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The future in now. Drive Week Electric Down Under. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Cars

Insurance for a Tesla — the Gorilla in the Room?

One of the comments I get from some critics/skeptics is: Sure, the electricity is cheaper than petrol, but what about the insurance (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)? Some people think that this is the gorilla in the room, and I have seen many comments on Facebook quoting outrageous sums to insure a Tesla. You could understand it if the FUD was true — but, no, Teslas don’t spontaneously combust, nor do they short-circuit in the rain.

My insurance for my Tesla (which cost $72,000 AUD) is the same price as it was for the Sonata that I traded in for the princely sum of $1500. Thank you, Shannons. [Editor update: I have not seen comprehensive research on this topic, just a lot of anecdotes. My experience, if I recall correctly, was that my insurance dropped a bit from what I was paying for insurance on a 2015 BMW i3 when I got a 2019 Tesla Model 3. I’m sure other Tesla owners can chime in down in the comments about their experience. —Zach]

Not only is the fuel cheaper, but I’m not tempted to buy choccy bars, slushies, and all the other goodies at the 7/11. Thousands  of dollars saved there. My son-in-law would complain that they were tight for cash and then tell me he had chocolate milk and a cheese toastie from the servo every morning on the way to work. Petrol stations make money on the junk food they sell you, not the fuel.

Some other electric vehicle drivers have explained the cost savings of electric cars in their own words on Facebook as well. Here are some quotes:


Maintenance Savings

“Brake pads are also a saving. Because of regenerative braking you can drive to really reduce the amount of braking. The wheels don’t end up all grimy from brake dust. Similarly under the bonnet the area tends to stay pretty clean. There’s no oil splashing around to grease up everything in sight.”


Mastercard

“My wife loves it: no fumes in the garage and air conditioning running when you park at the supermarket! For me its a Mastercard ad: Saving on maintenance — good, savings on fuel — great. Fun in driving — priceless.”


Solar on the roof means you get free fuel that doesn’t stink! I have been known to tell people we have our own servo on the roof. Then I have to explain it.

Let’s not leave out our New Zealand cousins. Here are some comments from some of them:4.5 years ownership of 2 used EVs have saved our household around NZ$25000. Both EVs cost us NZ$25,000 so effectively they paid for themselves outright by not buying fuel or yearly maintenance. So from now onwards our EVs are earning us around NZ$5500 each year until Road User Charges are introduced in 2024 and then still NZ$3900 thereafter. Let me know when ICE vehicles can do the equivalent savings.

Sometimes when I am feeling particularly cheeky, I tell people my Tesla is a free car. Do the maths — if I keep my Tesla as long as I kept my Sonata (14 years), it will have saved enough in fuel, maintenance, and registration to pay for itself.

Image by David Waterworth

 

 
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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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