Hailing from its head office in West London, The Electric Car Scheme was the brainchild of co-founders Thom Groot and Tom Eilon, and launched in June 2020.
Their plan for the business was to make government tax incentives for electric cars easily accessible.
When the government rolled out the salary sacrifice tax incentive in April 2020, aimed at encouraging employees to use electric vehicles, the duo found the process challenging and unsatisfactory for businesses like theirs.
What sets The Electric Car Scheme apart is that other schemes on the market often expect businesses to shoulder the early exit fees if employees take leave, the Electric Car Scheme works to protect employers from these risks.
The Electric Car Scheme Pros & Cons
- Competitive Lease Deals
- Reduced Business Risk
- Variety in Car Selection
- All-Inclusive Package
- Flexible Contracts
- Eligibility Limitations
- Dependence on Employer’s Criteria
We selected these pros and cons based on the criteria that Electric Car Guide customers identified as the most important to them in our survey of EV owners. We also researched real-world customer reviews on Trustpilot (both positive and negative) and compared The Electric Car Schemes features with its nearest competitors.
Am I eligible for the Electric Car Scheme?
Eligibility for the Electric Car Scheme largely depends on your employer’s specific criteria and your personal financial circumstances.
It’s important to note that while no credit checks are performed on individual employees, the company will undergo a credit check since the car is leased through them.
Typical eligibility requirements include:
- Being at least 21 years old.
- Having completed a minimum of 6 months of service with the company and being outside of probation.
- Earning a salary of at least £20,000 after accounting for all salary sacrifice reductions.
- Holding a full driving licence for at least 6 months, and having no more than 6 current points for anyone intending to drive the vehicle.
However, even if you meet these criteria, entry to the scheme remains at the discretion of the employer. If your employer is registered with the scheme, it’s likely you can access it, but always consult with them directly to understand the full eligibility criteria.
The Electric Car Scheme features at a glance
|Contract||Salary Sacrifice Lease or Subscription|
|Minimum term||Lease: 24 months|
Subscription: 12 months
|Early terminiation details||The Electric Car Scheme's approach to early termination fees stands out as one of the most transparent we've come across. Should a lease end before its term, there are a few different scenarios that dictate who has the responsibility for the termination fees: |
The Electric Car Scheme will take on the costs for cases such as redundancy or dismissal after two months, resignation post three months, Family Friendly Leaves (covering statutory maternity, paternity, and adoption), long-term sickness, death, or when an employee defaults on their payments.
Employees are liable for the fees if they resign within the first three months, lose their driving license, breach lease terms, face dismissal for specific reasons, or if the car is written off or stolen – this is typically addressed by the car insurance provider.
On the other hand, employers are responsible for costs arising from redundancy or dismissal occurring within the initial two months of the lease. This clear division of accountability ensures all parties are well-informed from the outset.
|Deposit required||No Deposit|
|Charging benefits||Salary-Sacrifice Integration: Purchase your new charging point through The Electric Car Scheme and include the charger cost in your salary-sacrifice package.|
When consulting with The Electric Car Scheme, you'll get a direct referral to their preferred charging partner, Smart Home Charge.
|Number of models available||Customers of the Electric Car Scheme can opt for any electric car available in the UK market. |
This range of choices might be influenced by the employer’s set eligibility criteria, such as minimum salary requirements and the duration of employment.
|Whats included?||Heres what's included with the Electric Car Scheme:|
The Car: Any brand and model at competitive prices.
Servicing: Maintenance, tyre replacement, MOT, and breakdown cover.
Insurance: Comprehensive NIG coverage with GAP insurance.
Home Charger: Installed by 'Which? Trusted Traders Smart Home Charge'.
Flexible Terms: 1-year subscriptions or cars while waiting for delivery.
Public Charging: Salary sacrifice options for wider EV accessibility.
|Car purchase option||When the agreement ends, employees can potentially purchase the electric car at a set price or return it. They can also renew with a different EV or exit the scheme.|
|Trust Pilot Rating||4.6 (November 2023)|
|Pros||Reduced Business Risk|
Competitive Lease Deals
Variety in Car Selection
Dependence on Employer's Criteria
|Eligibility||Eligibility for the Electric Car Scheme is based on both employer criteria and an employee's financial circumstances. |
Typical requirements include being over 21, having six months of company service outside of probation, earning over £20,000 post-salary sacrifice, and holding a clean driving licence.
However, final admission to the scheme rests with the employer's discretion.
|Delivery cost||Varies depending on the vehicle provider|
|Lead time||Varies depending on the vehicle provider|
|Salary Sacrifice||The Electric Car Scheme specialises in salary sacrifice. |
The scheme stands out by minimising risks for businesses, avoiding hefty early exit fees, and offering competitive lease deals that capitalise on the tax benefits.
The Electric Car Scheme full review
Born from a vision of making Salary Sacrifice Schemes easier to navigate for businesses, The Electric Car Scheme took its roots in West London under the insightful leadership of Thom Groot and Tom Eilon in June 2020.
The Electric Car Scheme wants to help individuals and businesses reap the financial rewards offered by the government for adopting electric vehicles.
The Electric Car Scheme offers flexible contract options. Choose between a subscription with a minimum term of 12 months or a lease agreement that starts with a 24-month commitment.
Early termination protection
The Electric Car Scheme’s early termination fee policy is among the most transparent we’ve examined to date. If a lease ends prematurely, the responsibility of who covers the fees is as follows:
The Electric Car Scheme covers fees in cases of:
- Redundancy or dismissal after the initial two months.
- Resignation after three months.
- Family Friendly Leaves, including statutory maternity, paternity, and adoption.
- Long-term illness or the unfortunate event of death.
- Situations where an employee fails to pay their dues.
The Employee is accountable for fees in the event of:
- Resignation within the first three months.
- Losing their driving license, breaching the lease terms, or being dismissed for a specific cause.
- The car being written off or stolen, this is usually dealt with by the car insurance provider.
The Employer bears the cost in instances of:
- Redundancy or dismissal within the first two months of the lease.
This policy provides clarity for all parties involved, the Electric Car Scheme work hard to make sure there should be no hidden surprises.
The Electric Car Scheme let you leverage the benefits of salary sacrifice to install a home EV charger. This means that the cost of the charger can be spread out and deducted directly from your gross salary, along with the car.
The Electric Car Scheme offer a direct referral to their charging partner, Smart Home Charge.
What’s included with The Electric Car Scheme?
It really is a holistic all-inclusive package with the Electric Car Scheme. Here’s what’s on the table:
Enjoy freedom of choice with access to any brand and every model, all at competitive prices.
The scheme covers maintenance, tyre replacement, MOT, and even breakdown cover, ensuring your vehicle stays in optimal condition.
Benefit from fully comprehensive top-rated NIG car insurance, inclusive of GAP insurance for added peace of mind.
The Electric Car Scheme partners with Smart Home Charge to provide the installation of home chargers.
Need shorter-term solutions? Onto Subscription cars are available for 1-year terms.
The scheme incorporates a salary sacrifice option for public charging, so you’re powered up wherever you go.
Can I purchase the car at the end of the Electric Car Scheme agreement?
Once the salary sacrifice agreement ends, employees might be given the opportunity by the leasing provider to either purchase the electric car at a previously agreed-upon price or return it. However, it’s crucial to engage with The Electric Car Scheme in advance to determine the feasibility of this option.
Employees can decide to initiate a new agreement for another electric vehicle or, if they prefer, they can opt to leave the scheme altogether.
What the Electric Car Scheme does well
Competitive Lease Deals
The Electric Car Scheme offers lease deals that are reportedly more than 25% cheaper than some competitors, ensuring genuine savings.
Reduced Business Risk
Unlike other schemes, businesses aren’t burdened with early exit fees if employees take leaves, protecting them from potential financial pitfalls.
Variety in Car Selection
Employees can choose from a wide range of electric car brands and models, though specific choices may depend on the employer’s criteria, this range of choice is why the electric car scheme is one of our best EV salary sacrifice schemes.
The scheme offers a comprehensive package that includes maintenance, electric car insurance, home charging, and even options for public charging.
The scheme caters to different needs by offering short-term subscriptions or cars for those waiting for their main car’s delivery.
At the end of the lease, there’s the potential to purchase the car, renew the agreement with a different vehicle, or exit the scheme.
Where the Electric Car Scheme falls short
While the scheme is generally accessible, there are criteria like minimum age, service duration, salary requirements, and driving history that might limit certain employees from participating.
Dependence on Employer’s Criteria
Car choices and participation can be limited by the employer’s specific criteria, such as minimum salary and length of employment.
How do I apply for The Electric Car Scheme?
Here’s an overview of what Employers can expect when signing up to the Electric Car Scheme:
- Sign Up
Begin by discussing your product needs and registering for the Electric Car Guide services agreement.
- Credit Check
For those opting for leases, a credit check will be conducted.
- Dedicated Support
Once signed up, a dedicated account manager will be at your service. Their role includes assisting with the scheme’s launch to employees and ensuring smooth integration into your workspace. They provide a range of supportive measures, from on-site visits to informative webinars and personalised 1-on-1 employee sessions.
- Secure Employer Portal
Gain access to our secure employer portal, designed to make management and monitoring seamless.
- Car Configurator
Provide your employees with the car configurator tool, allowing them to visualise and select their preferred electric vehicle.
The final word on the Electric Car Scheme
The bottom line for the Electric Car Scheme is that it offers all-inclusive packages at competitive prices.
The provision of dedicated account managers and tools like tax-saving calculators and car configurators highlights the scheme is trying to differentiate itself from other leasing providers out there. They offer competitive lease deals, often beating their market competitors by over 25%, and the flexibility between subscription and leasing models caters for a range of customers with different financial situations.
The human touch to company onboarding is evident. With dedicated account managers, the scheme ensures that participants are onboarded well via 1-2 meetings and webinars.
Despite a few negative customer service complaints, we think The Electric Car Scheme performed well overall and in particular, in its early protection cover. It is transparent and fair, providing peace of mind for both employees and employers.
Help if you’re struggling with debt from car subscriptions or leases
Late payments on car subscriptions or leases can lead to financial difficulties. If you find yourself struggling with debt from car subscriptions or leases, it is essential to seek professional guidance. Several debt advice services can help:
- StepChange: StepChange offers debt management plans tailored to your situation
- Citizens Advice: Offering free and confidential advice on managing debts.
- National Debtline: National Debtline is a helpline specifically designed to assist with personal debt, including car subscription or lease obligations.
- MoneyHelper (formerly The Money Advice Service): Providing tools and support to help you understand your options and make informed decisions.
Remember, the terms of car subscriptions and leases can vary significantly, so it’s really important to read and understand your specific agreements and obligations.
The Electric Car Scheme review methodology
At Electric Car Guide, our review of The Electric Car Scheme was conducted with impartiality and an in-depth understanding of what electric car users value. Here’s how we worked through our evaluation:
- Customer Feedback from Electric Car Guide: We surveyed users from our EV focus group. These insights offered us a firsthand view of real-world experiences and Salary Sacrifice expectations, allowing us to frame our review around actual user needs and preferences.
- Reviews: We took into account both positive and negative reviews from Trustpilot. This provided a balanced perspective, acknowledging the praises and criticisms The Electric Car Scheme has received from a diverse range of customers.
- Comparison with Competitors: We compared The Electric Car Scheme’s features, offerings, and customer experience against their nearest competitors in the electric car leasing market. This enabled us to gauge The Electric Car Scheme’s standing in the industry, highlighting its strengths and areas for improvement.
Ready to dive even deeper...
John is the Editor and Spokesperson for Electric Car Guide.
With over 20 years of writing experience, he has written for titles such as City AM, FE News and NerdWallet.com, covering various automotive and personal finance topics.
John’s market commentary has been covered by the likes of The Express, The Independent, Yahoo Finance and The Evening Standard.