Electric cars become less affordable in UK

electric car
(Image credit: Getty)

The UK government has reduced the grant it gives to people for buying electric cars to £2,500. The current level is £3,000 but used to be £4,500 when the initiative was introduced. Under the new grant system, only vehicles under £35,000 will be eligible for the discount (down from £50,000).

Department of Transport officials say they don’t expect this to have an impact on electric vehicle sales — arguing that those who buy the most expensive cars can afford them without the grants. However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said it’s “the wrong move at the wrong time.”

This decision - which comes into effect immediately, on March 18, 2021 - will be disappointing for those looking to buy an electric vehicle. While electric car costs are going down, they are still generally more expensive than petrol alternatives, so this decision could hamper the Government's efforts to ban the sale of new petrol or diesel-only cars by 2030.

What electric cars could you now get? 

The new limit won’t allow you to get a Tesla Model 3 — priced at around £40,000 — but that doesn't mean your electric car dreams are over. There are still some great options to spend your grant on.

For those looking for a car suited to city living, the Renault Zoe could be what you need. Priced at £29,995, the Zoe won’t wow you but we still found a lot to like on our test drive. Alternatively the Citroen eC4, Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia eNiro are great fully electric SUVs for families — coming with plenty of space and technology. All of which start at under £35,000.

Every major car manufacturer is now working on electric vehicles, be they plug-in hybrids or fully electric offerings, and as the number of options across all sizes increases over the coming years, prices will start to get closer to their petrol counterparts - which may offset this reduction in government grant.


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Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.