18 May 2021
The UK Government has announced significant changes in the grant levels for plug-in cars, vans and trucks as well as revising grant eligibility to “re-focus vehicle grants on the more affordable zero emission vehicles, enabling more people to benefit”.
The Government said that the increasing choice of new vehicles, growing demand from customers, and the rapidly rising number of chargepoints prompted the change to provide better value for taxpayers’ money.
Kept a closely guarded secret, the announcement came into force immediately on March 18 to avoid a ‘mad dash’ such as occurred ahead of the change in grant rates in March 2020 which led to a very large spike in orders in the seven hours between the announcement and changes coming into effect at midnight. The Government said that “a similar spike would not be affordable within current budgets”.
The grant rate changes for cars mean that the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) will pay up to 35% of the purchase price, up to £2,500 (down from £3,000) and that to be eligible, cars must cost less than £35,000 (down from £50,000), including VAT and delivery fees.
For the Plug-in Van Grant (PIVG), rates were changed from 20% of the purchase price up to £8,000 to 35% of the price up to £3,000 for small vans and 35% of the price up to £6,000 for large vans (over 2.5t).
There were also changes in the rates and criteria for plug-in trucks , with grants for the largest N3 trucks (over 12t) when these become approved, actually rising to £25,000 (from £20,000).
Since the announcement of the changes in grant levels, several manufacturers have announced reductions in the prices of EV models to enable them to fall under the grant threshold. These include Peugeot, Kia, Hyundai, Vauxhall, Citroen, MG Motor, Nissan and BMW.
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