How to claim for charging your electric company car

Choosing an electric fleet car can plug you in to big tax savings, but how do you claim back for charging costs? This guide to claiming for company car charging has the answer...

Blue Cupra Born plugging in at Ionity charging point

On the face of it, an electric car would appear to be nirvana for many fleet drivers – especially those who can charge up at home.

If you have an electric company car and a home charger, you can plug in overnight then start each morning with a full "tank". Plus, electric cars – and, to a lesser extent, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) – can lead to big benefit-in-kind tax savings.

Even if you don't have your own charger, you can often charge at work, or when you’re out and about during the day. However, there is at least one drawback – it can hard to get a receipt to claim back the cost of the charge.

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Home charging isn’t perfect, either. After all, how do you know how much electricity has been used to charge your car overnight, when you’ve been cooking, watching TV and so on?

Well, read on, because we can help you to make sense of it all...

How to claim for home charging costs

Using a home charger is a very convenient way to "fill up" your electric fleet car (or charge your PHEV battery to get the best efficiency). You just get home, plug it in, eat, watch TV, go to sleep, and wake up with recharged batteries. And so does your car. Easy.

The tricky bit comes when you have to differentiate the electricity used to recharge the car from everything else in your house. Thankfully, technology is your friend.

If your charge point was fitted since 2019, it should have a data connection that allows it to monitor how much electricity has been used to recharge your car. Better still, you should be able to access the information from anywhere using an associated app or website.

There’s another benefit to mastering the tech: you'll also be able to schedule your charger to top up the car when your energy provides is applying the lowest rate (i.e. overnight).

Better still, some of the latest chargers can – if you wish – be linked to your employer's computer system, which allows the payroll department to know exactly how much to reimburse you each month without you submitting a claim.

Read more: The best electric company cars 

How electric car mileage rates work

Good news – fleet car drivers with electric cars can claim back the cost of a business trip using the advisory electric rate (AER) of 9p per mile. That's roughly equivalent to the amount an overnight charge from your home charger would cost.

However, the AER rate of 9p per mile can feel a bit like HMRC is being a bit mean if you need to charge up from a public rapid charger because such chargers are expensive. Still, you can then approach your employer to have the reimbursement rate adjusted.

Fortunately, the charging industry is changing to make life easier for fleet car drivers and their employers. A number of fuel-card providers now allow drivers to use a card to recharge, after which the company simply bills the driver’s employer directly.

Also, while any higher-mileage fleet car driver at the wheel of an electric car is likely to end up with accounts from various charging providers, companies such as Zap-Map are trying to bring everything into a one-stop-shop app that uses just one account.

And that account can email a receipt to the driver after every charging session, which can then be forwarded to the company, making it much simpler to claim for charging up.

Note that if you have a PHEV car, there’s a different rate that’s based on the size of its combustion engine – the advisory fuel rate (AFR).

Read more: Advisory fuel rates explained

Charging your electric car at work

Charging at your employer’s place of business is pretty much the easiest way to keep your car topped up, because there are no expenses involved.

That means it’s worth getting up a bit early so you can nab one of the chargers before anyone else gets in. If your workplace doesn't have chargers, it's time to ask your boss to look into the best options for having them installed – or do some research to pass on to them.

What's the easiest way to charge an electric company car?

The simplest way to recharge your electric fleet car is to do so at work because then you won't have to claim back the cost. And the next best option is to use the AER to claim for electricity from your own charger.

If neither of those is an option, you must use all the technology available to keep receipts – paper and email – so you can tot up your charging costs and what mileage you’ve covered.

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