Government Grants & Incentives for EVs in the UK: A Complete Guide

Created on
September 11, 2022

Does the UK offer discounts on EV purchases? Discover all the incentives and advantages for EV owners

Examples of margins, padding, and borders
  • Key Points
  • • The UK government offers multiple incentives and discounts for people who are planning to buy an electric vehicle or already own one.
  • • If you are in the market for an EV, you can benefit from the Plug-In Grant, which offers a discount of up to £2,500 on new EVs. Scotland also offers interest-free loans on purchases of new and used EVs.
  • • EV owners are exempt from the Vehicle Excise Duty and can get a reduction in their Benefit-In-Kind tax rate.
  • • Homeowners and employers can also get discounts on EV charger installation on their property.

The cost of buying an electric car continues to exceed that of a gasoline or diesel vehicle. But at the same time, more and more people are considering switching to this more environmentally friendly mode of transportation for various reasons. For instance, an increasing number of people are choosing EVs due to the gasoline shortage crisis and the rising cost of fuel. The British government strongly supports the movement to increase the number of registered electric vehicles in the UK, which is currently over 800,000, in order to reduce harmful emissions. In addition, the UK government has launched a strategy for full electrification by 2030 and is investing billions in the transportation sector. In order to make the purchase of an electric vehicle more affordable for you, we have compiled all of the incentives and grants provided to drivers, businesses, and local governments by the UK authorities.

Are you an EV owner? Are you tired of having your patience tested every time you need to charge your car at a new network? With Bonnet, you can forget about having to download new charging network apps, register, create an account, and figure out the payment process time after time. Bonnet connects 17+ of the best EV charging networks in Europe, which means you will need only one app, one account and one payment to manage all your charges in one click!

EV Purchase Incentives in the UK

The Plug-In Car Grant

The Plug-In grant is a financial incentive provided to buyers of electric vehicles. This grant provides a discount of up to 35% off the purchase price, up to a maximum of £2,500. Currently, only vehicles that cost less than £35,000 and emit less than 50g/km of CO2 qualify for the Plug-In grant. The same system also applies to motorcycles, taxis, vans, and trucks, as well as mopeds: 

Examples of margins, padding, and borders
  • • 35% off the purchase cost of an electric vehicle (up to a maximum of £2,500)
  • • 20% off the purchase cost of an electric motorcycle or moped (up to £1,500)
  • • 20% off of the purchase cost of an electric van (up to £8,000)
  • • 20% off the cost of an electric taxi (up to a maximum of £7,500)

You don’t have to do anything to qualify for this grant because the dealers will automatically include the value of the PICG in the price of your new car.

Interest-Free Vehicle Loan

Scotland

Drivers in Scotland can get a no-interest loan when switching to an electric or hybrid car. The loan can be up to £35,000 for a brand-new electric vehicle or van and up to £20,000 for a used electric vehicle, and it must be repaid over a six-year period.

Northern Ireland

Here, you are eligible to receive a grant of up to €5,000 for a purchase of a private vehicle and up to €3,800 for a business vehicle.

EV Tax Incentives

Vehicle Excise Duty

As you are aware, the majority of powered vehicles used on public roads and in parking lots are subject to an annual tax that is required to be paid by the driver. The Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is calculated based on the size of the engine, the year the vehicle was registered, and the amount of CO2 emissions it produces. This formula implies that the majority of EV owners are exempt from paying this tax. 

There’s also the “Premium rate” tax, which is applied to drivers whose cars are valued at over £40,000. It is a tax that is added on top of the regular VED and typically costs around £320 per year. Owners of pure EVs are exempt from this fee, though.

Benefit-In-Kind Tax Rates

Many employers offer company cars for employee motivation and to entice new hires. Due to a significant increase in the Benefit-In-Kind tax rate, which must be paid if you use a car for non-work-related purposes, it has recently become less of a viable option for employees. There is one effective solution, though, as BIK rates are significantly lower for employees whose employers provide electric vehicles.

Benefit-in-Kind Exemption 

There is no taxable benefit if employers offer charging stations at the workplace. It means that as an employee, you will not have to pay for vehicle charging.

EV Charging Incentives

The UK government is anticipating a rise in electric vehicle purchases and usage since the implementation of plug-in grant programmes and tax benefits. It implies that the country must be equipped with a highly developed infrastructure of charging stations in order to handle the influx of electric vehicles. £1.6 billion out of the £2.5 billion total funding for electric vehicle grants will be allocated to developing the EV charging infrastructure. The following incentives are among them:

The Rapid Charging Fund (RCF)

The United Kingdom is the country with the most rapid chargers per 100 miles, making it the most practical place to live for people who travel by electric car. And as the Rapid Charging Fund increases its funding to £950 million, this number will only increase. The government wants to eliminate all current obstacles for EV users and build motorways with electrical capacity that is future-proof. If you still experience a problem with a lack of charging stations, the UK guarantees that this issue will soon be resolved.

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme

EHVS (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme) grants are available to drivers who are planning to buy or already own an electric vehicle. Thanks to this grant, the installation costs of an EV charger at your home can be reduced by up to 75% (capped at £350, inc. VAT). You must own, lease a car for longer than six months, or order a car with an off-street parking space at home in order to qualify for this grant. You can even apply for grants for more than one charging point if you own multiple electric vehicles. An EHVS installer will install the point and apply the discount off the full price after approving your application.

Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) 

This programme, which is based on vouchers, can pay up to 75% of the cost of purchasing and installing EV charging stations at workplaces. The grant covers up to 40 charging points and a maximum discount of £350 per socket. Visit the official government website to apply and learn all the requirements for the grant, including a list of the information you must submit. After submitting your application, you will receive a voucher that is valid for 180 days.

On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS)

This project aims to remove the barrier to using EVS if you don’t have off-street parking by installing charge points in residential streets. The programme is open to local governments and provides funding for 60% of the capital costs, including the cost of parts, engineering work, and installation costs (up to £7,500 or £13,000 if connection costs are unusually high). Email your local authority to see if they have already submitted an application through the Energy Saving Trust.

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV)

The United Kingdom is one of the countries that are most successful in developing EV strategies. One of the explanations is the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, a group within the UK government that supports the market for ZEV. They are creating initiatives, funding incentives, research programmes, and grants with the aim of reducing the greenhouse effect, and by doing this, they support and encourage people to switch to EVs.

Go Ultra Low Campaign

The “Go Ultra Low” campaign, which was created in collaboration with the government, aims to educate and raise awareness in the EV space. It is one of the most successful OZEV projects. In essence, they offer all the information EV buyers may need and respond to all the questions EV owners may have. You can access their website to learn more about how to choose an electric vehicle, find information on the best tariffs and prices, and get general usage guidelines. One of the most intriguing features of this site is a calculator that helps you determine how much money you can save by driving an EV instead of a traditional car.

More Benefits

Green Number Plates

Recently, the UK government has started issuing special green number plates to electric car owners, which signalise that their car is emissions-free. With those, car owners can take advantage of free parking lots, use bus lanes, or drive through areas that are restricted for conventional vehicles. 

No Car Fuel Benefit Charge

Electric charging is exempt from the car fuel benefit charge because electricity does not qualify as road fuel. Additionally, electricity is only subject to 5 per cent VAT, compared to 20 per cent VAT for combustible fuel.

Final Thoughts

Buying an electric car is pricey, as you may imagine, but it is unquestionably a worthwhile investment. There is a good chance that it will end up being even less expensive than owning a typical car after adding up all the fees and charges. Additionally, by using an EV, you make a significant contribution to lowering emissions and reducing the greenhouse effect. 

If you already own an EV and find it difficult to manage charging with all of the different charging networks out there, we have a solution for you: try our mobile app called Bonnet, which connects 17+ of Europe’s best EV charging systems. You only need one app, one account, and one bank account to charge your car using charging stations all over Europe. There’s no need to download multiple apps and create several accounts. Your EV charging will be as simple as ABC!

September 11, 2022

Does the UK offer discounts on EV purchases? Discover all the incentives and advantages for EV owners

Examples of margins, padding, and borders
  • Key Points
  • • The UK government offers multiple incentives and discounts for people who are planning to buy an electric vehicle or already own one.
  • • If you are in the market for an EV, you can benefit from the Plug-In Grant, which offers a discount of up to £2,500 on new EVs. Scotland also offers interest-free loans on purchases of new and used EVs.
  • • EV owners are exempt from the Vehicle Excise Duty and can get a reduction in their Benefit-In-Kind tax rate.
  • • Homeowners and employers can also get discounts on EV charger installation on their property.

The cost of buying an electric car continues to exceed that of a gasoline or diesel vehicle. But at the same time, more and more people are considering switching to this more environmentally friendly mode of transportation for various reasons. For instance, an increasing number of people are choosing EVs due to the gasoline shortage crisis and the rising cost of fuel. The British government strongly supports the movement to increase the number of registered electric vehicles in the UK, which is currently over 800,000, in order to reduce harmful emissions. In addition, the UK government has launched a strategy for full electrification by 2030 and is investing billions in the transportation sector. In order to make the purchase of an electric vehicle more affordable for you, we have compiled all of the incentives and grants provided to drivers, businesses, and local governments by the UK authorities.

Are you an EV owner? Are you tired of having your patience tested every time you need to charge your car at a new network? With Bonnet, you can forget about having to download new charging network apps, register, create an account, and figure out the payment process time after time. Bonnet connects 17+ of the best EV charging networks in Europe, which means you will need only one app, one account and one payment to manage all your charges in one click!

EV Purchase Incentives in the UK

The Plug-In Car Grant

The Plug-In grant is a financial incentive provided to buyers of electric vehicles. This grant provides a discount of up to 35% off the purchase price, up to a maximum of £2,500. Currently, only vehicles that cost less than £35,000 and emit less than 50g/km of CO2 qualify for the Plug-In grant. The same system also applies to motorcycles, taxis, vans, and trucks, as well as mopeds: 

Examples of margins, padding, and borders
  • • 35% off the purchase cost of an electric vehicle (up to a maximum of £2,500)
  • • 20% off the purchase cost of an electric motorcycle or moped (up to £1,500)
  • • 20% off of the purchase cost of an electric van (up to £8,000)
  • • 20% off the cost of an electric taxi (up to a maximum of £7,500)

You don’t have to do anything to qualify for this grant because the dealers will automatically include the value of the PICG in the price of your new car.

Interest-Free Vehicle Loan

Scotland

Drivers in Scotland can get a no-interest loan when switching to an electric or hybrid car. The loan can be up to £35,000 for a brand-new electric vehicle or van and up to £20,000 for a used electric vehicle, and it must be repaid over a six-year period.

Northern Ireland

Here, you are eligible to receive a grant of up to €5,000 for a purchase of a private vehicle and up to €3,800 for a business vehicle.

EV Tax Incentives

Vehicle Excise Duty

As you are aware, the majority of powered vehicles used on public roads and in parking lots are subject to an annual tax that is required to be paid by the driver. The Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is calculated based on the size of the engine, the year the vehicle was registered, and the amount of CO2 emissions it produces. This formula implies that the majority of EV owners are exempt from paying this tax. 

There’s also the “Premium rate” tax, which is applied to drivers whose cars are valued at over £40,000. It is a tax that is added on top of the regular VED and typically costs around £320 per year. Owners of pure EVs are exempt from this fee, though.

Benefit-In-Kind Tax Rates

Many employers offer company cars for employee motivation and to entice new hires. Due to a significant increase in the Benefit-In-Kind tax rate, which must be paid if you use a car for non-work-related purposes, it has recently become less of a viable option for employees. There is one effective solution, though, as BIK rates are significantly lower for employees whose employers provide electric vehicles.

Benefit-in-Kind Exemption 

There is no taxable benefit if employers offer charging stations at the workplace. It means that as an employee, you will not have to pay for vehicle charging.

EV Charging Incentives

The UK government is anticipating a rise in electric vehicle purchases and usage since the implementation of plug-in grant programmes and tax benefits. It implies that the country must be equipped with a highly developed infrastructure of charging stations in order to handle the influx of electric vehicles. £1.6 billion out of the £2.5 billion total funding for electric vehicle grants will be allocated to developing the EV charging infrastructure. The following incentives are among them:

The Rapid Charging Fund (RCF)

The United Kingdom is the country with the most rapid chargers per 100 miles, making it the most practical place to live for people who travel by electric car. And as the Rapid Charging Fund increases its funding to £950 million, this number will only increase. The government wants to eliminate all current obstacles for EV users and build motorways with electrical capacity that is future-proof. If you still experience a problem with a lack of charging stations, the UK guarantees that this issue will soon be resolved.

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme

EHVS (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme) grants are available to drivers who are planning to buy or already own an electric vehicle. Thanks to this grant, the installation costs of an EV charger at your home can be reduced by up to 75% (capped at £350, inc. VAT). You must own, lease a car for longer than six months, or order a car with an off-street parking space at home in order to qualify for this grant. You can even apply for grants for more than one charging point if you own multiple electric vehicles. An EHVS installer will install the point and apply the discount off the full price after approving your application.

Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) 

This programme, which is based on vouchers, can pay up to 75% of the cost of purchasing and installing EV charging stations at workplaces. The grant covers up to 40 charging points and a maximum discount of £350 per socket. Visit the official government website to apply and learn all the requirements for the grant, including a list of the information you must submit. After submitting your application, you will receive a voucher that is valid for 180 days.

On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS)

This project aims to remove the barrier to using EVS if you don’t have off-street parking by installing charge points in residential streets. The programme is open to local governments and provides funding for 60% of the capital costs, including the cost of parts, engineering work, and installation costs (up to £7,500 or £13,000 if connection costs are unusually high). Email your local authority to see if they have already submitted an application through the Energy Saving Trust.

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV)

The United Kingdom is one of the countries that are most successful in developing EV strategies. One of the explanations is the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, a group within the UK government that supports the market for ZEV. They are creating initiatives, funding incentives, research programmes, and grants with the aim of reducing the greenhouse effect, and by doing this, they support and encourage people to switch to EVs.

Go Ultra Low Campaign

The “Go Ultra Low” campaign, which was created in collaboration with the government, aims to educate and raise awareness in the EV space. It is one of the most successful OZEV projects. In essence, they offer all the information EV buyers may need and respond to all the questions EV owners may have. You can access their website to learn more about how to choose an electric vehicle, find information on the best tariffs and prices, and get general usage guidelines. One of the most intriguing features of this site is a calculator that helps you determine how much money you can save by driving an EV instead of a traditional car.

More Benefits

Green Number Plates

Recently, the UK government has started issuing special green number plates to electric car owners, which signalise that their car is emissions-free. With those, car owners can take advantage of free parking lots, use bus lanes, or drive through areas that are restricted for conventional vehicles. 

No Car Fuel Benefit Charge

Electric charging is exempt from the car fuel benefit charge because electricity does not qualify as road fuel. Additionally, electricity is only subject to 5 per cent VAT, compared to 20 per cent VAT for combustible fuel.

Final Thoughts

Buying an electric car is pricey, as you may imagine, but it is unquestionably a worthwhile investment. There is a good chance that it will end up being even less expensive than owning a typical car after adding up all the fees and charges. Additionally, by using an EV, you make a significant contribution to lowering emissions and reducing the greenhouse effect. 

If you already own an EV and find it difficult to manage charging with all of the different charging networks out there, we have a solution for you: try our mobile app called Bonnet, which connects 17+ of Europe’s best EV charging systems. You only need one app, one account, and one bank account to charge your car using charging stations all over Europe. There’s no need to download multiple apps and create several accounts. Your EV charging will be as simple as ABC!

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