The low emission government grant – explained

The rules regarding the Government plug-in car grants changed on 1 March 2016. New car buyers could still be offered a significant contribution towards purchasing a new car, but how much you receive will be subject to new regulations. Read on to find out how this could affect you.

Read our full list of cars currently eligible for the Government plug-in car grant to find the perfect low-emissions car for you before seeing how much you could save using our car configurator. If you’re not sure what to buy, check out our deals pages and car chooser tool.

What cars will be eligible for the government grant?

Plug-in hybrid vehicles will be eligible for a government grant, providing they emit less than 75g/km of CO2 and can travel at least 20 miles in fully electric mode alone. Electric cars must be able to travel at least 70 miles between charges and have to be able to achieve a top speed in excess of 60mph. Both vehicle types must come with a three-year, or 60,000 mile, warranty that covers both the batteries and electric motors.

The size of the grant will vary based on CO2 emissions and electric-only range. Electric vehicles must be able to travel at least 70 miles, while plug-in hybrid vehicles will be judged based on both their pure electric range, and the CO2 emissions of their petrol or diesel engines.

What grant will these cars receive?

Category one

Grants will be offered in three categories, the first being for fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids that emit less than 50g/km of CO2. These vehicles will receive a grant of 35 per cent of the cars value, up to a maximum of £4,500. Cars in this category include the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Up and the BMW i3.

Category two

Category two is for plug-in hybrid vehicles that emit less than 50g/km of CO2 and have a fully electric range of between 10 and 69 miles. These cars will receive the same 35 per cent grant, up to a £2,500 maximum. Cars in this category include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the Audi A3 e-tron and the Toyota Prius Plug-in.

Category three

The third category is for vehicles that emit slightly more CO2 per kilometre – between 50g and 75g, yet have a fully electric range of at least 20 miles. Cars in category three will receive the same grant as category two cars. Cars in this group include the Mercedes S-Class hybrid and Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid.

Any car with a retail price of more than £60,000 will not be eligible in the new government grant, regardless of how little CO2 it emits per kilometre or how far it can travel using electricity alone. For a full list of eligible cars, read out list of electric cars and plug-in hybrids that qualify for a Government grant.

What if I’ve already bought a new car, will I still get the grant?

If you’ve recently bought a new car that was eligible for the old grant scheme, but it hasn’t been delivered yet, you should still receive the old £5,000 contribution. If a new car was purchased and a grant application submitted before 1 March 2016, it will only be subject to the new rules if the expected delivery date is later than nine months after the date of purchase.

Save money on your new car

If you want to join the ranks of low-emission motorists, check out out complete list of the cars that qualify for the new Government plug-in vehicle grant. If you’re not sure what car to buy, read our list of the best electric cars currently on sale or our top 10 plug-in hybrid cars before using our car configurator to get a great deal.

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