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Government scraps plug-in car grant

Helping hand for electric car buyers ends just as more and more people consider making the switch

It’s no secret the government plug-in car grant would be gradually scaled back as more buyers made the switch into electric cars. And after reducing the grant from £5,000 to £2,500 and then £1,500 the grant has now been scrapped entirely.
“The scheme has succeeded in creating a mature market for ultra-low emission vehicles, helping to increase the sales of fully electric cars from less than 1,000 in 2011 to almost 100,000 in the first five months of 2022 alone,” says the Department for Transport in the statement confirming the news. “Successive reductions in the size of the grant, and the number of models it covers, have had little effect on rapidly accelerating sales or on the continuously growing range of models being manufactured.” Money earmarked for the grant scheme will now be redirected to other areas where electrification needs additional support, such as taxis, vans, motorbikes and in the creation of the charging infrastructure to support the growing numbers of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on British roads.
While this looks like bad news for private consumers the reduced value of the grant and limited number of smaller electric cars that qualified makes it perhaps less of an impact than it first seems. The combination of increased demand and reduced supply due to ongoing component shortages has also seen some manufacturers restrict ranges to more profitable, higher spec models, Skoda for instance temporarily halting sales of the cheaper 60 version of the Enyaq iV and currently only offering the longer-range 80 like the one we’re running on long-term test .
None of this helps with affordability or accessibility for drivers looking at ever more expensive petrol and diesel and wanting to make the switch, given the potentially cheaper running costs of an electric car. Other incentives remain, though, including cheaper VED and much reduced Benefit In Kind for company drivers while a salary sacrifice scheme can help make an electric car more cost effective if your employer offers it. While the premium models attract a lot of attention there are more accessible electric cars available as well, the MG range scooping various awards and rave reviews from owners in our recent New Car Awards while new entrants like the Ora Funky Cat are bringing the cost of entry down. Or, of course, you could consider a used electric car, more and more of which are now available on Auto Trader. However you choose to do it we’re here to help!

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