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Where can I charge an electric car in the UK?

Looking to find out more about charging electric vehicles? If you can’t charge at home, here’s how to find your nearest charging station.

There are different ways to charge an electric vehicle

There are different ways to charge an electric vehicle

If you’re thinking of making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV), you’ll want to make sure you’re up to speed on how to charge it.

And the good news is that the number of public charging stations in the UK is increasing. In fact, there’s now more charging points in the UK than petrol stations!

At the start of the year, there were 28,375 public electric vehicle charging devices available in the UK. Of these, 5,156 were rapid devices.

So, if you’re new to the world of EVs, we’ve put together some handy tips to help you get familiar with the process of charging.

First thing’s first, your charging cables…

If you buy an EV, some manufacturers may supply two charging cables, the first option being a three-pin socket and the other being a Type 2. You will require at least a Type 2 if you want to both public and home charge your EV.

Type 2 variants are for cars compatible with fast chargers.

Home charging

Charging at home can be the most convenient and cost-effective way of charging your new electric vehicle. The main thing to consider is if your home is suitable for a charger – for example, do you have dedicated off-street parking where the cables pose no obstruction to the public walkway?

When looking to install a home charger, there may be some government funding available. However, these schemes are subject to change, so it is always advisable to check with the installers.

You can also check when your off-peak charge time is to avoid paying more than you need, while there are also additional government grants available for home charging points – all cost-saving options.

Public charging

Public charging can be used when travelling long distances, topping up when out or if home charging is not an option.

From service stations to supermarket car parks, there are many options. To help you find your nearest charging point, there are some great websites and apps, like ZapMap for example.

These also allow you to filter by different connector types, networks, location, access and payment options, including free-to-use chargers.

Can you charge at work?

Some businesses around the UK have already installed chargers at the workplace.

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a grant that businesses can use to reduce the cost of installing EV charge points for their staff by up to £14,000.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

There are many public charging providers, most of which have two different costs for use – one if you are a member of that network, and one for visitors. Members can usually benefit from lower tariffs.

Want to learn more?


The Arnold Clark Innovation Centre opened last year on Dumbarton Road in Glasgow’s West End with the aim of educating visitors about the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles and why they are becoming so important.

There are more than 60 vehicles on site available to test-drive, from plug-in and self-charging hybrids to fully electric vehicles.

There are no sales at the site, which is specifically an innovation, information, and educational centre.

You can also learn about the different types of charging and generous government tax and grants available if you're thinking of moving to electric.

We have also recently opened a second Innovation Centre in Stafford, England.

About the Author

Fraser Glen