Vauxhall Corsa Electric review: running costs & insurance
If you can stomach the high list price, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric can be an incredibly cost-effective small car to run
|Insurance group||Warranty||Service interval||Annual company-car tax cost (20%/40%)|
|24-25||3yrs/60,000 miles||2yrs/16,000 miles||From £128/£255|
Running an electric car could work wonders for your bank balance. Yes, most cost more to buy than their petrol or diesel equivalents, but charge at home overnight on an off-peak electricity tariff and you could fill the Corsa’s battery for only a couple of pounds – far cheaper than a tank of fuel.
Then there’s the fact that there’s no road tax to pay as all electric cars are currently exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) until 2025. And if you’re a company-car driver, you pay just 2% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax right now, so whichever way you look at it, that’s a lot less than the equivalent petrol or diesel model would set you back.
Vauxhall Corsa Electric insurance group
While group 24 and 25 insurance ratings don’t seem that high in comparison with direct rivals – the Peugeot e-208 sits in groups 26 to 28, for example – it’ll cost you more to cover an electric Corsa than it would one of its petrol counterparts. A top-spec, petrol-powered Vauxhall Corsa Ultimate sits in group 19; much lower (and more affordable) than the equivalent Corsa Electric.
Part of the reason for the higher cost comes down to the limited number of repair centres – both for mechanical and structural work. Fewer people are qualified to work on electric cars, which means when something goes wrong, it’s harder to get them fixed.
Like every new Vauxhall, the Corsa Electric gets a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. That’s pretty much par for the course, and stacks up fairly well against mainstream rivals. In addition, every model gets an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty – guaranteeing against degradation of the cells. Should the battery’s usable capacity drop below 70% during that time, Vauxhall will replace it for free.
Every Corsa Electric needs an initial service after one year or 8,000 miles, whichever comes soonest. Following this, there's a first scheduled service two years or 16,000 miles from the date of first registration. The Corsa’s service intervals then shift to every two years or 16,000 miles. That puts electric owners at a distinct advantage, as both the petrol and diesel versions of the Corsa require maintenance every 12 months, which inevitably raises costs – even with a service plan.
As mentioned above, all electric cars including the Corsa Electric are currently exempt from road tax (VED) in the UK, no matter their purchase price. They also enjoy exemption from the London Congestion Charge until 2025.
As you might expect for a car costing upwards of £30,000, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric loses a bigger proportion of its initial value than one of the cheaper petrol versions. That’s not to say the numbers are poor; every Corsa EV will retain at least 47% of its value over three years of 36,000 miles according to industry experts.
For comparison, that’s in a similar ballpark to the Renault ZOE, but some way off the fashionable MINI Electric, which our figures show will hold on to as much as 60% of its initial purchase price after the same time period.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe evergreen Vauxhall Corsa is available with an electric powertrain, but you’ll pay a big premium over the equivalent petrol version
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe ability to charge at up to 100kW from public rapid points is standard across the Corsa Electric range, and home charging times are reasonable, too
- 3Running costs & insurance - currently readingIf you can stomach the high list price, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric can be an incredibly cost-effective small car to run
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Corsa Electric benefits from its Peugeot-Citroen underpinnings, which make it feel agile but easy to drive
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe electric Corsa's dashboard is a little drab, while the scratchy plastics on the doors aren't befitting of its price tag
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Corsa Electric's boot is a good size, but it misses out on the petrol car's underfloor storage, which leaves nowhere to put the charging cables
- 7Reliability & safety ratingDon't be put off by the Corsa Electric's four-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating; the car comes loaded with safety kit