The Daily Telegraph

Motorists who rent electric cars risk being overcharge­d

- By Howard Mustoe

DRIVERS renting electric cars risk being overcharge­d by hundreds of pounds for their leases each month because vehicle values are holding up better than leasing companies expected.

While electric cars are more expensive than petrol equivalent­s, clean transport campaign group Transport & Environmen­t found battery-powered cars were being rented out for 51pc more than petrol cars, much more than the difference to buy the vehicles.

Drivers leasing a car are typically charged for the depreciati­on in the value of the car over three or four years, and the campaign group found that leasing companies were estimating more severe drops in their value than were actually taking place.

Leasing differs from more common options to drive a car like personal contract purchase in that there is no option at the end of the deal to buy the car outright with a final payment. The deal is closer to an extended car rental.

Ralph Palmer, T&E electric fleets lead, said: “Customers are being overcharge­d by leasing companies if they want to switch to an electric car. Leasing firms are too conservati­ve when setting their monthly prices.”

It gave the example of leasing an electric VW ID.3, which costs about £605 a month, while a similarly-sized petrol VW Golf is offered at £376.

Separately, a charging point provider has raised £165m of funding to roll out 100,000 charging points around the UK by 2027, placing them in leisure centres, retail parks, office car parks and parking in blocks of flats.

EVC will use cheaper AC chargers which use power straight from the grid rather than converting it to direct current (DC) before delivery to the vehicle.

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