EV Charging Point Grants for Landlords
There are three significant reasons that electric vehicle (EV) charging points are rising to the top of a tenant’s wish list – particularly for professionals who are more likely to have company cars:
- Electric cars are exempt from road tax, and the declarable P11D benefit for business vehicles is now at 2%.
- Exact savings vary, but picking a hybrid or electric company car can mean a tax reduction of over £1,000 a month per individual.
- The government will ban the sale of new petrol or diesel cars from 2030, part of the reason behind the 7% rise in battery-operated electric vehicles sold last year.
These factors mean that having an EV charging point is a big priority for tenants, making it a serious consideration for landlords looking to boost their rental income.
Let’s look at how much an EV point will cost, what it will add to your portfolio value, and how to apply for grant funding support.
The Cost of Fitting EV Charging Points to Rental Properties
EV installation costs depend a little on the rating of the charging point:
- A slow charger rated between 3kW and 6kW costs around £250 to £500 plus VAT, at an average of £375 for supply only. These chargers take 12 hours to charge a longer-range car and six to eight hours for a compact vehicle.
- Faster chargers can power up an electric vehicle in two to four hours and supply 7kW to 22kW of energy. Each charging unit costs £450 to £800 (plus VAT) and £625 on average.
- If you hire an electrician to fit the device and carry out the installation service, the total cost will likely be around £1,000 – government grants notwithstanding.
Although it might seem rather a lot to spend on a high capacity plug socket, the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) estimates that this relatively minor project could add around £5,000 to the value of every home.
Why Catering to Electric Vehicles is Such a Focus for the Private Rental Market
One of the challenges for the government is that, although EV purchases have risen sharply, there aren’t enough public charging points to service demand. There are around 25,000 charging points across the UK, but the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) suggests that ten times more are required. People living in more rural areas in West Sussex may also have to drive a considerable distance to find a charging location.
London has 80 chargers per 100,000 people, compared to 20 in less dense urban areas. The CMA has also warned about steep charges for using public charging stations, which is likely to come to the fore in the next few years as we get closer to the 2030 sale ban on conventionally fuelled vehicles.
Plugging a car into a regular socket isn’t an option. With a standard power supply, you’d be looking at 35+ hours plus per vehicle – and excessive utility bills. These aspects make a property with an affordable, private and easily accessible EV charger a tremendous selling point.
Landlords have a few options that could be a bonus in terms of rental income:
- Smart chargers are app-enabled, so a tenant can choose to charge their vehicle overnight when utility costs are at their lowest.
- Tethered wall units have a power lead attached and make it as simple as pulling into the drive and plugging the car in.
- Applying for a government grant can reduce the initial investment by up to 75%.
There are grant eligibility requirements, such as being VAT registered and trading as an incorporated business. Still, if you own rental accommodation with off-road parking, you could benefit from property appreciation, high demand and your choice of tenant, covering only a proportion of the outlay.
How Can Landlords Apply for an EV Charging Point Government Grant?
The Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV) manages the newest grant scheme, replacing the earlier Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS).
Landlords can apply, as can tenants and property owners, with grants of up to £350. Commercial property owners can also apply, with a maximum grant of £35,000 covering a £350 contribution to a cap of 100 sockets. HMO property owners can take advantage of this flexibility, and potentially secure grant funding to fit a charging point for every unit within their building
Eligibility criteria include:
- Being registered with Companies House and VAT registered.
- Owning an off-road parking area – such as a car park, garage or driveway.
- Applying for up to 200 grants per year for residential rental properties.
As we’ve discovered, the cost of different EV charging points varies. Still, grants could cover the majority of the investment in a slow charger, over half of the expense of a rapid charger, and towards a third of the full installation service.
The scheme is currently operated on a manual application basis, whereby you register with the DVLA using a Grant Registration Form and then select an approved installer.
Installers apply for the grant funding directly and provide evidence, so as a landlord, you do not need to pay upfront and claim the contribution back. Later this year, the application process will become digital and better automated, with less form-filling involved.
Keeping Pace With New Property Rating Regulations
Now seems an optimal time to consider small investments in a property that could amount to a sizeable return and safeguard against developing regulations. In April of this year, we published a guide explaining the changes to energy performance certificates and the need to comply within three years.
Installing an EV point won’t directly impact your EPC grading, but it will demonstrate an awareness of changing consumer attitudes and mean your rental property has advanced future-ready features. You can find more about What is the EPC Band C Rating online, including information about equivalent grants available to help cover the costs of property upgrades.
If you would like to discuss EV charging points, rental demand and overall property letting opportunities, please contact Tod Anstee at your convenience. As a leading West Sussex property agent, our lettings team can advise you on the upgrades worth investing in and signpost you to further funding that we think will be beneficial.