The government’s plug-in car grant (PICG) is a great way to save money on a new electric vehicle. Formerly available across all plug-in models, the scheme has been in place since 2011 and has recently been altered during the government’s 2020 Spring Budget.
With the aim of making alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) more affordable, the popularity of such vehicles has been on the rise.
Do you have questions about what the PICG could do for you? We’ve got the answers.
What is the plug-in car grant (PICG)?
The plug-in car grant (PICG) is a government-funded discount to promote the buying of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs). Introduced in 2011, it first offered discounts on all plug-in cars, including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs).
Up until 2016, drivers could get £5,000 off the price of an AFV, but in April that year, PHEVs had the grant cut to £2,500, while EVs were down to a £4,500 discount.
But 2018 saw the biggest change so far. PHEVs were removed from the grant altogether, while EVs had the grant cut to £3,500.
The most recent budget in March 2020 has seen the grant for EVs come down further – now sitting at £3,000. The government had planned to remove the grant in 2020, but following outside pressure, it has been extended to the 2022/23 financial year. This is only eligible for EVs costing less than £50,000.
Which cars are eligible for the PICG?
Plug-in cars are split into 3 categories:
· Category 1: Vehicles with a range of 70 miles or more making zero emissions, and a quoted CO2 emissions figure of less than 50g/km.
· Category 2: Vehicles with a range of at least 10 miles making zero emissions, and a quoted CO2 emissions figure of less than 50g/km.
· Category 3: Vehicles with a range of at least 20 miles making zero emissions, and a quoted CO2 emissions figure of between 50-75g/km.
Category 1 effectively covers all EVs. As long as they cost less than £50,000, they are eligible for the grant.
Category 2 and 3 covers PHEVs. Since April 2018, these haven’t been eligible for the grant, so you won’t be allowed a discount.
The scheme was introduced to get more drivers to choose EVs. By promoting the sale of more affordable EVs, it’s hoped that they will become more common and help reduce local emissions on the UK’s roads.
How do I qualify for the grant?
All you have to do is purchase a new EV worth less than £50,000. From there, the dealer you’re buying the car from will sort all the necessary paperwork. For you, the process is exactly the same as buying any other vehicle.
Will the PICG affect finance packages?
The PICG does favour buyers when it comes to the cost of a finance package. Providing you go for a model worth less than £50,000, the grant will lower your monthly fees and the overall cost of the deal.
What about other electric vehicles?
Battery-powered vans are also included in the PICG, as well as mopeds, motorcycles and taxis.
- Vans get up to £8,000 off, or 20% of the purchase price. These must be able to travel at least 10 miles with zero emissions and have quoted CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km.
- Mopeds can have up to £1,500 or 20% of the purchase price off. Models must produce no emissions and have at least 19 miles of range.
- Motorcycles can have up to £1,500 or 20% of the purchase price off. Models must produce no emissions and have at least 31 miles of range.
- Taxis can have up to £7,500 or 20% of the purchase price off. Models must produce less than 50g/km in CO2 emissions and have at least 70 miles of electric range.
Does the PICG make EVs more affordable?
Although EVs are still more expensive than a conventionally powered vehicle, the PICG helps to close the gap.
Take the entry-level Peugeot 208 for example. The difference between the base petrol option (£16,845) and the e-208 electric option (£25,715) is almost £9,000, even including the PICG, though the EV will be vastly cheaper to run.
There’s also the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), which means you can save up to £350 off the price of a home charger. It’s offered for most EV and PHEV owners, while Scottish EV owners can get an additional £300 off via the Energy Savings Trust Scotland.