You make sure you recycle your plastic, paper and glass, so is the next step buying an eco-friendly car?
What are green cars?We use the term 'green' to describe cars that have lower exhaust emissions than petrol or diesel powered cars, and in some cases have no emissions at all.
You may already know them as electric cars and hybrid cars. But there are also hydrogen cars, biofuel vehicles and cars that run on LPG.
Some of the more familiar names available are the Toyota Prius, a hybrid car that has a petrol engine and an electric engine that work together, and the Nissan Leaf that is a plug-in electric car.
Types of green car
Electric carsThese cars are powered by an electric battery. The battery is recharged by plugging it into the mains electric. They usually produce no emissions and are almost silent when in motion. There are government grants available if you're buying an electric car.
Hybrid carsThere are many types of hybrid which combine a conventional combustion engine with a battery and electric motor. Some which don't need plugging in, like Mild Hybrids (which use a small motor to assist the engine) and Synergy Hybrids (which can run on battery power alone for short periods). Then there are also plug in hybrids which can run on battery power alone for up to 40 miles.
Hydrogen carsThese cars have a hydrogen fuel cell that powers the vehicle. You can fill up on hydrogen in a similar way to petrol or diesel, but at the moment there are few filling points across the UK.
LPG carsThese are cars that run on Liquid Petroleum Gas. Most traditional petrol cars can be converted to run on LPG. They produce lower harmful emissions than petrol engines and are usually cheaper to run.
Biofuel vehiclesA biofuel is a fuel made from harvested plants as opposed to fossil fuels that come from animals and plants that died millions of years ago. The biofuel is often mixed with petrol or diesel and used in a conventional combustion engine.
Insuring a green car
So you're convinced of the environmental argument about going green and your fuel costs should plummet, but worried insuring a green car may not be so straightforward?
Car insurance companies use a range of factors when calculating your car insurance. Some of these relate to the type of car you drive and others to you as a driver.
When you insure a green car there are factors to consider that don't come into play when you insure a conventional petrol or diesel car. You should look for a policy for your green car that offers things like:
- Recovery to the nearest charge point if you run out of charge in the UK
- Cover for your charging cables and wall boxes
- Battery cover for accidental damage, fire and theft
Green cars are here to stay, with electric cars more popular than ever. As manufacturers make more affordable models and UK infrastructure improves, many people are choosing to make the switch to plug-in power. That's good news for the environment, and good news for future generations.
As green cars become more popular, it’s important to look for specialist insurance to cover the technology in your new car. For comprehensive cover, check out our electric car insurance.
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So their technology and reliability in the mass market is less well known than their petrol and diesel counterparts.