Electric car drivers issued urgent warning when using public charging stations

Electric car charging

Drivers could be fined for charging when their car is fully charged

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 15/10/2023

- 10:00

Updated: 19/10/2023

- 22:27

Motorists could be charged £1 per minute when charging their electric car

Electric car drivers around the country are being warned about using the UK’s network of public charging stations as they could be charged for overstaying.

Data shows there are 49,882 devices around the UK across almost 30,000 locations, with more than 1,400 new chargers installed in September.

It is estimated that around 300,000 EV chargers will be needed around the UK by the end of the decade to deal with the rising number of electric cars on the road.

However, some drivers may be unaware of the extra charges they face when charging in public once their car is full.

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Tesla’s Supercharger network is one of the world’s largest and most popular charging operators with the sleek chargers being found across the UK.

While many may choose to park their cars there and charge their vehicles, drivers will also face overstay or idle fees if they remain there for too long.

This is done to ensure people move on from their spaces once their cars are fully charged and to prevent people from being forced to wait for an open charger.

The Tesla app allows motorists to remotely monitor their car, with the app alerting them when the charge is nearly complete and again when it is fully charged.

For every extra minute a vehicle remains at the Supercharger, drivers will be hit with an idle fee, although it will be waived if they leave within five minutes.

Overstay fees will only begin charging if the Supercharger station is at 50 per cent capacity or more.

However, overstay fees will double when the station is at 100 per cent capacity, with Tesla stating that it will increase customer happiness.

In the UK, drivers will be hit with a 50p charge per minute, with it rising to £1 a minute when the station is full.

There is no limit to this fee and drivers will be charged for every minute they stay there until they pick their car up again.

Other companies will also charge drivers if they are already fully charged, including Source London.

When using the chargers, the standard idle fee will set drivers back 5p per minute, with drivers in the Central London Surcharge zone (Camden, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster) being charged 6p per minute.

Believ charges motorists a day-time fee of 8p per minute which applies after four hours of being plugged in if the vehicle is no longer charging.

People charging their cars overnight, such as taxi drivers, will not be charged after 6.30pm and before 9.30am whether they are a member or using the pay-as-you-go service.

Osprey Charging, one of the UK’s most popular rapid and ultra-rapid charging providers, states it can charge for leaving a vehicle parking inside or obstructing a charging bay (after charging has finished): £5 for every 15 minutes rounded up to the nearest 15-minute interval.


A Tesla Supercharger

Tesla's Supercharger network applies idle or overstay charges to motorists


However, not all charge point operators have an overstay fee, with the most notable being Instavolt. The company says it prides itself on “giving you transparent, fee-free pricing for your charge”.

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