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7 min read published February 27, 2023

Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers in navigating the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to purchase a car.

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances through providing precise, well-researched and well-researched content that break down complex topics into manageable bites.

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The financial burden of ownership starting from the first purchase to filling up at the gas station, reached record levels for drivers in the last year. Although gas prices have climbed down and a gallon cost $3.38 on Feb. 24, according to AAA -the cost of financing a car is getting pricier as . Drivers pay an average of $700 per month for brand new vehicle financing and $525 for used in 2022’s third quarter, . With high costs to fill up and finance, along with the ever-present concerns about climate issues, many drivers are looking for a new option. You might be asking « Should I invest in an electric vehicle? » And you wouldn’t be the only one. Electric vehicle (EV) sales have jumped in recent years and TransUnion estimates that the market share of EVs will increase to . But the expensive upfront cost of electric vehicles might not be right for every driver. Should I buy an electric car? The choice to buy electric must be approached with the same care as selecting the model and the maker of the next vehicle. Some people find the convenience of paired with minimal maintenance will make the expensive cost worth it. « From an entirely consumer experience viewpoint, buying an electric vehicle is positively uplifting, » says Brian Moody the executive editor of Autotrader. « In addition, the driving experience of electric vehicles can be very enjoyable. The acceleration is faster and electric cars come with amazing features, like the ability to heat the vehicle’s interior before hitting roads. » In the event that you are you don’t have a fully electric vehicle, a hybrid or plug-in model is more efficient than traditional gas models while being kinder on your wallet as compared to an EV. According to Moody says, these tend to carry an affordable price in addition to being able to « function in the same way as an electric vehicle for everyday use with gas being used only for long trips. » This is why they are a good choice for those who are interested in going electric, but aren’t prepared to commit to a full-time commitment. The electric car industry has seen great innovation over the last two years, and is expected to continue to grow. Although upfront costs have historically been prohibitive, they’re decreasing as more options are made accessible and established brands move into the electric car market. In the U.S. auto market is moving towards electric vehicles. Record-high gas prices could have helped increase sales of electric vehicles. EVs made up 5.7 percent of new vehicle registrations in Q2 2022 according to . It may not seem like much, but it’s a notable rise from the 1.5 percent share that EVs represented in the second quarter of 2018. The increasing interest in electric vehicles has resulted in improvements in financing options, including and tax credits. This expanded market is among the top motives to think about buying an EV. Although Tesla has a majority of the market, TransUnion predicts the luxury brand will lose its percent of market in 2025 because of the influx of new and mainstream models coming into the market. Moody shares a similar perspective regarding the availability of vehicles. « It used to be true that there was only few small or expensive electric vehicles. Although EVs are more expensive as a whole however, certain models are priced more affordably. For example there is the Kia EV6 and Chevrolet Bolt. » The Nissan Leaf is another cost-effective electric vehicle. EV drivers have almost the exact same credit profiles as those driving luxury Satyan Merchant the senior vice president and automotive business leader at TransUnion, has seen increasing popularity in EV financing, which has a direct influence on the entire auto finance industry. The study by TransUnion for 2022 found that, of the 33 million consumers between 2019 and 2021 who financed new EV and traditional car loans the majority of EV-related borrowers had nearly identical credit profiles to those driving luxury cars. People who owned regular EVs held an average credit score of 775 and fell into the category of prime. The average interest rate was 2.8 percent. This is less than the median APR that was 4.9 percent for all new cars that are available to people with credit in the prime category. The competitive average APR of EVs isn’t just due to the strong credit profiles of these drivers. The buyers are also generally making . The study also found motorists were much more likely begin their . In fact, more than one-third conducted online research on vehicle models and makes. Merchant says, « Our research clearly shows that consumers of electric vehicles have good credit risk profiles, but the group has different preferences, such as a higher interest in looking for financing options via digital channels. » This increased demand will likely reflect in new choices for EV financing, as well as an increase in the number of vehicles available over the next few years. The options for green financing are increasing. The growing market for electric vehicles has also resulted in advances in financing. While it is true that drivers can utilize or lending to their electric vehicles, EV-specific lenders are gaining popularity and provide drivers with a tailored experience via . Alex Liegl, CEO of Tenet, discusses the company’s efforts in EV financing and its aim to make climate investment an easy decision. The Tenet approach « gives customers the ability to manage their upfront investment costs and to save the cash for down payment to be used for other expenditures, » Liegl says. Additionally, there is a deferment option which shifts an entire portion of the cost to one final installment at the end of the financing term. This allows for lower monthly payments and a streamlined financing experience — but a large amount might be due by the end of the term. The goal, Liegl says, is to « help customers fully electrify their lives by making environmentally sustainable home improvements easier to afford, such as installations of solar panels, battery backup and electric vehicles, smart appliances and more. » Other organizations, like the ones listed above , serve as an online marketplace for loan prequalification that is directly linked to EV incentives and green loans that are available throughout your region. According to their website, customers can save up to $200 each month on monthly electric vehicle loan payments. Do EVs have lower costs over the life of their lease? Then can you say that an electric vehicle is worth it? The positive feelings that come when you drive a car that is more sustainable to the planet isn’t the sole reason why people are switching to EVs. Additionally, they can save money. Although it’s the case that gas costs are higher during driving, in some cases driving electric can be cheaper overall. In a 2020 survey, electric car owners saved an average of and repairs over the course of their ownership, according to Consumer Reports. This is due in part to the distinct differences in upkeep that come with EVs. They don’t require oil changes and use a simpler powertrain. Those driving battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles paid only 3 cents per miles over the lifetime of the vehicle in comparison to 6 cents for traditional vehicles. But driving electric isn’t completely rosy. CNET is a Red Ventures company, reported on a study from 2021 from We Predict that found . While it is true that drivers can avoid the extra cost of maintenance, such as oil changes and routine inspections, EV parts are much more expensive when it comes time for repairs. This means that the longer maintenance time and higher-priced replacement parts could make driving electric the same, or more expensive more expensive than driving gasoline-powered vehicles. Furthermore, electric vehicles are able to operate be more efficient than gas-powered cars because of the speed of technological advances however, the present demand for EVs has helped maintain prices. How do you finance an electric vehicle procedure for financing an electric vehicle is a lot like that of a traditional gas-powered car. It is crucial to follow the same steps you normally would, as well as be aware of the weight your credit scores and history carry. Like we said, driving electric also carries potential state and federal benefits that you would not typically be able to access. One of these is , an incentive worth $7,500 that applies to new, certified plug-in or fuel cell electric cars. New in 2023, you might also be able to get a Federal tax credits . The car can’t be bought at a price greater than $25,000. If it is eligible you may claim a credit for up to 30 percent of the sale price, capped at $4,000. Both federal tax credits come with income limits and vehicle requirements, so be sure that you and your future EV qualify before diving in. In addition, you may get a state tax credit depending the location you reside in. Questions to ask yourself before purchasing an electric vehicle and operating an electric vehicle has its own set of requirements that you might not have encountered in the past. Take a look at these questions. 1. What is the vehicle range? It is crucial to know the distance your car will bring you — for both your normal commute as well as your daily travel. Energy.gov lists the average range for 2021 model year vehicles that have possible ranges of between 405 and 405 miles. Fortunately, drivers will likely have less « range anxiety » as their vehicles get up to speed with the latest technology. It is advisable to check your needs , taking into account your normal commute, as well as your expected leisure activities. 2. Do I have to rent before buying an electric car? « Leasing an electric vehicle can be a good option to get a taste of ownership in an electric vehicle, » Moody says. The cost is typically lower on a month-to-month basis and generally comes with a guarantee. If you are on the fence about driving electric, consider leasing one to test the feeling and the driving experience. 3. Have I access vehicle chargers in my area? Although there is evidence that Electric Vehicle Council found that the majority of electric vehicle owners recharge at home, a lot of drivers do not enjoy the convenience of installing the Level 2 charger. That’s okay. Many EVs can now be charged to charge using any electrical outlet, although it might take all night or even longer to receive fully charged. But, you might need a speedier charge at times. Many EVs take around 45 minutes to reach the 80 percent capacity of their batteries at a fast-charging station. For information on the locations you could be able to get speedier charging, check out this map that shows charging stations nearby. Make sure that the charging stations you plan to frequent will work with your vehicle you’re looking at. Consider an EV when shopping for your next car. Is an electric vehicle worth the investment? As with other luxury vehicles, EVs can carry higher cost upfront, and drivers need an excellent credit score to take advantage of lower interest costs. However, as the market grows and more mid-tier options come up, more drivers are able to think about electric options. Are you one of those who comprise 36 percent Americans who are considering electric? Moody suggests aiming for the sweet spot by purchasing a used model that is something in the 3-to-5-year range — to enjoy a lower price and a good quantity of warranty coverage.


Writen by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase the car they want.

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances through providing precise, well-studied information that breaks down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

Auto loans editor

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