Funding is available in Scotland to support drivers in buying an Electric Vehicle, as well as tax-relief for drivers of Low-Emission Vehicles.
One of the most common questions we are asked is what funding is available to assist drivers with their Electric Vehicle purchase. The Scottish government offer subsidies to help you make the switch to electric, with funding available towards your EV purchase.
Because the cost of manufacturing EVs is higher than vehicles with a petrol or diesel engine, this has influenced the upfront cost of an Electric Vehicle, therefore the UK government has introduced a grant for brand-new low-emission vehicles. This grant provides a discount of up to £3,000 on the full purchase price of a brand-new low emission vehicle.
In addition, you may be eligible for an interest-free Electric Vehicle loan of up to £35,000 to cover the cost of purchasing a brand-new pure Electric Vehicle. This is funded by Transport Scotland (an agency of the Scottish Government), with applications being assessed against the following criteria:
- The purchased Electric Vehicle should be the only plug-in vehicle owned by the applicant and must be eligible for the ‘Plug-in grant’ funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). This means that plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles with a purchase value above £50,000 are not eligible for the loan.
- Apart from an initial deposit, applicants must not have made any other payment towards the purchase of the vehicle before receiving a loan offer under this programme as funding is not provided retrospectively
Brand-new EVs are more affordable than they have ever been, with the most affordable BEV on the Electric Vehicle Database coming in with an RRP of under £18,000. While the purchase price for a BEV may be higher than an equivalent vehicle with a petrol or diesel engine, it is worth factoring in the reduction in running costs you are likely to experience as part of your purchase decision.
The interest-free Electric Vehicle loan has also recently been extended to provide funding for up to £20,000 to cover the cost of purchasing a second-hand electric car.
To compare running costs for BEVs and conventional-engine vehicles, check out this handy comparison tool via the Energy Saving Trust.
In addition to these measures to help drivers make the switch to electric, low-emission vehicles are taxed at a lower rate as they generate fewer carbon emissions. If you are a company car driver, you can benefit from paying no Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) tax for a BEV until the 2020/2021 financial year, with this only rising to 1% BIK in 2021/2022 and 2% in the 2022/2023 financial years.
There is also a growing market for second-hand EVs. Where the electric range of these EVs may be slightly lower than newer models, most vehicles will show any battery degradation on the screen in front of the driver, which can help you understand the realistic range of the EV. Our advice when considering buying an EV, is to think about what features you really need as purchasing a second-hand EV may be a more cost-effective solution for your daily transportation needs.
EVs are easy to maintain and repair, as they have a low number of components required to produce them. Compared to a car with a petrol or diesel engine that has around 1000 moving parts, a BEV only has around 2003.