8 Ways to save on your car running costs… that you can implement with 1 simple action

Benefit the environment with an EV

Between the third and the last quarter of 2022, the annual inflation rate in Australia climbed from 7.3% to 7.8%. It surpassed market forecasts to become the highest inflation rate since 1990.

Transport saw the biggest increase in price amongst food and housing. With Australians spending 15.1% of their income on transport costs (a staggering $384.86 per week on average), many of them are on the lookout for ways to save on their car running costs. 

If you’re one of them, don’t just chase the best deal on a new or used car and wait for cheap fuel days. In this article, we’ll take you through eight ways to save on your car running costs that will make a substantial impact on your budget. At the end, we’ll also show you the one thing you can do to implement all tips at once and compound the savings.

Now buckle up and let’s get started!

Reduce fuel cost

One of the most significant ongoing expenses of owning a car is fuel. There are several ways to reduce your fuel cost:

  1. Drive more efficiently
    By driving more efficiently, you can reduce the amount of fuel you use, make your tyres and brakes last longer and avoid servicing your car earlier than planned. Some tips for driving more efficiently include accelerating slowly, maintaining a steady speed, and avoiding sudden stops or starts. How to remember to do that? Simply imagine your child falling asleep in your car and adjust your driving style so you can enjoy the peace… for a little longer.
  1. Keep your tyres inflated
    It’s important to check and maintain your tyre pressure. Under-inflated tyres create more drag on the road, increasing fuel use. Under-inflated tyres cause erratic wear that results in expensive replacements and an increased chance of blowouts.
  1. Check your wheel alignment
    Every 10,000km, or twice a year (whichever comes first), you should also check your wheel alignment. This will ensure that all of your wheels are working together properly and will increase fuel efficiency, reduce suspension wear and extend the life of your tyres.

Reduce maintenance cost

Regular oil changes, air filter replacements, and tire rotations can all help your car run more efficiently, improve its fuel efficiency and avoid high repair costs. But regular maintenance can also be expensive. So here are some tips to reduce your maintenance costs:

  1. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule
    By following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, you can prevent more costly repairs down the road.
  1. Choose a reliable car
    When purchasing a car, choose a reliable make and model that is less likely to require frequent repairs. Sometimes spending a little more in the short term will help you spend less in the long run.

Reduce insurance cost

We all know how frustrating it is to compare insurance policies, premiums and payment options,  but shopping around, comparing prices and negotiating with your current provider can save you hundreds of dollars per year. Here are some other things you can do to save on car insurance:

  1. Pay annually instead of monthly
    Many people pay by the month for their insurance policies because it seemed cheaper at the time. But they don’t know that this could cost them hundreds per year.
  1. Bundle your policy with other products
    Many insurance companies offer discounts if you bundle multiple policies, such as car and home insurance.
  1. Increase your excess
    A higher excess can significantly reduce your monthly insurance premiums. If you can afford it, this is certainly an option to consider.

And if you want to discover all the ways you can save on car insurance, you can read this guide from Canstar. There you have it: the 8 ways you can save on your car running cost. Now you can put them into action and rescue your household budget from the high cost of living. Do you want to know how to bundle all those savings into one simple strategy?


Introducing Novated leasing

Novated leasing is an alternative to traditional car ownership that can save you money. With a Novated lease, you essentially “lease” a car through your employer. Your employer deducts some of the lease payments and running costs from your pre-tax salary, which can reduce your taxable income and save you money on income tax.

Here is how, through Flare Novated leasing, you can compound the savings and multiply the benefits:

  • Save on tax and car running costs.
    By salary packaging your car with our Novated lease, you could enjoy significant tax reductions and GST savings** on your car purchase, fuel, tyres, servicing and maintenance.
  • Get the car you want, now.
    We’ll help you get into your new car quickly by sourcing your vehicle, organising a test-drive, helping you buy it, and arranging the delivery. So you can secure the car you want today.
  • Get better vehicle pricing.
    Why not benefit from Flare’s buying power? Our team of car experts does the hard work to negotiate on your behalf and secure great deals in our fleet network for both new and used cars.
  • Tax benefits.
    You can take advantage of the tax benefits, such as income tax savings and reduced GST costs. Some of the lease payments are taken out of your pre-tax income, which means you could afford a more expensive car than you would with traditional financing.
  • More efficient vehicles.
    You can save by choosing a cheaper-to-run vehicle, such as a fuel-efficient car, an Electric Vehicle or a plug-hybrid vehicle. With the recently introduced legislation, EVs with an RRP under $89,332 are exempt from the 47% fringe benefits tax if provided through a novated lease. This could save you $9,000 per year on average compared to an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle with a Novated lease.
  • Lease a new, used or existing car.
    With a Novated lease, you aren’t limited to a new car, but can get almost any car of choice, new or used, as long as it is considered a car for fringe benefits purposes.* You can even lease your existing car if it is less than 12 years old at the end of the lease.

Novated leasing is easy and convenient with Flare. Our fully digital Novated lease process is completely paperless from start to finish, making it simpler, faster, and better for you and the environment. A Flare cars concierge manages every step of the process, sourcing your vehicle, organising a test-drive, helping you buy it, and arranging the delivery.

Find out how much you can save with Flare Cars.

*For fringe benefits tax (FBT) purposes, a car is any of the following: a sedan or station wagon,  any other goods-carrying vehicle with a carrying capacity of less than one tonne, such as a panel van or utility (including four-wheel drive vehicles) and/or any other passenger-carrying vehicle designed to carry fewer than nine passengers. 

**If you purchase a car and the price exceeds the car limit, the maximum GST credit you can claim (except in certain circumstances) is one eleventh of the car limit, which is $5,885 in 2022-23.

The top 5 small cars in Australia

Small cars are great for zipping around your neighbourhood and helping you conquer the day. But identifying the best small car for you is no easy task. The best small cars come in all shapes and sizes and at various costs. They also play different roles. For some buyers, space will be the biggest factor, while for others, it could be fuel efficiency or even performance. So how do you choose?

Look no further. We’ve checked out five of the most popular small cars available in Australia so that you can get behind the wheel of your dream car.

1. Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto is an excellent small car that’s perfect for zipping around town. It’s got a stylish design and is packed with features, making it the perfect everyday car. It has Daytime running lights and alloy wheels and offers excellent safety features, such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA).

2. Hyundai i30

The Hyundai i30 is another popular small car that packs a punch. With its sleek, sculpted presence, refined surfaces and precise lines, you’ll be the envy of every onlooker. It also has a range of advanced safety features, including, but not limited to, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Collision Warning and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA).

3. Toyota Corolla

For those looking for something with a bit more power, the Toyota Corolla is an excellent choice. Both the Sedan and Hatch feature seamless technology like Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, alongside a stunning design and dynamic performance. The Corolla also comes with a range of advanced safety features, such as the Pre-Collision Safety System and Road Sign Assist.

4. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

If you’re looking for something even more luxurious, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a great option. It’s packed with features, such as Urban Guard vehicle protection Plus and Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), which harnesses the power of AI to make your drive as smooth as possible. The A-Class also comes with a range of advanced comfort features, like heated front seats, climate control, and a panoramic sunroof.

5. Audi A3

Finally, there’s the Audi A3. This luxury small car is beautifully designed and is packed with cutting-edge features such as Audi Active lane assist and turn assist, to the pre-sense front with pedestrian and cyclist detection, perfect for busy city streets. The A3 also comes with a range of advanced comfort features, like dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, and an advanced infotainment system.

There you have it!

So now you’ve seen some of the most popular small cars available in Australia. Whether you’re looking for something stylish to zip around town or a luxury car with all the bells and whistles, there’s something out there for everyone.

Looking to make your car purchase go further? Many of us haven’t been exposed to the huge savings advantages that a novated lease can offer, yet it’s one of the cheapest ways to own and run your car.

How does a novated lease work?

A novated lease is a cost-effective car financing option. With a Flare Novated lease, you can get the car you want now. We bundle up all your vehicle finance and running costs like fuel and maintenance into one convenient before-tax payment. By doing this, you could make significant savings on the purchase price, your income tax, and GST too.

The car you want, now
No deposit is required for a novated lease on eligible vehicles, so you can secure the car you want today. We’ll also speed up the process by sourcing your new car and organising a test drive.

Save on car running costs 
By salary packaging your car with a Flare novated lease, you could enjoy significant tax savings as well as no GST on your car purchase, fuel, servicing, and maintenance.

Get the best pricing
You benefit from Flare’s buying power. Our team of car experts do the hard work to negotiate on your behalf and secure the best deals. You could save thousands through our fleet network on both new and used cars.

Everything is included
You benefit from before-tax savings on all the running costs of your vehicle, so you have nothing left to worry about. This includes fuel, service, maintenance, rego, CTP (NSW), and insurance.

At Flare, all our experts have extensive experience in the industry and know cars inside and out. They can provide expertise and guidance and step you through the car salary packaging process to find, test-drive, and buy the best car for your needs and budget. Chat to us to find out more.

Your guide to the Fringe Benefit Tax Exemption for Electric Vehicles in Australia

In a move that supports both the environment and the budget of Australians, the federal government has recently introduced legislation that makes electric vehicles (EVs) priced under $89,332 exempt from fringe benefits tax (FBT).

This legislation is part of a wider initiative to decarbonise Australia, and it will directly benefit you as an employee. If you’re wondering how, you’ve come to the right place. 

This article has everything you need to know about FBT: what the tax is, how you can benefit from the recently introduced exemption, what options are available to you and how much you can save. We’ve also included a handy comparison table.

But let’s start from the beginning… What’s the Fringe Benefit Tax?

Fringe benefits are extra perks offered to employees in addition to their salary. These benefits are offered as part of their salary package to either compensate for work-related costs, or make the position more attractive or the job more rewarding.

Fringe benefits often offered to employees can include:

  • Novated car leases
  • Discounted loans
  • Gym memberships
  • Use of company cars for private purposes 
  • Free tickets to concerts
  • Reimbursements for expenses such as childcare fees

Packaging a car via novated leasing is one of the most common fringe benefits in Australia. 

A novated lease is a three-way contract between the employee, the employer and a salary packaging (also known as salary sacrifice) provider, who also arranges the finance. A novated lease usually spans one to five years, and at the end of the contract, you can either extend the lease for the same vehicle or start a new lease, upgrading to a new car.

All the above perks are subject to Fringe Benefits Tax, as regulated by the ATO. 

The tax was introduced in the mid-1980s in an attempt to control the increase of salary packaging. As a recruitment strategy, organisations began to bundle cars, private health care, gym memberships and more into an attractive salary package. This, in turn, deprived the government of income tax revenue. 

A few handy things to note:

  • FBT applies even if the benefit is provided by a third party
  • FBT is separate to income tax and calculated on the taxable value of the fringe benefit
  • Employers might claim an income tax deduction for the cost associated with providing fringe benefits and for the FBT amount itself. 

There’s plenty more information on FBT via the ATO Government website and the Business Government site

Let’s talk FBT exemption for EVs 

As of November, new EVs and PHEVs purchased after July 1st, 2022 and priced under the luxury car limit of $89,332 are exempt from FBT. This tax exemption gives employees the opportunity to salary package an EV from their employer to enjoy a sizable tax benefit. 

Here’s a few things to note:

  • To be eligible for the exemption, the car must be classified as zero or low emissions, i.e. battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
  • The bill applies to fringe benefits on an eligible vehicle that is first held and used on or after 1 July 2022
  • The EV must be priced under $89,332, the luxury car tax threshold 
  • If the EV was purchased before 30 June 2022 but wasn’t delivered by this date, it might still be eligible for the exemption 
  • The FBT exemption can also apply to second-hand electric cars

Before this bill was passed, you would have expected to pay 20% of the FBT base value of the vehicle as a post tax deduction from your salary. Now, with this change, the total amount is calculated and deducted before-tax so you, as the employee, is not paying any FBT or income tax on your new eligible EV or PHEV

In a nutshell, if the EV price is under $89,332, you can get that vehicle on a novated lease completely tax-free! 

Plus, your employer can claim GST on most of your associated running costs. Win-win.

How much would you save? 

Let’s do the maths. 

The government has projected potential savings of $4,700 for employees based on a $50,000 EV. 

This means that EVs are becoming drastically more affordable. In fact, a $73,000 EV could cost about the same after-tax as a $53,000 petrol car, when purchased via a novated lease. 

Purchasing your next electric car via a novated lease could see you enjoying a huge tax saving while contributing to the improvement of Australia’s environment.

The best part is, with this new scheme, you could lease a brand new Tesla Model 3 for the same price as a petrol-run Mazda 3! 

Don’t forget EVs are also generally more affordable to run because you remove the cost of fuel.

With a Flare novated lease, you can reap the benefits of the new FBT exemption law, get access to a full-service concierge, and the opportunity to design a tailored lease program that fits with the way you work and live.

Not sure where to start? Have a look at the list of the top 10 EVs that qualify for FBT exemption in Australia 

Did you know that with a Flare EV Novated Lease you get:

  • The car you want, now. No deposit is required for a novated lease, just a refundable order fee, so you can secure the EV you want today. 
  • Save on tax and running costs. Enjoy significant tax savings and less GST on your car purchase, electricity mileage, servicing, and maintenance.
  • Easy budget management. Avoid hidden expenses and spread your bills throughout the year by bundling up your finance and running costs like electricity mileage, servicing, maintenance, and rego into one convenient monthly payment.
  • Everything’s included. You benefit from before-tax savings on all the running costs of your vehicle, so you have nothing left to worry about.

Flare is the leading expert in electric vehicles. We can help you get behind the wheel of your dream car today. Our novated lease experts will work with you to find the right EV for your needs and lifestyle, plus show you how to save thousands. Let our expertise and experience make your dream of driving an electric vehicle a reality.

1 Pricing based on the drive-away cost of a Tesla Model Y in NSW.
2 Monthly running costs include fuel, maintenance, insurance and servicing.
3 The residual cost for this model comes to $27,845, based on a balloon payment of 37.5%
The above comparison is indicative and of a general nature only, and we have not taken your personal financial objectives, situation or needs into account. We recommend you consider if you need to seek professional financial advice before making any financial decisions regarding Flare Cars.
All calculations are based on the following assumptions: living in NSW, salary: $95,000 gross p.a., travelling 15,00 kms p.a., finance/lease term: 48 months. Figure quoted include budgets for finance, fuel, servicing, tyres, maintenance, comprehensive insurance, registration and CTP.
Novated lease calculations use net GST processing method and Employee Contribution Method for FBT purposes; the total cost over life reflects the net effect after tax and includes a Flare cars admin fee; Interest rate quoted for both the novated lease and car loan calculations is 9.5% with a $550 inc GST establishment fee. Comprehensive Insurance estimate based on 2.5% of the purchase price of the car.

How to create a sustainability program that attracts top talent and adds value to your business

How to create a sustainability program that attracts top talent and adds value to your business

These days, “quiet quitting”, “the great resignation”, and post-pandemic demands for fair, flexible work practices are putting pressure on employers to show empathy and adaptability at a whole new level.

In Australia and around the world, it’s clear that employees want way more from their careers than just basic job security and fair pay.

Motivations for job seekers in 2022 often include; 

  • A deep and mounting concern for the environment and sustainability;
  • A need to belong to something bigger than themselves; and 
  • A strong desire to buy from and work for companies whose values are aligned with theirs. 

Millennials moving up in their careers and also upcoming generations entering the workforce are looking for more from their employers

For business owners and HR leaders, staying competitive (and attracting top talent) in this environment presents definite challenges. On the other hand, businesses willing to be open and accountable for their social impacts have a huge opportunity to position themselves as employers of choice.

Research shows that both the overall attitude of the business to sustainability and the specific incentives it offers can sway an employee’s decision about a particular role:

  • About two out of three respondents say they are more willing to apply for (67%) and accept (68%) jobs from a sustainable company; and,

What is a sustainability program?

Sustainable, environmentally conscious and socially responsible companies now have a clear edge when it comes to attracting and keeping the best talent. 

In fact, studies show a purpose-based approach to business is not only a driver of employee attraction and retention but also a key way to manage risk, drive growth and improve returns.

For any organisation, creating and implementing a comprehensive sustainability program is a practical and powerful way to demonstrate responsibility for the environment, society and the people it employs.

But what exactly is a “sustainability program” and how does it work? 

Looked at as a whole, an effective sustainability program actually has two parts, the program and the plan:

  • Think of your sustainability program as the high-level framework or “roadmap” that sets the overall direction; and
  • From there you need to develop an actionable plan (or set of plans) to deliver the desired outcomes.

The key pillars of a sustainability program

There’s no universal approach to creating a sustainability program and each business should be guided by the specific dynamics and demands of its investors, shareholders, suppliers, customers and employees. 

In general, the pillars of a solid sustainability program cross over a wide range of environmental, social and economic factors. Prioritising your activities depends on their relevance to your business.

Common initiatives include:

  • Minimising waste and carbon emissions (environmental); 
  • Having eco-friendly and transparent supply chains (environmental and social); and 
  • Creating policies that respect and reward employees by giving them access to meaningful benefits (social and economic). 

What these things look like in practice can be as diverse as having a paper-free office, sourcing only from accredited or fair trade suppliers or giving your employees “green perks” like access to electric vehicles through salary sacrifice. 

Whatever you choose to focus on, success depends on getting management buy-in, setting measurable targets, and keeping employees and customers engaged and in the loop.

Implementing your sustainability program – 7 steps to success

Once you’ve decided on your ESG mission, you can start to work on implementation – which is where the “planning” part of your sustainability program comes into play, and concrete results can be realised. 

There are several key steps to developing a sustainability plan:

Step 1: Establish a “green team” or sustainability task force

To make it meaningful and effective, sustainability needs to be driven by collective commitment and teamwork. It’s crucial for everyone to rally to the cause, from management to junior employees. 

However, while cultural change needs to be encouraged all over the business, establishing a core “green team” to drive sustainability initiatives is a great idea. 

It doesn’t absolve other managers and employees of their responsibility for sustainability, but it does mean that your program will have active advocates who take ownership and can keep things on track.

Step 2: Audit your current sustainability performance

In terms of sustainability, businesses run the gamut from merely reactionary to change-makers who have made sustainable practices a part of their brand identity.

Assessing where you’re at is the first step to getting a plan in place and can help you choose the initiatives you need to focus on. 

Questions to ask in a sustainability audit include:

  • What is the environmental footprint of your operations and how do you measure your carbon emissions and waste production?
  • What are you currently doing to conserve resources and reduce waste?
  • How are you engaging with your partners and suppliers to promote sustainability?
  • What is your social impact and how do you give back to your employees and the community?

If you need extra help and guidance, organisations like B Corp and green business councils provide plenty of tools and resources to guide you in auditing and assessing your ESG impacts. 

Step 3: Choose initiatives that matter

Avoid overwhelm by picking a handful of focus areas and tackling them in stages. 

The initiatives should be prioritised based on impact, effort and cost, and can relate to any target area where you see a need for positive change.

Some practical options for your sustainability action plans include:

  • Salary packaging through novated leases;
  • Source and switch to more environmentally-friendly raw materials; 
  • Set a goal to reduce the use of unsustainable packaging materials; 
  • Reduce power usage overall and switch to greener sources of power;
  • Start a comprehensive office recycling initiative;
  • Monitor and reduce food and water wastage;
  • Establishing community engagement and employee wellbeing programs;

Step 4: Engage your people and create meaningful employee incentives

Some companies struggle to benefit from sustainability programs because they fail to give their people the incentives to support them. 

Offering tailored and meaningful incentive programs that have an environmental or social impact is one way to do this. 

For example, transport and car-related expenses eat up almost 15% of the average Aussie household income. Specific perks like EV and novated lease salary packages offer employees a less expensive way to own and run a car and have both environmental and cost-of-living benefits.

Other possible initiatives include:

  • Remote work options, flexible hours and shorter working weeks;
  • Fitness, meditation,wellness classes available for free through the Flare app
  • Healthy, organic food alternatives; and
  • Community involvement and charity work.

Step 5: Track progress and measure results

The yardsticks and measurement methods your business uses will depend on the unique focus of its program and plan.

Generally speaking, positive changes in energy consumption, water usage, waste generation and carbon footprint are front and centre when it comes to environmental goals.

Ways to measure social and governance goals include assessing whether your business has:

  • Moved the needle on recruiting diverse talent; 
  • Improved its employee satisfaction ratings; 
  • Reduced employee turnover and improved parental return-to-work rates;
  • Made moves for equity and competitiveness in pay and incentives;
  • Introduced policies to score, reward or remunerate management and staff for their contribution to ESG goals.

Step 6: Communicate and celebrate wins

Making things fun and spreading the word about your successes will contribute to keeping enthusiasm for your sustainability program alive:

  • “Gamify” participation by issuing points, badges and awards (there are lots of apps that allow you to do this);
  • Give recognition and tangible rewards for outstanding contributions; 
  • Schedule company events with sustainability as a focus; and
  • Communicate wins in both your internal and customer-facing communications. 

Step 7: Review, revise and refine your sustainability program

A sustainability program should never be set in stone and regularly revisiting and revising your program and associated plans are crucial.

Ask what’s working and what’s not:

  • Have your overall ESG goals shifted? 
  • Have you taken on more than you can manage or could you actually set more ambitious goals and targets? 
  • Have you managed to keep your people engaged and interested in contributing to the success of your sustainability program?

When you’ve got some runs on the board with your sustainability program, applying for credible, industry-recognised accreditations is another great way to boost your credentials and increase your authority and trustworthiness. 


Attract and retain top talent with novated leasing Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicle (EVs) and plug-in hybrid adoption in Australia is set to explode. 40% of Aussies say they’d buy an EV if subsidies assisted the initial purchase price.1 

With the introduction of no Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) tax for eligible electric vehicles through a novated lease arrangement, these vehicles are more accessible than ever. For businesses, this is a significant opportunity to offer considerable tax savings to attract, engage and retain staff, and minimise payroll tax, while also taking a leadership position on sustainability. All at no cost to your business. 

  • Meet the demand for EVs
    40% of Aussies say they’d buy an EV if subsidies assisted the initial purchase price1. With the introduction of no FBT on eligible EVs and PHEVs only through a novated lease, employees will be seeking employers who proactively offer this benefit. 
  • Give your employees’ salaries a boost, at no cost 
    With no FBT on eligible EVs and PHEVs, you could save your employees on average $9k per year at no cost to your business. This is almost double the savings2 compared to a novated lease with an internal combustion engine vehicle.
  • Strengthen your Employer Value Proposition (EVP)
    With more than 7 out of 10 employees3 being interested in accessing salary packaging, novated leasing is a powerful tool to drive financial wellbeing and enhance your EVP. 
  • Simplify your balance sheet with no FBT
    With no FBT to pay on eligible EVs and PHEVs, there is no FBT offset or reporting required thus simplifying your balance sheet. 
  • Minimise payroll tax 
    If your business qualifies for payroll tax, the more eligible EVs and PHEVs your employees take up through a novated lease arrangement, the more you could save by reducing their taxable income.
  • Take leadership on sustainability 
    You’ll be leading the transition to EVs, and demonstrating innovation and a commitment to sustainability.
  • Engage a younger employee demographic 
    96% of Gen Y employees4 are very concerned about the environment – this demographic will demand employers take additional steps to become more sustainable.

Everything you must know about electric vehicles in Australia

Everything you must know about electric vehicles in Australia

You have been thinking about it, and now you’ve made up your mind. Your next vehicle will be electric. It makes sense, after all: you don’t have to choose between saving money and saving the environment anymore. Thanks to significant incentives created by recent federal legislation, you can now have both.

Most Australians seem to agree with you. Increasingly more and more people are making the switch, and the Australian Electric Vehicles market is projected to grow 22.64% by 2027.

With rampant inflation and rising fuel prices, most people are looking at new ways to save, and with electric cars, they’re onto something. Recent research by Climateworks Centre shows that Australian drivers could save $20 billion by 2030 by switching to electric cars

Subsequently, the Australian Government has now removed fringe benefits tax (FBT) on eligible electric cars (EVs). With the recently introduced law, EVs with an RRP under $89,332 are exempt from the 47% fringe benefits tax if provided through a novated lease. This could save you $4,700 per year on average compared to an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle.

So if you want to understand more about electric vehicles and get ready to drive your first one, you’ve come to the right place.In this guide, we’ll answer some of the most frequent questions around EVs in Australia, across four main areas: Getting familiar with EVs, electric vehicles in Australia, how to afford an electric vehicle in Australia, and electric vehicles novated leasing.

Getting familiar with EVs

What is an electric vehicle? 

Electric vehicles (EVs) are cars or other vehicles that are fully or partially powered by motors that run on electricity rather than liquid fuels.

There are currently four main types of EVs: fully electric or Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs).

What are the differences between BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs and FCEVs?

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are fully-electric cars, meaning they do not have a petrol, diesel or LPG engine, fuel tank or exhaust pipe. BEVs are also known as ‘plug-in’ EVs because they use an external electrical charging outlet to charge their batteries. Since they don’t produce any harmful emissions, they are classified as ZEVs (Zero Emission Vehicles).

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) are powered by both electricity and liquid fuel. They are plugged in to charge the battery and use a liquid fuel engine when the electricity is depleted. PHEVs are also called LEVs (Low Emission Vehicles) since their exhaust emissions are lower than similar liquid vehicles.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) recharge their batteries without plugging in. They use regenerative braking to convert kinetic energy into electricity and recharge the battery. Hybrids are also classified as LEVs.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) use hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity through a chemical reaction in a fuel cell. FCEVs provide a greater range than batteries or supercapacitors, which power BEVs. Since they only emit water vapour and warm air, they are also considered ZEVs (Zero Emission Vehicles).

Why should I buy an EV?

There are several benefits when switching to an EV:

  • Lower fuel costs with fuel savings up to 70%. An average car travelling 13,700 km per year, could save $1000 in fuel, or $1200 if the EV can charge overnight on an off-peak tariff.
  • Reduced maintenance costs with savings around 40%. Electric cars have fewer moving parts than petrol or diesel cars. They don’t have expensive exhaust systems, radiators and other parts that are common to petrol or diesel cars and therefore require relatively little servicing.
  • Incentives. Each Australian state and territory offers tailored rebates and incentives on EVs (keep reading to find out more about them). 
  • Less taxes with novated leasing. The Australian Government has removed fringe benefits tax (FBT) on eligible electric cars and include these benefits in the calculation of an employee’s reportable fringe benefits amount. BEVs are exempt from the 47% fringe benefits tax if provided through a novated lease which could save you $4,700 per year, based off a $50,000 model.
  • Lower carbon footprint. In 2019, transport accounted for 19% of Australia’s emissions. It is the country’s third largest source of emissions. A study found that electric vehicles emit, on average, 29-41% less emissions than a typical fossil-fuelled car for every kilometre driven.
  • Reduced air pollution and health benefits. Unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter are all recognised carcinogens that are released from the tailpipes of conventional cars. In the Sydney-Newcastle-Wollongong region only, traditional vehicles cost the health care system $3 billion annually.
  • Faster acceleration than internal combustion engine cars. With no gears to shift, EVs apply full power as soon as you push on the accelerator.
  • Better handling than traditional cars. Instead of having the battery in the front or back of the car, many EVs have it underneath. This results in a lower centre of gravity and improved handling.
  • Improved driving experience. When driving at low speeds, EVs produce very little noise, which makes for a more enjoyable drive.

Electric vehicles in Australia

Are electric cars popular in Australia?

Australian new electric car sales were up by 65% in 2022, although adoption is still far behind that of other nations. Electric cars currently account for 3.39% of all new car sales in Australia. However, these numbers are insignificant when compared to those of other countries like the UK, where one in five new cars is electric.

Why? Because carmakers are opting to send stock to faster-growing markets with clear fuel efficiency standards or clear plans to phase out sales of petrol vehicles. 

As more incentives and tax breaks are introduced, and more charging stations are added to the infrastructure (their number has nearly doubled between August 2020 and January 2022), we should see a rapid uptake in EV adoption Australia-wide. 

What electric cars are available in Australia?

At the time of writing, there are 36 fully electric models from 18 different car makers available in the Australian market.Here is a good snapshot of every electric vehicle on sale in Australia right now. It is broken down by price, listing the most affordable variant in each model’s range. Otherwise, you can find out more about the PHEVs and HEVs models available in Australia here and check out our comprehensive guide to which EVs and PHEVs are eligible for government incentives.


How much are electric vehicles in Australia?

Prices for fully-electric cars go from $44,381, for the BYD Atto 3, to $345,800 for the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. When it comes to plug-in hybrids, prices range from $48,690 drive-away, for the MG HS Plus EV, to $957,700, for a Ferrari SF90 Spider (not for everyone we know, but what a beauty!)

If prices feel too high for you, keep reading. In the next section, we’ll take you through the current incentives for electric vehicles at both state and national level which can make ownership much more accessible. We’ll also show you viable alternatives to purchasing EVs and hybrids you might not have thought of. With the introduction of no Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) tax for eligible electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids* through a novated lease arrangement, these vehicles are more accessible than ever. Talk to one of our team about leasing an EV.

How to afford an electric vehicle in Australia 

What are the Australian incentives for electric vehicles?

Federal government incentives. 

At the National level, the Government has removed the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) on eligible electric cars provided by employers to current employees through a novated lease. 

The exemption will apply to vehicles with a RRP under $89,332 in 2022-23. Eligible electric cars that are held and used on, or after, 1 July 2022 may also qualify retrospectively for the FBT exemption. The FBT exemption can also apply to second-hand electric cars.

Additionally, the government declared it will eliminate the 5% customs charge on electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel-cell cars and trucks whose customs value is below the gas-saving luxury car tax level. With the exception of vehicles imported from Russia and Belarus, this rule will apply to vehicles admitted for domestic use beginning on July 1, 2022.

State and territories incentives.

Each state has identified different ways to incentivise the adoption of EVs. Here is a summary, broken down by state, from the Australian Electric Vehicle Council:


Financial incentives:

  • Two years of free registration for new or used ZEVs.
  • Residents of the ACT can apply for a $15,000 interest-free loan to assist with the purchase of a ZEV.
  • ZEVs that are purchased for the first time are eligible for a full stamp duty exemption.

Behaviour incentives:

  • Preferential lane access exists for ZEV drivers in transit / high-occupancy vehicle lanes.


Financial incentives:

  • $3,000 rebates for the first 25,000 eligible EVs sold. The rebate cannot be used for vehicles procured under a novated leasing arrangement.*
  • Stamp duty will be phased out on eligible EVs.*
*The stamp duty exemption and the rebate for all eligible EV purchases will end on 1 January 2024. Individuals and businesses that have purchased or placed a deposit on an eligible EV prior to 1 January 2024, and are awaiting delivery of the vehicle, will still be eligible to receive the stamp duty exemption and rebate, regardless of whether the vehicle has been delivered by that date.

Business incentives:

  • $105 million via a competitive reverse tender auction process to assist private businesses, not-for-profits and local councils to transition their fleets.
  • The NSW EV Fleets Incentive includes a fixed amount of $400 per vehicle for BEV smart base charging at business premises or employees’ homes. This funding is limited to subsidising the purchase price for smart chargers only.
  • Stamp duty exemption on eligible EVs applies to both public and private fleets.

Behaviour incentives:

  • BEVs and FCEVs have access to T2 and T3 transit lanes until at least 31 October 2022.


Financial incentives:

  • Registration fees are waived for EVs for five years.
  • Reduced stamp duty for EVs by $1,500 for five years.

Business incentive:

  • Registration and stamp duty incentives are available to fleets.

Behaviour incentives:

  • Nominated EV parking (for charging) is available in public car parks.


Financial incentives:

  • $3,000 incentive for 15,000 cars under $58,000.
  • EVs are registered in the lowest fee segment (min. saving approx. $70).


Financial incentives:

  • $3,000 subsidy for 7,000 new BEV sales under $68,750.
  • 3-Year Registration Fee exemption for new BEVs until 1 July 2025. 


Financial incentives:

  • Stamp duty waiver for two years for the purchase of new or used battery electric or fuel cell vehicles.
  • Two-year waiver on registration fees for EVs bought by hire car companies and tour companies. 


Financial incentives:

  • $3,000 subsidy paid at point of sale for first 4,000 ZEVs sold under the current $68,740 threshold.
  • 20,000 subsidies in total with more details to be announced in future.
  • 1x subsidy available for an individual and 2x subsidies for a business.
  • Zero and Low Emission Vehicles receive a $100 concession on annual registration fees.

Business incentives:

  • EV Charging for Council Fleets and EV Charging for Business Fleets Programs.
  • The two fleet programs will provide up to $1.5 million each in grant funding for EV fleet infrastructure proposed by any of Victoria’s 79 local governments and businesses that are commercial-for-profit, not-for-profit, or community-based.
  • Fleets are eligible to apply for the ZEV subsidy twice.
  • The Commercial Sector Innovation fund (total $5 million) provides grants to applicants to pilot and/or trial zero-emission technology and accelerate business readiness for broader uptake. Applications can include purchase incentives, trials, charging at fleet depots and other proposals up to $2 million. 

What electric vehicles qualify for subsidies?

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the technicalities and changes in legislation. That’s why we’ve put together a handy list of the Top 10 EVs and PHVs you should check out.

Are there alternatives to buying electric vehicles? 

The short answer is yes! A cost-effective option to make the move to electric is novated leasing. The incentives to be introduced at the federal level will only apply to vehicles provided through novated leasing. 

All the fuel and maintenance savings we’ve talked about in the first section of the article get amplified with a novated lease. 

You can also bundle your finance and running costs into your before-tax pay to save on the car purchase price, income tax and GST. 

Have you discussed with your HR or People & Culture department the opportunity to support their staff with Novated Leasing programs? Flare can discuss the benefits of novated leases with your employer for you. Just give us a call, and we’ll do the rest. 

Electric vehicles novated leasing

Why choose a Flare novated lease for your EV?

A way to finance a new or used electric car, a novated lease allows you to pay for all your finance and running costs from your pre- and post-tax salary. On top of saving you up to thousands per year on tax, it also bundles all your vehicle expenses into one simple payment, coming directly out of your pay. 

In November of 2022, the federal government introduced a law that makes EVs priced under $89,332 exempt from fringe benefits tax (FBT). This is a game changer for employees looking to make the switch. With a Flare novated lease, you can reap the benefits of the new FBT exemption law and get access to a full-service concierge, and the opportunity to design a tailored lease program that fits with the way you work and live.

What do I need to consider before leasing an EV?

  1. Driving range. This is the most crucial factor when looking for an electric vehicle. Your charging infrastructure, how frequently you drive, and the length of your journey may all be used to calculate your average driving range.
  2. Charging. How long does the vehicle take to recharge? Where will you plug in? The Electric Vehicle Council has created an interactive EV Charger Map with all the charger stations across Australia.
  3. Engine type. BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs and FCEVs… which one is right for you? When making this decision you want to consider the driving range, the way you drive and the sizing of the car you need.
  4. Test drive. Once you’ve got your eyes on an EV model, take it for a drive to make sure it’s the right one for you. While electric vehicles drive like normal cars, there are some minor differences you want to get familiar with. Our team can organise a no-obligation, hassle-free test drive for you. 

If it sounds all a bit too overwhelming, just ask a Flare expert. They’ll do the heavy lifting for you, from helping you find the right electric vehicle, down to signing and managing the lease.

Driving the change by switching to an EV is possible. You’ve also learnt how all the intrinsic advantages of electric vehicles compound with the benefits of novated leasing. 

But did you know that with a Flare EV Novated Lease you get:

  • The car you want, now. You don’t need a deposit just a refundable order fee, plus our team will help you source your new car and organise a test drive.
  • The best pricing. Benefit from Flare’s buying power and save yourself the hard work. Our car experts negotiate on your behalf and secure the best EV and hybrid deals for you.
  • Save on tax and running costs. Enjoy significant tax savings and less GST on your car purchase, electricity mileage, servicing and maintenance.
  • Easy budget management. Avoid hidden expenses and spread your bills throughout the year by bundling up your finance and running costs like electricity mileage, servicing, maintenance and rego into one convenient monthly payment.

It doesn’t end here. Head to this page to find out how you can save with an EV Novated Lease, and hear from employees like you why they chose Flare.89,332

There you have it!

As promised, we’ve helped you make sense of the schemes and incentives available in Australia and shown you some electric vehicles eligible for a discount.

The good news is that the $89,332 federal government FBT exemption cap is higher than all states’ price ceilings. This not only expands the pool of EVs eligible for a discount, but gives you yet another benefit when choosing novated leasing for your EV.

Do you still have questions? Or maybe you’d like help sourcing your new car, negotiating the price and organising a test drive? You might also love to have the support of a car expert who negotiates on your behalf and secures the best EV deals for you. And while you’re at it, why not enjoy significant tax savings and no GST on your car purchase, electricity mileage, servicing and maintenance?

You’ll get all of this and more when you sign up to an EV Novated Leasing with Flare. 

Want to find out more? Just ask a Flare expert

How to charge your electric vehicle: the ins and outs.

If you’re like the majority of drivers, you’re probably curious about making the switch to an electric vehicle. You may have a few questions about how to charge your electric vehicle and what kind of charging station you need. All plug-in EVs in Australia have a lithium-ion battery, but the plugs and connectors can differ between makes of vehicle, meaning not all types of charge points can be used with all vehicles. We’re here to take a deep dive into EV charging and what it means for you.

EV Charger Levels

Level 1 Slow Charger
These plug into a standard 10A power point and deliver a “trickle” charge at about 2kW per hour. The typical cable supplied with an EV is a level one charger, and all you need is a standard power point to plug in and charge away.

Level 2 Medium Charger
This consists of a dedicated charging unit on the wall and can deliver 7.2 kW from a 240V AC single-phase connection. It’s much faster than a level 1 charger and is fast enough for most EV drivers. These are the chargers you want at home and are found in public areas like shopping centres etc.

Level 3 Fast Charger
These are high-voltage direct current (DC) chargers, usually installed at public charging stations such as the Tesla fast charge network. They can deliver from 50kW up to 350kW, depending on the type.

The level of power from the charging point is only one element of EV charging; the other is the type of charging port on the charger and the car itself. These plugs and ports have multiple pins; some are for transferring electricity, and others are data connections used by the car and charging stations to manage the electricity flow in the best way. Some EVs have multiple connection type options.

Types of EV Charging Plugs

Type 1
A five-pin design, also known as J1772 or SAEJ1772 and is mainly found on older models of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV or Nissan Lead.

Type 2
A seven-pin design is the standard type used in Australia, and it’s what you’ll find on almost all EVs sold in Australia. Also known as IEC62196 or Mennekes plug.

Short for “charge de move”, meaning “move using charge” or “charge and go” in French. This is a fast charger used by several Japanese and some European EV brands.

Combine Charging System (CCS)
Another fast charger type, CCS (Combined Charging System), has two types: CCS1 & CCS2. In Australia, many EV brands have a CCS2 port on the car, also known as a CCS Combo, meaning it can plug into either a type 2 charger or a CCS fast charger. Cars that feature this charger include the Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq and Porsche Taycan, among many others.

Flare is the leading expert in electric vehicles. We can help you save money and get behind the wheel of your dream car. Our novated lease experts will work with you to find the right EV for your needs and lifestyle, plus show you how to save thousands. Let our expertise and experience make your dream of driving an electric vehicle a reality. 

A novated lease was simpler, convenient, and saved Alexandra money

Alexandra Myers, a Veterinarian Pathologist, recently moved over from the USA and was in the market to purchase a new car to explore her adopted country and make the daily commute to work easier.

With a busy life and a new job, Alexandra felt overwhelmed by the idea of car shopping. In the past, car shopping had been an unpleasant experience where she had visited multiple dealerships, compared lists of options, and was forced to haggle on prices.

She explored a novated lease. “The novated lease option seemed really appealing to me since a) I realised I could use pre-tax dollars toward payments and b) someone would be guiding me through the whole process,” says Alexandra.

Alexandra decided on a Subaru. “We owned a Subaru in the US and loved it, so we knew we wanted another Subaru. My husband is 2 metres tall, and the Forester is plenty roomy for him and has lots of cargo space for our adventures,” she says.

“Our experience with Flare was much less stressful than our previous car buying experience. I told the Flare folks what kind of car we were looking for, and they found the car, got us quotes, and handled the financing and salary packaging aspects. Basically, they took care of everything,” shares Alexandra.

She adds, “I’d recommend Flare Cars to friends or colleagues. For me, the whole novated lease process was simpler and more convenient than the traditional car buying experience, and the Flare folks basically held my hand through the whole thing. They got me the car I wanted delivered to my door, and I can use pre-tax dollars to pay for it which reduces my taxable income.”

Engage your workforce with inclusive benefits for contractors

Traditionally benefits offered in the workplace like novated leases haven’t been on the table for individuals like Neil Creasey, a contractor. However, the workforce composition is changing. Now employers are embracing a blended workforce that consists of both contract workers alongside permanent talent. 

To engage an entire workforce, benefits like car salary packaging are opening up to eligible contract hires as a way to drive optimum engagement and retention, regardless of the hire classification.

Neil, a Transformation Director and contractor through Oncore Services, bought a second-hand Subaru BRZ through a novated lease arrangement with Flare and Oncore. 

Neil came across this through a monthly newsletter sent by his employer, Oncore. “As soon as I saw the offer, I snapped it up. I thought it was incredibly innovative. Being a long-term contractor, I have seen permanent employees in businesses enjoy these sorts of benefits but never contractors. However, there is such a huge contract labour force in Australia, I think it presents a great opportunity for employers who are willing to consider offering these benefits to contractors too,” says Neil. 

Removing barriers

One of the most common barriers for employers is admin hassle. There is a misconception that novated leasing requires lots of paperwork, and tireless hours will be spent on the management of salary deductions, budget reconciliation, and dealing with Fringe Benefit Tax. 

Josh Loy, Account Director at Flare, says “novated leases should be hassle free for both the employer and the employee. Flare’s digital-led process eliminates paperwork, simplifies salary deductions, and ensures a smooth process from the drivers first interaction, to the final day of their lease.”

Phil Mulvey, Business Development Manager at Oncore has been impressed by how simple the process is. “Providing novated leases to our contract workforce, via Flare, has been simple. It is a great addition that complements our current salary packaging services.”

For employees, the most common concern has been how payment transfers occur should they transition to a new contract or employer.

“Should a contractor decide to move on or if their contract comes to an end, they have a few options. They can transfer the novated lease across to their new employer. If their employer chooses not to support the benefit, that is ok, the contractor will make payments directly to the financier or payout the remaining finance, in full. There is a lot of flexibility. The employer also carries no liability, once the employee leaves then the car goes with them,” clarifies Josh.

Driving engagement

With the rise of contracting, attracting and retaining high quality contractors is an important consideration for a lot of businesses that rely on this model. Businesses need to adopt and deploy engagement strategies that appeal to this group. 

“At Oncore, salary packaging is a key pillar of the remuneration strategy for our contractors, and we are seeing a higher take up of novated leases,” says Phil.

To contractors like Neil, offering a novated lease can be a unique way for employers to stand out. “You go where the work is but if there is a choice between an employer that offers novated leasing and benefits to a contractor versus one that does not, that would certainly weigh your choice.” 

“Obviously it is down to the individual and what they value but for me, as someone who has contracted for 20 years and has had limited options to purchase and finance vehicles in the past, there is definitely an advantage to choosing an employer who offers this,” reinforces Neil. 

For forward-thinking employers who want to provide inclusive benefits to attract and retain their contract workforce, novated leasing can offer significant savings and a strong retention hook.

Speak to Flare today to discuss salary packaging and benefits for all employees.

What makes a contractor eligble for a novated lease with Flare?

Full-time, fixed-term contractors with continuity of income. Consistent proof of income for 9+ months.

Benefits like car salary packaging are opening up to eligible contract hires. Neil, bought a second-hand Subaru via a novated lease with Flare & Oncore.