What is the Plug-in Car Grant for electric cars?

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

MG ZS EV

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

BMW i3

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?

LEVC TX

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?

Vauxhall Corsa-e

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.

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