Thinking about switching to an electric car?

By Adele Barry

Electric vehicle (EV) sales are booming, registrations are at an all-time high and news this week shows the UK has replaced France as Europe’s second largest electric car market after Germany.  

In the first quarter of this year battery powered electric vehicles tripled, accounting for 7.5% of car sales in the UK with more than 30,000 sold.

Uptake has not waivered during the pandemic either, just under 11% of new cars sold in 2020 were a form of EV. We have noticed a surge in enquiries for electric vehicles to lease and demand does not appear to be slowing.


Tax changes introduced last year have been one of the reasons for the increase in uptake according to experts.

EVs are exempt from road tax but Incentives aimed at business drivers mean some company car drivers can save more than £2,000 in benefit-in-kind tax by opting for an EV.

Tax rates on salary sacrifice schemes and company cars have fallen from 16% to zero for many models, leading to a surge in demand as drivers opt for zero tax options.


The cost of EVs has been a concern for many motorists. List prices are in general more expensive than petrol or diesel counterparts, but we advise anyone considering an EV to calculate the whole life costs of the model you are interested in.

When leasing an EV, if the monthly rental is more expensive than a traditionally fuelled model, look at the complete running costs over the term of your lease.

The amount spent on fuel will be considerably lower over the lease period and overall running costs could be cheaper over the lease period.

In 2018 the government removed grants for new plug-in hybrids and subsidies on all-electric cars were reduced from £4,500 to £3,500.

Last month it updated the electric vehicle grant scheme which is now targeting more affordable models.

Grants are lower than 2018 figures but from March 2021 the government will provide grants of up to £2,500 for electric vehicles on cars priced under £35,000. Grants are unavailable on cars priced over £35,000.

There are also grants available for installing a charging point at your home. You can claim back up to 75% which is equivalent to £350 off the cost of installing a charger on some appliances. See the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme for more information.

Speaking at the launch of the new grant scheme, transport minister Rachel Maclean said:

“We want as many people as possible to be able to make the switch to electric vehicles as we look to reduce our carbon emissions, strive towards our net-zero ambitions and level up right across the UK.

“The increasing choice of new vehicles, growing demand from customers and rapidly rising number of chargepoints mean that, while the level of funding remains as high as ever, given soaring demand, we are refocusing our vehicle grants on the more affordable zero emission vehicles – where most consumers will be looking and where taxpayers’ money will make more of a difference.

“We will continue to review the grant as the market grows.”


For information on electric vehicles including the latest offers on electric vehicles to lease call 0800 096 6488 or visit


• Grants available for electric vehicles

• EV charging points across the UK