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Charging an electric car if you live in a flat

By Stephen Turvil | August 4, 2022


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Despite what some people think, you can charge your electric car from home if you live in a flat. You might even get a grant that pays toward a private charger.

Charging an electric car if you live in a flat

Charging your electric car at home is simple, convenient, and hassle-free if you own a house with a private driveway. Just install the charger and connect a cable. You don’t typically need any type of permission. Life is more complex if you live in a flat that does not have a private driveway. However, you can still charge a car in certain scenarios. 

Install a private electric car charger

Option one is to install an electric car charger in your flat’s private parking bay. However, you may need permission from the landlord if you rent, the freeholder, and the managing agent. You might need other permissions, too. If the charger cable has to pass through public land or a neighbour’s property you have to have legally binding permission before the installation.

EV Chargepoint Grant

The EV Chargepoint Grant minimises the cost of getting a car charger for your flat. It pays 75% towards the cost of a single charger and installation, up to £350 including VAT but you have to meet certain criteria to qualify. In part, you have to own and live in the flat. Alternatively, you can rent the flat or another single use property. You must also have dedicated off-street parking and own, lease, or have ordered an eligible vehicle.

Share a car charger at a flat

If you cannot have a personal charger there is a potential alternative. Although tricky, it may be possible to convince the flat’s freeholder or managing agent to install a series of chargers for any resident. Such a request will be increasingly common as electric models become more popular.

Charge your electric car from a home socket

If your flat is on the ground floor, you can charge a car from a regular socket although if you have wires trailing anywhere you’ll need to make sure there are no trip hazards.

To minimise the risk, you could cover the charge cable with a raised cable protector that makes it more visible and less hazardous.

Public electric car chargers

Public chargers are increasingly common and useful if you cannot charge at your flat. They can be found in town centres, motorway service stations, and workplaces. Many more will follow in due course. You can find your closest charger online and via phone apps.

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