If you need to rent a car while you're traveling in 2022, electric vehicles are going to be an option at most outlets. The electric car is no longer such a niche form of transport, especially with charging ports around the US. They're better for the environment and, with the price of gas rising like it is, can save you money.
However, they're also significantly more expensive than their counterparts in the same class. And, if you have an accident, repairs are going to come at a premium.
When presented with the option of an electric car rental, should you go with it or will it cost too much? Here are some of the things to consider.
Insurance is expensive… but getting cheaper
One of the factors you will need to take into account aside from the cost of the rental itself is insurance. Insurance is part and parcel of renting a car, and rental services generally charge a premium on it. What does electric car insurance cost?
Typically, electric car insurance has been expensive. Very expensive. This is mainly due to the cost of repairs for electric cars as well as their value. Insurance for expensive cars is always going to be high because, if totalled, replacing the car will cost a lot. With electric cars, this extends to repairs. They have to be repaired by specialists with specialist parts.
The good news is that electric car insurance is getting cheaper. Repairing an electric vehicle is no longer as expensive and parts do not cost an arm and a leg. Furthermore, the risk of collision with an electric car is no higher than with a traditional vehicle.
Some insurers are now providing discounts on electric car insurance, to encourage people to make good choices for the environment. You'll still pay more, but the difference is no longer that big.
Electricity vs gas
Perhaps the biggest factor in your decision is the cost of actually driving the vehicle. Costs are going up in the US and throughout the world, due to both inflation and sanctions on energy imports from Russia. This impacts all types of energy, but the biggest impact is on the cost of gas.
We’ve all seen the rapid rise of the cost of gas in 2022\. If you drive a traditional vehicle, you have probably been shocked by how much it now costs to fill the tank. In fact, this may even lead you to consider getting an electric vehicle for yourself.
If we look at a ‘worst-case scenario’, electric vehicles may also be a more pragmatic choice, whether you're buying or renting. Fortunately, the US does not rely too much on gas imports from Russia. But the availability of gas may not be something we always take for granted. If there are gas shortages, electric vehicles will have a huge advantage.
Another factor that might lead you to consider renting an electric vehicle is the experience of driving one. Most people have not driven electric cars before, and if you are considering replacing your traditional car, you might be interested in how these cars drive. You'll also want to know if it is convenient to recharge your vehicle, how to go about it, and where you can do it, as well as whether carrying around a spare battery is practical.
When you need to rent a car, you have the opportunity to give an electric vehicle a chance. Test driving a car does not give you a sense of what it is like to live with an electric vehicle. You only learn how driving feels over a short period of time.
Renting an electric car may lead you to choose to buy one to replace your traditional vehicle. Alternatively, it may give you an indication that you're not ready to switch to electric cars on a permanent basis. Either way, you learn more about what you really want.
It will always cost more to rent an electric car as long as they are more expensive to purchase. However, prices are going down and paying a little bit more can give you a sense of what it is like to drive an electric vehicle.