6 ways to save even more with an electric car

14 March 2020

Just when you thought electric cars couldn’t be any cheaper to run, local councils introduce a wide range of savings - like free parking - specifically for Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers. Read on to find out what each incentive covers and how they all work.

1. Residential EV charging

What’s happening?
Not every household has a handy driveway for a home charge point and overnight charging. Yet most EV drivers charge their cars while they sleep. As a critical part of the government’s electromobility plans, local authorities have been tasked with installing a network of residential EV charge points on roads all over the UK.

How does it work?
This means your local authority could soon install a charge point on your road, free of charge, so you can park and boost your battery with complete convenience. According to the government, local authorities might need to consider the introduction of resident permit parking so residents are able to park outside their own home on the street where they can charge. Look out for curb-side charge points coming to a street near you. In the meantime, take a look at ZapMap to find out where your closest public charging point is located.

2. Discounted parking for EVs

What’s happening?
One of the more widely available EV benefits is discounted parking. You’ll find this all over the UK in local authorities like Westminster and Bath and North East Somerset. In addition, Q-Park car parks provide Polar network members with 20% off their parking.

How does it work?
Each local authority will run its own scheme but you can expect to secure discounted permit parking associated with a specific car. In Bath and North East Somerset the savings are substantial. Resident permits drop from £100 to just £10 for EVs. And car park permits plummet by 50% saving £1,102.50 for one particular car park over a year. With enormous savings like this, it’s worth exploring how much you could save in your local area by switching to an EV.

3. EV demo or experience centre

What’s happening?
Milton Keynes’ local authority has created the UK’s first brand-neutral EV experience centre. Dedicated to Electric Vehicles, the centre provides free education and advice about electric cars and gives you the opportunity to test drive a range of different EVs. You can also access a demo centre for the West of England here. These centres give drivers the opportunity to experience an EV and to demonstrate just how great and easy they are to drive.

How does it work?
Each scheme is slightly different but the centres offer short-term test drives through to longer hire periods. In some cases these test drives are completely free, in others you’ll pay a small amount for the car hire plus electricity or you might only have to pay for the electricity you use. If you haven’t driven an EV before, why not find your nearest centre and sign up for a test drive?

4. EV charging at park and rides

What’s happening?
Drive your EV to a park and ride and you’ll be able to park and charge for free in certain local authorities, like Perth and Kinross.

How does it work?
Park up, plug in and come back to a fully charged car without spending a penny.

5. EVs in bus lanes

What’s happening?
Some local authorities will allow EVs to use the bus lane helping you get to your destination faster without incurring a fine.

How does it work?
The introduction of green number plates will give local authorities a visual identifier to enable EVs to share bus lanes with buses. Another nice benefit to help you zip to your destination even more quickly.

6. Free access to special zones

What’s happening?
Following the introduction of London’s congestion and ultra-low emissions zones, other local authorities are introducing or planning to introduce clean air zones to towns and cities. Cars that don’t meet specific emission standards will incur fees if they venture into these zones.

How does it work?
As zero-emission vehicles, EVs will be able to drive through these areas free of charge. In London the congestion charge is £15 per 24 hours and the ULEZ is £12.50. Other cities will likely charge similar amounts so an EV could help you save some serious cash if you're a regular inner-city driver.

If you’ve already got an electric car and you want to see what your local authority has to offer, you can keep your eye on any incentives here. Or, if you’re considering driving an EV for the first time, take a look at our brilliant range of electric cars to see how much you could save.


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