Can EVs park for free?

If you are planning to charge your EV, you can take advantage of many city-centre charge points at which only EVs can park. So, while you're not paying for parking, per se, you are paying for the cost of your battery charge.

 

What are EV car bays?

These are dedicated spaces provided at retail parks and service stations for EV drivers to charge their vehicles. You cannot park there if you don’t intend to charge your vehicle.

All plug-in EVs, including hybrids, can use these bays, but only for the duration of their recharge. A fine may be applied if you park in such bays without charging your car’s battery.

 

What do local councils offer?

Some council car parks offer free parking, but always check signage thoroughly before making this assumption. Many London councils, including Hounslow and Westminster, provide free charging points on the roadside for EVs. Again, these are reserved for EV owners to recharge their vehicles so plug in while you’re there or face a potential fine of up to £130.

What other exemptions apply?

In Birmingham, and some other UK cities, EV drivers are exempt from local congestion charges and ultra-low emission zones (ULEZ) charges.

You can also, of course, park anywhere a petrol or diesel vehicle can park, including free spaces and metered parking places.

How do I know where to park?

Apps like Zapmap and Tesla’s PlugShare provide an interactive and up-to-date map of available EV charging and parking spaces countrywide.

Google Maps will display local facilities if you search “EV charge points near me” and will even allow you to filter by plug type.

What general rules apply to EVs?

It’s a good rule of thumb to assume that all rules of the road apply to EV owners just as much as they do to regular vehicle drivers.

Where exemptions exist, these will always be well signposted.