Insuring your eco-friendly car: what you need to know about green vehicle insurance

5 minutes

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First things first, we know the word ‘green’ is a bit of a buzzword and gets used for all kinds of things but we use it to describe cars that have lower exhaust emissions than standard petrol or diesel-powered cars, and in some cases have no emissions at all.

You may already know about electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid cars such as the popular Toyota Prius, a hybrid car which has a petrol engine and an electric motor that work together, or the Nissan Leaf which is a plug-in electric car… but did you know there are also hydrogen cars, biofuel vehicles and cars that run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)? And your insurance might differ. 

We’ve put together a handy little guide on everything you need to know about green cars - from the different types and how to find the right one for you to insure.

  • Insuring a green car isn’t the same as a petrol or diesel.
  • What types of green car are there and which is the one for you?
  • Let's take a look at what you need to get covered.

Ready to go green on the road? Today, there are plenty of electric car options to suit everyone

Types of green car

Before you buy a green car, you need to figure out what type you want. It can all seem a bit confusing with the different engines and fuels… but don’t worry, we're going to talk you through how they work and what the difference is between them.


Electric cars

Electric cars are powered by an electric battery. The battery is recharged by plugging it into the mains electric. They produce no emissions while driving and are almost silent when in motion, which is why you need to be super aware of pedestrians as they might not hear you coming. You can find out more in our article all about how electric cars work. With the UK stopping the sale of new petrol and diesel cars after 2035, the network of EV charging points is ever-growing, so it’s a good time to think about making the switch.


Hybrid cars

There are many types of hybrid cars - a cross between your usual petrol or diesel vehicles and an electric car with a rechargeable battery - hence the term ‘hybrid’. Some hybrid cars 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) – essentially, these cars recharge themselves while you drive, switching between fuel and the electric during different parts of the journey. Often these types of hybrids will switch to fuel for high-speed, longer roads like motorways. Others are plug-in hybrids which can run on battery power alone for up to 40 miles.


Hydrogen cars

Hydrogen cars have a hydrogen fuel cell which uses water to produce hydrogen to power the vehicle through a series of chemical reactions. We won’t bore you with the science, but it’s a more sustainable way of producing power than burning fossil fuels like petrol and diesel. You can fill up on hydrogen in a similar way to petrol or diesel, but at the moment there are only a few refill points across the UK.


LPG cars

LPG cars run on Liquid Petroleum Gas. You’ve probably used this before without realising it - it’s often used to fuel BBQs, camping cookers, and even your patio heaters on those not-so-warm summer evenings. Most traditional petrol cars can be converted to run on LPG. They produce fewer harmful emissions than petrol engines and are usually cheaper to run.


Biofuel vehicles

A biofuel is a fuel made from harvested plants. You may have heard of this fuel from fast-food restaurants such as McDonalds who recycle their cooking oil to power vehicles. At the moment, biofuels are most often used by buses and businesses trying to cut their emissions when it comes to deliveries. 


Which green car is right for you?

Looking to make the switch to something more sustainable, but not sure which type of green car to go for? We’ve put together a short quiz to help guide you.

How do you feel about car emissions?

A. I want the greenest ride out there – zero emissions all the way!
B. I'm all for being eco-friendly, but a bit of flexibility would be nice.
C. I'm okay with a few emissions if it's not too much hassle.
D. I'm more about saving pennies at the pump than counting carbon.

What's your daily drive like?

A. Just zipping around town – under 40 miles for me.
B. A bit of everything, city streets, and the open road, up to 100 miles.
C. I'm all about the long haul – over 100 miles regularly.
D. My driving's as unpredictable as the British weather!

Charging points and fuel stations – what's your take?

A. I'm game for a bit of planning to hit those charging spots.
B. I'd rather not be tied to a plug socket.
C. Give me fuel that's easy to find any day.
D. Keen on alternatives, but I need more places to fill up.

Can you plug in at home?

A. Yep, I can get a charging point sorted at my place.
B. Maybe, but I'd rather not be tied to it.
C. No chance – no plug-in for me.
D. If it makes sense money-wise, I'm listening.

What's your vibe on car upkeep and running costs?

A. I'm after the lowest cost and fuss possible.
B. A bit of maintenance is cool if it means a good balance overall.
C. Minimal maintenance, as long as it's cheap to run.
D. I'm looking for the best bang for my buck over time.

What does your crystal ball say about the future of driving?

A. Electric is the way forward, and I'm hopping on that bandwagon now!
B. I reckon we're in a bit of a switch-over phase – hybrids for the win.
C. Hydrogen's got potential – watch this space.
D. I'm all about using what we've got – LPG and biofuels sound good to me.

What's Your Eco-Score?

Mostly A's: Electric Cars - you're all about the eco life and ready to embrace the electric dream. An electric car is your perfect match for a clean, quiet ride.

Mostly B's: Plug-in Hybrid Cars - you like to mix it up and want the best of both worlds. A plug-in hybrid will give you that eco-friendly buzz with a backup plan for longer trips.

Mostly C's: Hydrogen Cars - you've got your eye on the future and are ready for the next big thing. A hydrogen car could be your jam once there are more places to refuel.

Mostly D's: LPG or Biofuel Vehicles - you're a savvy saver and eco-conscious to boot. LPG or biofuel vehicles could tick all your boxes for a cost-effective, cleaner drive.

Remember, this quiz is just a bit of fun – make sure to do your homework before you make your final choice.


A guide to green car insurance

So you're sold on 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 lots 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 some things you’ll need to consider that don't come into play when you insure your average petrol or diesel car. You should look for a policy that offers things like:

  • Recovery to the nearest charge point if you run out of charge in the UK - it happens to the best of us!
  • Cover for your charging cables and wall boxes - without them you’ll struggle!
  • Battery cover for accidental damage, fire and theft - make sure the expensive things are covered!


Embracing new technology: the rise of green vehicles

Green cars are here to stay, with electric cars popularity on the rise! 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!

If you’re thinking of getting a green car, look for specialist insurance to make sure you’ve got everything you need covered. For comprehensive cover for EVs, check out our electric car insurance.