The annual cost of running an electric car is 47% cheaper than running a petrol car, according to research from comparethemarket.

The data revealed that running an electric vehicle for a year costs £1,091 on average, compared with £2,062 for a petrol vehicle – a total difference of £971.

The research takes into account insurance, fuel, and road taxes. For electric vehicle drivers, car insurance is more than half of the annual running costs at £583 for a typical premium, while charging costs £454 per year on average.

Drivers of petrol cars pay an average of £640 for car insurance and £1,212 for fuel. They also typically need to spend at least £155 per year on road tax, which electric vehicles are exempt from.

The annual cost of driving an electric car has fallen by £77 in the most recent six months, due to a drop in car insurance for electric vehicles and in energy costs.

Despite the cheaper running costs, the up-front price of electric vehicles is likely to be a barrier for drivers wanting to make the switch. A second-hand electric car is typically worth £22,813, based on insurance renewal data. This suggests it would take more than 20 years for the lower running costs to cover the purchase price.

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at comparethemarket, said: “The popularity of electric cars continues to accelerate as these vehicles now make up around one in ten new car sales. Motorists who’ve made the switch will be glad to see our figures show electric vehicles cost roughly half as much to run as their petrol alternatives. These drivers benefit from substantial savings in fuel bills, insurance and tax – as well as doing their part for the environment.

“Electric car owners could save even more on running costs if they shop around for the cheapest deal when their insurance premium comes up for renewal. These drivers may also want to think about switching to a new Electric Vehicle Tariff for their home energy. EV Tariffs are designed to help motorists cut their energy bills by making it cheaper to charge electric cars overnight.”

Earlier this year, comparethemarket published research that more than half of UK drivers are intending to purchase a new or used car in the next six months.  Drivers are set to spend an average of £15,042 on these cars, with 39% planning to buy either an electric or hybrid vehicle.