Currently reading: How does home charging work for company car drivers?
‘Refuelling’ at home is one of the biggest perks of going electric, but claiming those costs back isn’t quite as straightforward as with a petrol or diesel car

Can company car drivers get funding for home charge points?

Most of the charging of electric and plug-in hybrid cars happens at home and the government is well aware of the importance of getting the right infrastructure in place. Incoming regulations across the UK will require chargepoints (or wiring for them) in all new build houses, and there’s financial support for retrofitting existing properties too.

 

Company car (and van) drivers haven’t been left out of the latter. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme covers up to 75% of the cost of the chargepoint (including installation) capped at £350 per unit, and it’s available to drivers who have been assigned an eligible electric or plug-in hybrid company car for six months or more, including rentals and salary sacrifice schemes.

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However, there’s bad news for homeowners in houses and bungalows, as they’re no longer able to claim. With registrations gathering pace, OZEV is focusing on supporting installations at rental properties and blocks of flats, as long as drivers have their own parking space. 

The process is straightforward. Most installations don’t require planning permission, and some leasing companies will let you add a chargepoint to the same contract as your car or van, pay for it monthly then keep it after the vehicle itself goes back. Unusually, home charging equipment is also not classed as a taxable benefit, as long as it’s for a company car. This means your employer could pay to install one at your home, including claiming the grant, and neither of you would be taxed for doing so. 

How do I claim for charging at home?

Here’s where things get a little more complicated. It’s tricky to separate the cost of charging a car from the rest of your home energy bills, let alone differentiating between business and private mileage. HMRC also doesn’t class electricity as a fuel, so utility bill expenses for mixed-use vehicles are taxed as additional income. The burden is then on employers and employees to prove how much of that cost is for business use. 

The easiest route around this administrative headache is to use HMRC’s mileage rates instead. Drivers can claim 5p per mile for business trips in electric vehicles while plug-in hybrid rates are based on the size of the petrol or diesel engine. The latter should be more than enough to cover the cost of the fuel and electricity used, especially if most of the journey is on battery power.

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Improving technology will help. Since 2019, chargepoints have had to include a data connection to be eligible for a grant and, with funding criteria changing from April, all new home and workplace installations will have to have this from June 2022.  

It’s a first step towards an energy system which will be able to respond to spikes in demand, but it also means some can provide usage data to either a web portal or smartphone app. 

In turn, this has enabled modern chargepoints be integrated with a payroll system, accurately recording what you’re forking out for electricity and automatically paying you back as part of your monthly wages. However, not all of them are designed for company car drivers, where that energy is used for both private and business journeys.

Alex Grant

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Daan 15 January 2022

Here is how it's done in Holland: a smart meter measures the electricity used to charge my company EV and the power company (Eneco) charges the cost of that electricity directly to my company. The technology is there and works like a charm.

superstevie 14 January 2022

It is a complete nightmare, and needs fixing. I had the option to go electric when picking my new company car, and I really wanted to get one, but I have the issue of living in a flat, with unallocated private parking. To get a charger installed, thats not as simple as it is made out to be in this article. Even if you have a dedicated space, how do you get power to it easily? If it is unallocated, then all home owners will need to agree to paying for one to be installed, and trust me when I say that isn't easy! 

The ones our factors wanted to install would make the cost of around 9p per mile,  which is 4p a mile more than the rate I could claim back for business mileage. As it currently stands, I would be out of pocket unless I prove it to HMRC what I have paid. No doubt that will be a hassle.

There is so much work that needs doing to make the switch to electric easier for everyone, and that includes those who can't charge at home, and sorting out the mess for company car drivers