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Electric car loans and grants in Scotland: a complete guide

If you live in Scotland and are looking to buy an electric car, there are a number of government schemes to help out

Vauxhall Corsa-e and Renault ZOE

As part of its 'Greener Scotland' initiative, the Scottish Government is currently offering a range of interest-free loans to help buyers make the switch to electric cars. 

Funded by Transport Scotland, the loans are available for new and used electric-car purchases. The new-car loan runs up to £28,000, while the used-car loan is for up to £20,000. Electric motorcycles are also eligible, with loans of up to £10,000 or £5,000 for new and used models respectively available.

The result is a great alternative to paying for your electric car on a more traditional PCP finance deal – something that could make sense if you want to be left with an asset at the end of your term. It's worth paying attention to residual values, however: our guide to the slowest-depreciating electric cars can help you with that.

Read on to find out more about the Scottish Government's loans and how to make use of them.

Electric Vehicle Loan

The Scottish Government's electric-vehicle loan is interest-free and repayable over a maximum of six years. It can provide up to £28,000 towards the cost of a new electric car. The scheme runs until 30 March 2021.

To qualify, a vehicle must already be eligible for the UK Government's Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG), so the same rules apply: no plug-in hybrids and only electric cars up to the value of £50,000, including the recommended retail price, VAT and delivery fees. The good news is that the loan is offered on top of the PiCG discount.

To qualify, the car you intend to buy must be your sole plug-in car. You're not allowed to pay for the car (beyond making a deposit) before receiving your loan, as the scheme does not operate retrospectively.

Applications can be made through a Home Energy Scotland centre – you'll need to contact one to get an application form. And, as with all loans, terms and conditions apply to make sure that you stay on top of repayments.

Used Electric Vehicle Loan 

Just like the new-car loan, the Scottish Government's Used Electric Vehicle Loan is interest-free and repayable over a maximum of five years. It's available to cover the purchase of a used electric car up to the value of £20,000. No end date for this scheme has been set.

As with the new-car loan, only cars that qualify for the UK Government's PiCG are eligible for the Scottish loan. 

Further prerequisites also apply: the used electric car must be bought from a dealer recognised by the Motor Ombudsman, or that's part of the wider National Conciliation Service, which includes the Scottish Motor Trade Association and others. It's definitely worth checking to see if your preferred dealer is eligible before applying. 

As with the new-car loan, a Home Energy Scotland centre will handle the application, and terms and conditions apply.

Domestic Charge Point Grant

Electric vehicle owners in Scotland are eligible for an OLEV grant of up to £350 to install a home wallbox charger, along with up to £300 from the Energy Saving Trust in addition to this. A further £100 is also offered for people living in more remote areas of Scotland, as detailed on the Energy Saving Trust's website. This means that the total available to most residents is £650, or £750 for those in remote areas.

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