Plug-in car grant levels will soon be changing

Added: 18 October 2018

Plug-in car grant levels will soon be changing. The changes will focus our funding on the cleanest vehicles, and ensure that the grant remains sustainable as the UK market for ultra low emission vehicles develops. 2. The precise date that rates will change will depend on how many new vehicles are sold during the transition period (11 October to 9 November). However, they will come into effect by 23:59 on 9 November at the latest.

New grant levels

Ultra low emission vehicles are placed into different categories on the basis of their CO2 emissions and their zero emission range.

These categories are:

  • category 1 – CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range of at least 70 miles
  • category 2 – CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range between 10 and 69 miles
  • category 3 – CO2 emissions of 50 to 75g/km and a zero emission range of at least 20 miles

After the change in rates, the grant rates will be as follows:

  • the grant rate for Category 1 vehicles will move from £4,500 to £3,500
  • category 2 and 3 vehicles will no longer be eligible for the grant

View a list of currently eligible vehicles, and the categories into which they fall.

Limits on new orders during the transition period

We expect an increase in orders during the transition period, as customers bring forward their purchases to take advantage of the higher grant rates. We have therefore put limits on the number of orders that can be claimed at the new grant rates during the transition period. If these limits are reached, then the new grant rate will come into effect as of the next working day. Otherwise grant rates will change on 9 November.

We have set 2 different limits: one for new category 1 orders, and for new category 2 / 3 orders. The category 1 grant rate will reduce if the category 1 limit is reached and the category 2 / 3 grant rate will reduce if the category 2 / 3 limit is reached.

We have set these limits at a level that is considerably higher than the number of orders we would typically expect if we were not changing grant levels. This is to take into account the likely increase in orders during the transition period.

Information for car buyers

I currently have a vehicle on order – will I still get a £4,500 / £2,500 grant?

Yes. As long as the dealer has correctly submitted the claim for the vehicle to OLEV, then it will qualify for a grant at the rates that were in effect when the car was ordered. However, the car must be delivered within 9 months of when the claim was submitted.

If I order a vehicle before the grant rates change, but it is not delivered and registered until after the grant rates change, will I still get a £4,500 / £2,500 grant?

Yes. As long as you order the vehicle before the grant rates change and the dealer has correctly submitted the claim for the vehicle to OLEV. Your dealer will be able to notify you of the grant you will be eligible for at the time of ordering the car.

How will I know when the grant rate has changed?

When the grant rates change we will update the OLEV website to reflect the fact that new grant rates are in effect. We will also email all dealers to let them know, so you can also check with your dealer.

If I place an order before the change in grant rate, is there a time limit for when the car must be delivered?

Yes. Your car must be delivered within 9 months of when your dealer submitted the grant claim to OLEV to be eligible for the plug-in car grant. If it is not delivered within 9 months, the grant claim will be cancelled. If you have any questions, please contact your dealer.

I ordered a vehicle more than 9 months ago and it still hasn’t been delivered / won’t be delivered until after the grant rate change. Will it still qualify for a £4,500 / £2,500 grant?

If a vehicle is not delivered within 9 months of when your dealer submitted the grant claim to OLEV, the grant claim will be cancelled. Please speak to your dealer if you think this applies to your order.

It is not yet 9 November, but my dealer has informed me that the car I wish to purchase is no longer eligible for the full £4,500 / £2,500 grant. Is this correct?

This could happen if sales are particularly high within the transition period and a sales cap is reached. To ensure we can continue to fulfil the grant, we have had to restrict the number of orders that can be made at the higher rates before 9 November. For some cars, the new grant rates could apply before 9 November. However, we will be providing daily updates on orders to all dealers on weekdays during the transition period. Your dealer will notify you of the grant you will be eligible for at the time of ordering the car.

Will the same cars still be eligible for the grant after the grant changes?

No. Once the grant changes for category 2 and 3 vehicles there will no longer be any grant subsidy available for purchase of these vehicles. This will either be on 9 November, or before if sales are higher than expected. However, although they are no longer eligible for the grant, plug-in hybrid vehicles remain a good option for some buyers. They are still ultra low emission vehicles and qualify for other government incentives.

Will the same cars still be eligible for the category 1 grant (currently £4,500) after 9 November?

The eligibility criteria for category 1 vehicles will be unchanged, but the value of the grant will reduce to £3,500.

I’m looking at buying a particular vehicle but can’t see it listed as an eligible vehicle, why not?

Eligible vehicles must meet the criteria for the plug-in car grant, including for CO2 emissions and zero emission range. The most common reason for exclusion of a plug-in car from the list is that it does not meet the CO2 requirement of less than 75g CO2/km. Manufacturers must apply to be eligible for the scheme and provide evidence that their vehicle meets the strict criteria.

However, once the plug-in car grant changes for category 2 / 3 vehicles, we will remove these vehicles from the eligibility page of the OLEV website. Please refer to the OLEV website for more details of the plug-in car grant criteria.

Can I still get an electric vehicle homecharge scheme (EVHS) grant for a car that is no longer eligible for the plug-in car grant?

Yes. All ultra low emission vehicles remain eligible for the electric vehicle homecharge scheme grant, even if they are no longer eligible to receive the plug-in car grant. View a list of vehicles currently eligible for the EVHS grant.

Are vehicles that are no longer eligible for the plug-in car grant still eligible for other forms of local and government support (for example exemptions from congestion charges)?

Eligibility for local government measures is determined by the local authority. You should check with them to see which vehicles are eligible for particular forms of local support.

I want to buy a plug-in van / taxi / motorcycle that is currently eligible for a grant. Will these vehicles still be eligible after 9 November?

Yes. The change in rates applies only to the plug-in car grant.

Got a question? Get in touch

Our helpful customer advisors are available to answer questions and give you the advice and information you need.

Find your next used car

We have used cars currently in stock.

Your Shortlist

You have 0/ 5 vehicle(s) currently in your shortlist.

You currently have no vehicles in your shortlist. Please refresh the page if you have already added a vehicle.