Regardless of what you believe to be the cause and extent of the ongoing petrol crisis, it's undeniable that filling your car up is currently easier said than done. According to the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), approximately 70% of the 5,500 independent petrol stations it represents in Britain have run out of petrol entirely.
While the petrol industry has been quick to reassure motorists that there is enough fuel to go around and that the problem actually lies with a shortage of available HGV drivers to distribute it, the ongoing issues are causing people to consider alternatives to petrol-powered cars, among the most obvious of which is the electric car.
But is investing in one worth the effort? We take a look at the pros and cons.
Because they don't require any fuel, electric cars are significantly cheaper to run than petrol or diesel-powered cars.
In the UK, filling the tank of a medium-sized car with unleaded petrol currently costs approximately £63.80. However, depending on the type of electric car and tariff you choose, fully charging your electric vehicle could cost as little as 96p.
There's also the price of buying a new vehicle. At present, brand new electric cars in the UK start at around £15,000. In comparison, the average cost of a brand new petrol or diesel-powered car currently stands at approximately £38,585.
Climate change is arguably the most important issue currently facing the planet, with people trying to live more sustainable and environmentally-friendly lives as a result. So the fact that electric car engines operate on closed circuits - meaning they don't give off any dangerous emissions at all - is a massive plus point for many drivers.
Put simply, if you want to decrease your carbon footprint, switching from a petrol car to an electric one is an easy way to do so.
Whereas traditional cars require regular, often very expensive, maintenance, electric cars don't.
This is because electric cars have fewer than 20 moving parts that could go wrong, whereas there are hundreds in the combustion engine of a petrol-powered vehicle. Consequently, electric cars require far less upkeep than their petrol counterparts and have much lower long-term maintenance costs as a result.
One of the most common criticisms of electric cars is their performance, particularly their range and, let's face it, nobody wants a car that needs charging or refuelling every five minutes.
However, with more manufacturers entering the electric car market all the time, performance levels have improved enormously, with the average range now standing at an impressive 193 miles - more than enough to get you to the nearest charge point. It's also worth bearing in mind that the average car journey is less than 30 miles too!
Throw in the fact that electric cars are quieter and more spacious due to the lack of a large engine, and that some can reach 60mph in as little as 2.5 seconds and you've got a compelling argument for taking the plunge.
One downside to owning an electric car is the time it takes to charge it. Although charging times are reducing, it can take anything from 30 minutes to several hours to fully charge your car, depending on the size of your battery and the speed of the charging point.
However, with more electric vehicle charging points popping up across the country, finding access to one is now easier than ever, and planning charging breaks into your longer journeys is relatively straightforward.
In the UK, the batteries in electric cars have a finite life expectancy and will need replacing every 3 - 10 years depending on the make and model. While most batteries are reasonably priced, this is still an additional expense that needs to be budgeted for in advance.
Only you can decide if an electric car is right for you but, with far cheaper running costs, no emissions and, crucially, no need to fill it up with petrol, there has never been a more opportune time to make the switch.
With a Leeds Credit Union Car Loan, you could be driving away in one sooner than you think - find out how to apply here.
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