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Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e: running costs and warranty

The Fiat’s comparably low insurance group, extensive warranty and low running costs put it ahead here

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When it comes to topping up any of these electric cars, they’re all reasonably inexpensive. The 35.5kWh battery in the Honda e costs roughly £4.60 to top up on a standard energy tariff, enough for a real-world range of 108 miles. Given it has a larger battery, the Fiat costs more to charge, at £5.46. However, that extra 86p will get you a full 60 miles further. The MINI will cover 104 miles for a home-charging cost of £4.24.

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Based on the 168-mile estimated range we saw in the Fiat, the 500 will cover four miles per kilowatt-hour of energy used, compared to the Honda’s 3.8 miles and the MINI’s 3.6 miles. So if you cover around 10,000 miles a year, you’ll spend £391 charging the Fiat at home on a 13p-per-kWh electricity tariff. That’s £20 less than the Honda and £42 less than the MINI. If you use public chargers, where the cost of energy could be three times greater, the difference gets bigger.

However, something that stands in the MINI’s favour is depreciation. The Level 1 trim level we tested retains more than 57% of its value after three years – more than 5% ahead of both the Fiat and the Honda, although the latter will be worth more, thanks to its higher list price. However, if you want to get near the level of equipment in the Fiat, you’ll need to spend more than £32,000 on a Level 3 MINI, which holds on to 55% of its original price and is expected to be worth around £17,000 after three years on the road.

With zero tailpipe emissions, all three models are extremely cheap for company-car drivers to run, as they only attract a 1% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rate during the current financial year. That means a 20% taxpayer will pay just £56 a year to run the Fiat, £57 for the MINI, or £66 for the Honda. As with the Fiat and Honda, the MINI offers a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. A standard service plan is priced from £10 per month – this works out slightly cheaper than Honda’s £649 five-year package, which is £10.82 per month.

The Honda e will cost you more when it comes to insurance, as it sits in group 29. Both the Fiat and the MINI will cost you significantly less to cover, thanks to their respective group 16 and group 21 ratings.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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