Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs 

Where can I find reliable and impartial information about electric vehicles?

There are a number of websites providing a essential information and guidance on choosing and running an electric or low emission vehicle, these include:

  • www.goultralow.com is a joint campaign between government and the car industry to provide all the facts and information you need to make an informed decision about switching to an EV.
  • www.ev-database.org is an independent website providing comprehensive information and data on every EV available (and upcoming models) including both real-world and official data
  • www.zap-map.com is the UK’s leading charging point website providing both an interactive charge point map but also general supporting information on EVs and charging
How many makes and models of hybrid and electric vehicles are there?
The number of makes and models of electric cars is increasing with hybrid and electric versions of almost every vehicle type. From the supermini to large SUVs, commercial vehicles and high performance cars. https://ev-database.uk/ is a really good resource for seeing what vehicles are out at the moment and what their stats are.
What are hybrid and electric cars like to drive?

Many notice driving an electric vehicle is quiet compared to a diesel or petrol vehicle. Electric cars also have instant responses when accelerating due to 100% of torque being available at all times. Most EVs have their batteries in the floor, resulting in a low centre of gravity and therefore good handling and smoother driving.

Driving a Hybrid vehicle similar to driving a conventional automatic car, so there's little compromise on performance. Most strong hybrids will have a choice of power modes, too, ranging from eco to power, enabling the driver to choose maximum efficiency or performance depending on the driving conditions

What is the range of an electric vehicle?
The electric range of an EV varies by make and model with published WLTP figures starting around 120 miles but going up to more than 350 miles.

It is important to remember that real-life driving performance (just like a petrol or diesel car) is likely to be different to the published WLTP range figures and so some consideration needs to be given to the specific model chosen ev-database.org shows the average real life range of all electric vehicles as being 188 miles.
What are the governments financial incentives for buying hybrid or electric cars

The government offers grants towards the cost of plug-in hybrid or electric cars to encourage more people to buy them. The www.gov.uk website provides full comprehensive information on this, but here is a quick summary.

a. The grant:
There is a grant towards the cost of a new electric vehicle, though conditions apply. Up to a maximum of £3,000 depending on the model.
The ‘cost’ is the full purchase price you pay for the vehicle. This includes number plates, vehicle excise duty and VAT. But it doesn’t include any delivery charges, the first registration fee or optional extras. You also don't need to do anything when purchasing the dealership handles everything and includes the grant in the price.

b. Eligibility:
There are 4 categories of eligible vehicles, sorted by their emission levels. The grant you get depends on the category, which is explained in full on the government’s website.

c. How to claim:
The amount of your grant will be automatically deducted from the price of your plug-in car when you buy it. There are no forms to fill in – the dealership will handle the paperwork. But you may be asked to complete a short questionnaire.

There are also other grants/benefits available for individuals or business installing charge points at home or the workplace.

Will electric or hybrid vehicles be delivered with a charging cable?
This varies between manufacturers so please check when ordering your vehicle(s).
What's the difference between standard contract hire and hybrid or electric contract hire?
There is no difference, it’s exactly the same as taking any other type of vehicle on contract hire with us.
Will I need to pay road tax for an electric vehicle?
Electric cars are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty – otherwise known as road tax, but it's worth noting that some low-emissions diesel and petrol cars also attract a zero-rating.
How will the Benefit-In-Kind tax payment be calculated for a hybrid or electric vehcle?
Current company car BIK rates start at 0% for pure-electric cars, 3% for new PHEV models, 21% for the greenest hybrids, and 23% for any car with 100 g/km CO2 or more. 
Do hybrid and electric vehicles need regular servicing and an MOT?
Yes, electric and hybrid vehicles still require MOTs and regular servicing. Servicing costs however, can be a lot cheaper in some circumstances.
How long will the battery last for my electric vehicle?
The lifespan of EV batterys are still mainly unknown, however some manufactures have a 5 year warranty on their battery and components, and state it will last up to 10 years. It is worth checking before ordering your vehicle whether that is the case for the model chosen.
What sort of range can I expect from hybrid and electric vehicles?
Previously ranges were quite short but most electric vehicles available on the market today can now drive for at least 100 miles, while some newer cars have a range closer to 300 miles (depending on terrain, speed and climate). Hybrids will always have a much smaller electric range (typically 20-30 miles) but they have a petrol or diesel engine to fall back on when the battery power is running low.
What happens if my hybrid or electric vehicle runs out of charge?

Just like a petrol or diesel car, when your Hybrid vehicle is nearing the end of its charge, its time to refuel or in this case, find a charging point or petrol station as soon as you can.

For battery Electric vehicles if your vehicle runs out of charge before you are able to find a charging point you will need to call for breakdown assistance with your current provider. If you are a Pendragon Vehicle Management customer call the driver helpline on 0800 581 639 and select option 1 for roadside assistance.

How can I charge my hybrid or electric vehicle when out and about?
There are more than 25,000 car-charging points across the UK. There are different speeds of charging, including rapid chargers, which, depending on your battery size, take only 30 minutes to charge your car to 80% of its battery capacity. To see every electric vehicle charging station across the UK simply visit zap-map.com
What is the cost of running and charging an electric vehicle?

When charging your vehicles each recharge costs roughly £2.50-£3, and may cost more at peak times and depending on the electricity provider. If you travel an average of 12,000 miles per annum, this equates to £300-£360 per year in electricity costs, which is significantly less than travelling the same miles using a petrol or diesel engine.

Using Government-approved, public charging points can often be free. This Government/Local Authority-backed schemes are likely to continue as an incentive to increase the use of EV's. 

Do I need to pay to use a public charge point?
Many charge points are free to use but there are some that require a small payment for a flat connection fee or a cost per charging time. The majority of fast and rapid chargers require payment. Charging tariffs tend to comprise a flat connection fee, a cost per charging time (pence per hour) and/or a cost per energy consumed (pence per kWh). For most public charging points, you will need to download their smartphone app and create an account to use their services. However there are an increasing number of rapid units being installed that have contactless PAYG card readers. 
What ppm will be reimbursed to the driver who uses their electric or hybrid vehicle for business miles?

The official mileage rate for electric company cars is 4 pence per mile. HMRC calls this rate the Advisory Electricity Rate (AER). For example, if an employee travels 10,000 business miles in their fully electric company car, they can receive £400 in mileage for the tax year free of tax or NIC.

What are the approved mileage allowance payments (AMAPs) for electric vehicles?

If employees are using their own vehicle for business use, they can claim tax free Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs) in the same way as for petrol or diesel cars: 45p per mile for the first 10,000 business miles in the financial year and 25p per mile thereafter.

So if an employee travels 10,000 miles for business purposes in their own fully electric car they could claim 10,000 x 45p = £4,500.  The AMAP rate is higher than the AFR rate because it covers fuel costs as well as running costs such as MOT and repairs.

Do I need to install an electric charging point at the workplace?

If you are switching your fleet over to hybrid and electric vehicles it is a good idea to have charging points installed at sites where your electric fleet will be operating from. Get in touch with our team on 01332 292777 for advice on the options available to you and your business. 

Salary Sacrifice FAQs

Why should you choose a low emission vehicle if you are in Pendragon's Let's Drive Salary Sacrifice Scheme?
Choosing an electric or an ultra low emission car on a salary sacrifice scheme allows employees to make income tax and National Insurance savings as the monthly amount is taken from gross salary. Benefit in Kind will be 0% on pure electric vehicles in 2020-21 and lower new bands for cars below 75g/ km have also been introduced lowering the company car tax due.
How do I know what low emission vehicles I can choose on salary sacrifice?
If you are a Pendragon Salary Sacrifice customer, when you log into the Pendragon quotation system you will be able to choose from hundreds of vehicles and get all inclusive quotations that take into account your insurance policy.
What will a low emission Salary Sacrifice vehicle cost?

The amount of salary to be sacrificed each month depends on the make and model of vehicle you choose, your mileage requirements and the length of the contract needed.

You agree to sacrifice a portion of your salary in return for a non-cash benefit (similar to Child care vouchers). This enables you to fund a brand new lease car from your gross salary including maintenance, tyres, fully comprehensive insurance, breakdown cover and road tax.

The car is classed as a company car (no credit check needed) and is declared on your P11d as a Benefit in Kind (BIK). Providing a low emission vehicle is chosen, the savings will outweigh the cost of the BIK tax.

Your total salary sacrifice deductions do not take your pay below the minimum wage.

What is included in the cost of a Salary Sacrifice vehicle?

Your monthly wage deduction covers the following:

  • The leasing costs of the vehicle 
  • Fully comprehensive insurance 
  • Breakdown and roadside assistance 
  • Tyres and servicing  
  • Accident management  
  • Road fund licence (Road tax) 
  • GAP insurance
How do I get a quote from Pendragon for a Salary Sacrifice vehicle?

If you are a Pendragon Salary Sacrifice customer, when you log into the Pendragon quotation system you will be able to choose from hundreds of vehicles and get all inclusive quotations that take into account your insurance policy. Speak to your Line Manager about how to request login details.

Please note: Your order will not be processed until your driving licence has been checked. This will also be necessary for your spouse or other family members who may have occasional use of the vehicle. After your order has been authorised by HR you will receive an email from PVM requesting your licence details.

Do drivers with electric or hybrid vehicles on Salary Sacrifice need to install an electric charging point at their home?
It is entirely up to your drivers whether they want an electric charging point at their home. All electric cars can be charged with the classic 3 pin socket like you would any other device. This method is however the slowest option and is best completed overnight. A lot of electric car drivers opt for a dedicated electric charge point installed in their garage or driveway or charge their vehicles at one of the 10,000+ public charging points across the UK. 
What if I can't charge my vehicle at home?

You do not have to charge your electric or hybrid vehicle at home, but if you don't or your can't you will find that running an EV will be that bit harder for you but not impossible with a bit of forethought and planning. It is an idea to understand your daily driving patterns: how far you are driving, where can you regularly charge and the types of charger available. 

If you research your local charging options and the options on your regular longer journeys to decide whether you can utilise them without any significant disruption to your normal daily activities.

You also need to remember that public charging (in particular rapid and supercharging) is more expensive than home charging which will impact your mileage costs.