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Business and charity

The benefits of electric cars for charities


First published: December 2022

With the government taking the next step towards net-zero with the end of the sale of new and petrol cars by 2030, is it the right time for your charity to think about making the switch to electric vehicles?

Endsleigh has been offering charity motor insurance to charities and not-for-profits for over 30 years. Here’s our take on whether your charity could benefit from the switch to electric.

White SUV charging at an electronic charging port

Advantages of electric vehicles for charities

Tax and grant benefits

With government-funded grants and further savings on fuel, vehicle maintenance and road taxes up for grabs, it’s not just the environment that could benefit when you purchase an electric car. Depending upon the type of vehicle you choose, it could be well worth looking at the tax advantages electric vehicles can offer to your organisation, employees and volunteers.

Tax benefits for electric cars in the UK

Road tax - pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are exempt from road tax, while plug-in hybrids pay a reduced amount.

Fuel duty - as electricity is not a fuel, there is currently no fuel benefit charge for battery electric cars.

Capital allowances - for expenditure incurred on new and unused fully electric cars (0g/km of CO2), 100% first-year allowances are available.

Salary sacrifice - there are income tax and national insurance tax advantages when employee salary is reduced in exchange for the provision of a ULEV as a benefit in kind.

Find out more about applicable tax exemptions on the government website here.

Government grants for electric cars

Some types of low-emission vehicles are eligible for a government electric vehicle grant, so you can buy them more cheaply. You don’t need to apply for the grant, the seller includes it as a discount in the purchase price.

Discounts on brand new low-emission vehicles via the government’s “Plug-in” grants, provides:

  • Up to £2,500 off the price of a small van such as a Citroen e-Berlingo or a Renault Kangoo ZE.
  • Up to £5,000 off the price of a large van such as a Fiat e-Ducato or Ford E-Transit (Leader).
  • Up to £16,000 off a small truck. The two eligible vehicles for this discount are FUSO eCanter and a Paneltex Z75.

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Funding for electric car charging points

The Workplace Charging Scheme is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the upfront costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle (EV) charge points. The grant covers up to 75% of the total costs of the purchase and installation (capped at a maximum £350 per socket and 40 sockets across all sites per applicant).

The world is becoming more electric-friendly generally, with rapid-network charging stations available in convenient public locations. These stations allow drivers to charge on the move, usually in 20-30 minutes – so you don’t have to worry about being caught out on long journeys.

Savings on maintenance

The electric motors, batteries and transmission of electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than a petrol or diesel car, so overall, they require much less maintenance.

The battery is proven technology that will last for years. Many EV manufacturers guarantee the battery for eight years or 100,000 miles. And the good news is, if you’re driving a zero emission vehicle you’ll be eligible for 100% discount on London’s Congestion Charge zones.

Reducing your charity's environmental impact

With increasing attention on our global impact on the environment, there’s never been a better time go carbon-zero.

Not only could you make great cost savings by reducing your organisation’s carbon emissions, but doing so could be a simple way to show existing and prospective employees and service users that environmental issues are a priority.

CSR benefits for your charity

Potential employees and customers are looking at businesses’ sustainability policies more and more. This includes their overall attitude to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the environment. Introducing electric vehicles could be seen as a powerful message and position your business as a forward-thinking company that’s mindful of the environment.

Setting environmental concerns at the heart of your business can be a key part of demonstrating your CSR. It can help you grow your brand value and reputation, attract loyal staff and customers, build credibility and help your business gain a sustainable competitive advantage.

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Overall advantages of electric vehicles

To sum up, buying electric vehicles for your charity can give you and your employees some great tax benefits. Not only do the government grants on the purchase of electric vehicles make them more affordable, but there is funding available for the installation of charge points. Add that to the lower cost of maintenance and the ‘green’ image you are portraying to your customers, electric cars are surely an option well worth looking into?

Charity motor insurance

If your organisation uses any type of vehicle to carry out its day-to-day activities, it’s your legal obligation to make sure staff, volunteers and service users are protected against any additional risks they may encounter on the road.

With over thirty years’ experience, we work with market-leading insurers and aim to get the right cover at a competitive price. As well as charity motor insurance for electric cars, we offer a wider range of options including cover for public and employers’ liability, business interruption, cyber liability, directors’ and officers’, risk management, buildings and contents, motor insurance and more.

Find out more about charity motor insurance.


Does your charity earn under £250K?

From property damage insurance to public liability insurance for small charities, find out more about small charity insurance with Markel Direct.

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