New EV discounts triple in 12 months

The average discounts on new electric cars have shot up to more than £4,500 over the last year, according to new research.

The combined cash and finance discounts on a new car reached an average of £4,603 in January 2024 – a 204% increase compared with 12 months earlier.

Experts says that dealers and car makers are seeking ways to stimulate interest among private buyers as sales stall and the government’s ZEV mandate comes into force.

Private registrations of new EVs have fallen for the last three months as part of a wider slowdown in retail demand. Although other fuel types have also suffered, EV registrations have dropped most and were down 25% in January. In contrast, second-hand EV sales have almost doubled compared with a year ago.

Fleet registrations of EVs have risen sharply (up 42%), prompting speculation that many people are sourcing EVs through salary sacrifice and other workplace schemes, but the numbers appear to have encouraged retailers to offer growing discounts.

Under the ZEV mandate, by the end of 2024, all car makers will have to ensure that 22% of their new sales are EVs or face heavy fines, adding to the pressure to attract more buyers.

Average discounts have jumped from 2.4% to 7.5% in the last year, with a growing number of brands offering double-digit savings. Six car makers, including Honda, Vauxhall, Ford and Audi, are now offering savings of more than 10% on some of their electric models – up from just two in January 2023.

Double-digit EV discount brands in January 2024

Rank Manufacturer Average Electric Vehicle discount 
1 Honda 20.6%
2 Vauxhall 17.6%
3 Fiat 14.6%
4 Jeep 12.6%
5 Ford 11.5%
6 Audi 11.1%

The figures were obtained by What Car?’s new car deal service. What Car? editor, Steve Huntingford, said: “Electric vehicle sales grew last year, but this was due to tax rules favouring company and fleet drivers. By contrast, the extensive discounts that we’re now seeing target private buyers.

“It will be interesting to see if these incentives can tempt more private buyers to go electric in 2024, particularly in light of the new ZEV Mandate. With some brands offering up to a fifth off the price of an EV, the importance of shopping around has never been clearer.”

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.