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Government Grants for Plug-in Vans: Are You Eligible?

A government grant for plug-in vans could help self-employed drivers make their courier jobs more profitable by saving up to £8,000 on the cost of their vans.

Let’s talk about maximising your income and minimising your expenditure. Make your courier jobs as profitable as possible by getting a plug-in grant which covers 20% of the van’s cost. Interested? You should be!

The Plug-in Van Grant

First things first: what is the plug-in van grant? Basically, you could get funding from the government towards the cost of a new electric van. The amount of the grant is automatically deducted from the basic price of the vehicle (including vehicle excise duty, number plates and VAT) when you purchase it. What it boils down to is this: the grant covers 20% of the cost of a van, saving self-employed couriers like yourself up to £8,000.

Van Eligibility Criteria

Now, you’re probably wondering if a self-employed courier like yourself is eligible for a grant application. Let’s find out.

  • New Vans Only

To qualify, the van must belong to the N1, N2 or N3 vehicle categories. In case you were wondering, this includes vehicles that were converted from normal combustion engines into battery or hybrid versions before the van’s first registration. A quick warning though, if the van is a multi-stage built vehicle, it will need to comprise both chassis and bodywork to be accepted.

  • Maximum Emission of 75g/km of CO‚

Courier jobs should be as eco-friendly as possible. For this reason, vans must emit less than 75 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven. If vehicles belong to the N2 or N3 categories, they could still be eligible if there is a certificate to prove that they emit at least 50% less greenhouse gas than an equivalent conventional Euro VI vehicle of the same load carrying capacity.

  • 60-Mile Minimum Travel Distance Between Charges

If the van is fully electric, it must be able to travel at least 60 miles between charges to qualify for a grant. However, if the plug-in van is a hybrid, it requires only a 10-mile electric range. 

  • Minimum Top Speed of 50mph

The van must be able to reach a speed of 50 miles per hour or more (just think how long courier jobs would take if you travelled slower than that!)

  • Required 3-Year Vehicle Warranty

The van must have a 3-year or a 60,000-mile vehicle warranty. The electric drive train, meaning the clutch, gear box, drive shafts, U-joints and differentia, must be under a 3-year guarantee. The battery must also have a 3-year warranty, with the option of extending it for an additional 2 years.

  • Electrically Safe

The van must comply with the (UN-ECE Reg 100.00) regulations to show that it is safe.

  • Crash Safe

As safety is always a priority, the van must be deemed safe in a crash. It must have a minimum EC regulatory standards for volume production, or demonstrate high levels of safety as judged by international standards.

How to Apply

Self-employed couriers will need to make a formal application if they’d like their van model to be eligible for the grant. Don’t hesitate to apply, it’ll facilitate your courier jobs! All you need is an application pack and a user’s guide which you can request from the government’s website.





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Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day self employed courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.


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