You may remember the government announcing an extension to the Plug-in Car Grant at the spring 2020 Budget. But what is the Plug-in Car Grant and how can it cut the price of a new electric car?
In short, the government grant is a discount on the price of a brand new electric car. It will pay for 35 percent of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £3,000.
Availability of the Plug-in Car Grant has been extended to 2022-23, as the government prepares for the phasing out of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles. Cars must cost less than £50,000 to be eligible for the grant, which rules out a discount on some premium electric cars.
Such vehicles excluded from the scheme include the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-tron SUV.
Electric cars eligible for the grant
At the time of writing (March 2020), the following cars are eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant:
- BMW i3 and i3s
- BYD e6
- DS 3 Crossback E-Tense
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric
- Hyundai Kona Electric
- Kia e-Niro
- Kia Soul EV
- Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
- Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer
- MG ZS EV
- Mini Electric
- Nissan e-NV200 (five- and seven-seater)
- Nissan Leaf
- Peugeot e-208
- Peugeot e-2008
- Renault Zoe
- Seat Mii electric
- Skoda Citigo-e iV
- Smart EQ Fortwo
- Smart EQ Forfour
- Tesla Model 3 Long Range
- Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus
- Vauxhall Corsa-e
- Volkswagen e-Up
- Volkswagen e-Golf
The list is constantly changing. For example, with the Volkswagen e-Golf being phased out, the grant will transfer to the all-new Volkswagen ID.3. We will update this list when necessary.
I thought the grant was £3,500…
You’re right, it was. Although the grant was extended at the Budget, the discount was CUT, from £3,500 to £3,000. Almost immediately, some manufacturers announced they would pick up the £500 slack.
Renault, MG, Peugeot and DS Automobiles said they would offer a £500 discount on orders placed before the end of March. Although this is a limited offer, we’d expect the discount period to be extended or re-introduced at a later date.
How do I get the discount?
You do not need to do anything to receive the discount. The dealer will include the value of the grant in the vehicle’s price.
Is there a grant for other electric vehicles?
In the past, the Plug-in Car Grant was available for plug-in hybrid vehicles, but this is no longer the case. To qualify, a car must have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and be able to travel at least 70 miles without any emissions.
However, other classes of electric vehicles are eligible for a grant. These are summarised as follows:
- Motorcycles: the grant will pay 20 percent of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £1,500, for zero emission motorbikes that can travel at least 31 miles between charges
- Mopeds: the government will pay 20 percent of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £1,500. The zero emission moped must be able to provide at least 19 miles of range
- Vans: a 20 percent discount, up to a maximum of £8,000, is available on zero emission vans. They must provide at least 10 miles of range
- Taxis: the grant is limited to the Dynamo Taxi and LEVC TX. A 20 percent discount is available, up to a maximum of £7,500.
- Large vans and trucks: a grant is available for vehicles with CO2 emissions at least 50 percent lower than the equivalent conventional Euro 6 vehicle
For the latest list of vehicles, visit the government website.
Are other electric car discounts available?
Private customers should keep an eye on manufacturer websites for the latest deals. It’s not uncommon for a number of different deals to be available, ranging from scrappage discounts to low-rate Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) offers.
For example, at the time of writing, Vauxhall is offering a guaranteed £2,000 part-exchange allowance on the electric Corsa-e. Meanwhile, Renault is offering zero percent finance on the Zoe, with prices starting from £269 a month.