But with only one insurer to compare with; it isn’t enough of a dataset to make a proper justification.

Thankfully, when it comes to car insurance, there is more than meets the eye.

The type of car certainly matters. But so does your driving experience, age, marital status and accident history. And prices will always vary between insurers.

Hence, it is always wise to compare insurance quotes when your car insurance is due for renewal. You might just save a significant sum of money.

Here are some articles you might be interested in

Ultimate Guide to Car Insurance in Singapore

5 essential tips for electric car maintenance in Singapore

5 reasons why going all electric isn't as hard as you think it is

All about maintaining electric car batteries in Singapore

5 value-for-money electric cars you can buy right now
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