In March 2016, the government changed the levels of the plug in car grants. To encourage drivers away from diesel and petrol vehicles and into a plug in or hybrid, the government are offering subsidies. Under the previous scheme a flat rate of £5,000 was on offer. Fortunately, the government has not ditched the deal completely but has made significant changes to it.
Rather than a flat rate applying to all vehicles, 3 categories have been introduced:-
- Category 1 – CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emissions range of at least 70 miles.
- Category 2 – CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emissions range of between 10 and 69 miles.
- Category 3 – CO2 emissions of 50g/km to 75g/km and a zero emissions range of at least 20 miles.
The amounts on offer has changed, the grants have been cut from £5,000 to £4,500 for Category 1 vehicles and £2,500 for Category 2 and 3 vehicles. The justification for doing this is there is only a certain amount of money available for these schemes and what there is is being spread as far as possible. These grant levels will be maintained until March 2017 or until a set number of grants have been provided. It is willing to give out 85,000 grants, however the bad news is that it is counting the 51,000 that were handed out under the previous scheme. This means that there are still 34,000 available and considering the volume of qualifying car sales, the money should last until the March 2017 deadline.
Remember, before buying such a vehicle do your sums as although the running costs are likely to be better the purchase price (even with the grant) will be higher compared to diesel models.