Complete guide to the wallbox charger grant

If you’re about to go electric, you’ll need a wallbox charger. Fortunately, there are grants available to make this more affordable

Wallbox chargers make driving an electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid a realistic proposition for daily use. They’re a quick and convenient way to make sure your car is always fully charged whenever you need it.

There are dozen on the market to choose from, from a multitude of suppliers. They vary in cost, but you can soften the blow with a grant from the government.

What is the wallbox grant?

You need to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible, but should you meet this, you’ll receive a 75% contribution, capped at £500 (including VAT) to offset the up-front cost of buying and installing a charging unit. The supplier will be paid directly by the government, so you won’t be asked for payment up-front – although you’ll still need to meet any shortfall between the grant and the total cost.

You’ll need to own, lease, or be named as the primary user of an eligible vehicle, or have a vehicle on order to receive the grant. Helpfully, the grant covers both new and used vehicles. You’ll have to use an installer authorised by the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), too.

You don’t need to wait until you take delivery of the car, although you can’t have the wallbox installed more than four months beforehand. It makes sense to complete the necessary forms as soon as you can, because it’ll minimise any gap between you getting your new car and being able to charge it via a home wallbox.

Am I eligible for the OLEV grant?

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, to give its full title, is available to anyone who has taken ownership of an eligible new or used electric car since 1 October 2016, as long they’ve not claimed before.

The scheme covers individuals who can prove they’ve ordered and bought an electric vehicle. Those leasing an electric car, or leasing as part of a salary sacrifice scheme, are also eligible, as long as the lease lasts at least six months.

Company-car drivers are eligible, too, as long as they’ll have the car for more than six months. The same is true of individuals named by their employer as the primary user of an electric vehicle; however, if the named individual changes within six months, a second grant can’t be claimed.

Assuming you’ve got this far, there are more criteria to meet. You need off-street parking, which in the OLEV’s words must be “associated to the property”. In practice, that means a driveway. If the ‘association’ is unclear, evidence from the land registry or local authority may be required.

Additionally, the off-street parking must be deemed suitable, and will be the subject of a survey by the installer prior to installation. It must also have good access for the vehicle to be charged safely. The installer will also have to bear in mind its own best practices, so will watch for factors such as trip hazards.