UK plug-in car grant extended to March 2018

Published: 17 December 2015

► Plug-in grant extended to March 2018
► Reduction in amount of money offered
► Two different rates, depending on a car’s range

If you’ve got a hybrid or fully electric car on your shopping list, here’s some important news. It’s been confirmed that the UK plug-in car grant, which offers buyers of electric and hybrid cars subsidies to the tune of several thousand pounds, has been extended to the end of March 2018. However, buyers will receive less money off than previously.

The existing grant, which offers buyers £5000 off the price of eligible Ultra-low Emissions Vehicles (ULEVs), will continue until the end of February 2016, with the changes coming into effect from March.

Changes to the government plug-in car grant: the details

From March 2016 the grant will be split into multiple categories:

Category 1: cars with a zero-emissions range of more than 70 miles receive a grant of £4500

Category 2: cars with CO2 emissions below 50g/km and a zero-emissions range between 10 and 69 miles receive a grant of £2500

Category 3: cars with CO2 emissions between 50 and 75g/km and a zero-emissions range of at least 20 miles will also receive a grant of £2500

There will now also a price cap of £60,000 on cars in Category 2 and 3 – cars costing more than that won’t be eligible for the grant. Bad news if you were hoping for a cheeky discount on a BMW i8.

Consumers will also be able to apply for a £500 grant towards the cost of fitting a dedicated charging point at home, a reduction from the £700 rate currently available.

'Extending the grant in a sustainable way ensures more than 100,000 people will benefit from financial support when purchasing these cheap-to-run and green cars,’ said UK transport minister Andrew Jones at the grant’s announcement. 'The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and the plug-in car grant has been key to that success.’ 

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer

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