How does home charging work for company car drivers?

Can company car drivers get funding for home charge points?

Most electric and plug-in hybrid cars charging happens at home, and the government is well aware of the importance of getting the right infrastructure in place. It recently issued proposals which could make chargepoints mandatory for all new builds, and has provided grant funding for retrofitting existing properties since 2012. At the moment, this covers up to 75% of the cost of the chargepoint (including installation) up to a maximum £350 per unit. 

Company car (and van) drivers haven’t been left out. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme is open to anyone who is assigned an eligible electric or plug-in hybrid company car for six months or more, including rentals and salary sacrifice schemes. In most cases there’s no need for planning permission, but drivers do have to have their own parking space, even if it’s in a separate car park. Households with two plug-in vehicles can claim twice. 

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This has been made as easy as possible. Some leasing companies will let you add a chargepoint to the same contract as your car or van, pay for it monthly then keep it after the vehicle itself goes back. Unusually, home charging equipment is also not classed as a taxable benefit as long as it’s for a company car. This means your employer could pay to install one at your home, including claiming the grant, and neither of you would be taxed for doing so. 

How do I claim for charging at home?

Here’s where things get a little more complicated. It’s tricky to separate the cost of charging a car from the rest of your home energy bills, let alone differentiating between business and private mileage. HMRC also doesn’t class electricity as a fuel, so utility bill expenses for mixed-use vehicles are taxed as additional income. The burden is then on employers and employees to prove how much of that cost is for business use. 

The easiest route around this administrative headache is to use HMRC’s mileage rates instead. Drivers can claim 4p per mile for business trips in electric vehicles while plug-in hybrid rates are based on the size of their petrol or diesel engine. That should be more than enough to cover the cost of the fuel and electricity used, especially if most of the journey is on battery power.

Improving technology will help. Since 2019, requirements for grant funding were tightened so that only charge points with a data connection are eligible. It’s a first step towards an energy system which will be able to respond to spikes in demand, but it also means some can provide usage data to either a web portal or smartphone app.


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