Electric car charging at home

Can you charge an electric car at home?

Considering buying an electric car? If so, you’ll likely be thinking of getting a home charger set up for your electric vehicle (EV).

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about charging an electric car at home – from what’s needed to how much it costs.

Learn more about EV charging in our electric car chargepoint guide

In this article

Electric car charging at home in driveway

Can you charge an electric car at home?

Yes, you can charge an electric car at home. In fact, most EV charging in the UK takes place at home.

If you have an electric car charging station installed at home, this will generally be the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way to keep your EV battery charged.

Discover lots of useful information about EVs in our beginner’s guide to electric and hybrid cars.

What’s needed to charge an electric car at home?

To charge your electric car at home, you’ll generally need:

  • Access to off-street parking, such as a driveway or garage.
  • An electric car charger in your driveway or garage.
  • The right cables to connect your vehicle to the charger.

Whether you drive an electric, hybrid, petrol or diesel, we've got you covered.

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How to charge an electric car at home

Make sure to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s instructions for charging your car. These can typically be found in the car handbook

The EV charger you’ve had installed at home may also  come with instructions which you should make sure to follow.

Generally, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Park your vehicle in your driveway or garage close to the home charger.
  • Plug the connecting cable into the sockets in your car and EV charger.
  • Unplug the vehicle once the battery has gained enough charge (if you have a smart charger, you might be able to stop charging using you connected device, like a phone or tablet).

It’ll need to be attached to a wall near where you park (either on the exterior of your property or in your garage) and connected to the mains.

Depending on the installer’s experience, it normally takes around 3 hours to install.

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How much does it cost to install a charger for an electric car?

The price of an EV charger and its installation generally starts from around £800, but it may be more or less depending on which type of charger you choose and installer you use.

A basic (and slow) 3kW EV charger will cost less than a faster 7kW one. Smart chargers, which can be controlled via mobile devices, are often more expensive.

Depending on your property’s wiring, you may need to be prepared to pay a bit extra for installation if it needs amended to accommodate the charger. 

Electric car home charging grant

There is a grant available to help EV owners with up to 75% of the cost of installing an electric car charger at home.

The grant is capped at £350 and open to electric car owners with access to off-street parking. If you’re looking at £800 for installing an EV home charger, the grant will take the cost down to around £450.

Thinking of getting an EV charging point installed? We’ve partnered with home charging experts, EO, to offer a £50 discount on their charging points.

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How much does an electric car raise your electric bill?

As your electric car charger will be connected to your mains electricity, charging your EV regularly will result in an increase to your electric bill.

You can use the formula below to calculate roughly how much a car will cost to charge at home.

But it’s worth remembering that this formula will give you the cost of charging an empty battery to full charge, which is unusual (you’ll likely just be topping it up on a regular basis).

Size of battery (kWh) x Electricity cost of your supplier (pence per kilowatt hour) = Cost to charge an electric car

Using this formula, here are the estimated costs to charge some popular EVs at home (from empty to full charge), based on the national average energy tariff of 14p per kWh:

Model Battery size Cost to fully charge
Jaguar I-Pace 90 kWh £12.60
Ford Mustang Mach-e 68 kWh £9.52
Tesla Model 3 53 kWh £7.42
Nissan Leaf 40 kWh £5.60
Hyundai Kona Electric 39 kWh £5.46

The amount added to your electricity bill depends on how much you use your car – the more you use it, the more often you'll need to charge it. 

Some home charging units have smart options that help you save money by charging at cheaper times of the day. They can also be connected to devices via Bluetooth so you can choose when to charge your EV via your phone or tablet.

If your battery runs out, our unique tech will get you quickly and safely to a rapid charge point.

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Can you plug an electric car into a regular socket?

Yes, you can but it will be very slow, potentially taking up to 24 hours to charge your electric car. It’s better to get a purpose-built EV home charger installed.

A standard 3 to 7kw EV home charger will charge the battery much faster and some vehicle manufacturers recommend against using a regular socket to charge your electric car.

Can you charge an electric car at home with no driveway or garage?

Most EV chargers are installed in driveways or garages as it’s easier to connect to the mains electricity of the property and be close enough to the parked EV.

But there are many people in the UK who don’t have access to off-street parking. While there are public chargepoints available, setting up one at home is often more convenient for EV drivers.

You could ask the installer if it’s possible to connect to the exterior of the property without a driveway, but most will require you to have a driveway or garage and you’d also have to consider the following:

  • Can you park on your street close enough to the charger for the cable to reach safely?
  • Will cables trail across the pavement and cause a hazard for neighbours and other pedestrians?

If you don’t have access to a driveway or garage, you should speak to your local council about the possibility of on-street EV chargepoints.

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On street electric car chargers

It might be possible to get public EV chargers set up on your street. There’s an on-street residential charging scheme, which provides funding to local authorities to do this.

There are a few different options for on-street chargepoints:

  • Charging stations built into lampposts
  • Free-standing or pillar units that could be added to the kerb.
  • Telescopic units that retract into the pavement.

These chargers generally vary from 3 to 7kw depending on the power available in the area.

If you’re interested in this, check with your local authority if there's a possibility of getting EV chargers installed on your street.

Read our article on electric car maintenance, to find out more about EV maintenance and repair.

Is it safe to charge an electric car inside a garage?

Yes, it’s safe to charge your electric car in your garage.

You may need to speak to your installer in advance to make sure your garage has the appropriate wiring and power access for an EV charger.

Can you charge an electric car in the rain?

Yes, you can charge an EV in the rain. Electric cars and chargers are weatherproof and will protect you from any electric shocks, so it’s perfectly safe to charge your EV in the rain.

Our EV hub provides lots of useful information and advice on electric cars

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Published: 28 September 2021 | Updated: 28 September 2021 | Author: The AA

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