Money Moral Dilemma: Should we pay for charging our electric car at other people's homes?

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MSE_Kelvin
MSE_Kelvin Posts: 345 MSE Staff
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This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

I drive an electric car and, when visiting family or friends who also have electric vehicles, I use their chargers to charge my car while we're there. It isn't usually for too long, but with the massive jump in energy prices, should we pay them for what we use?

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Comments

  • Herzlos
    Herzlos Posts: 14,714 Forumite
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    It's probably only a couple of quid worth of electricity at most, but it'd certainly be polite to offer to cover it, or buy some choccies or something as a trade.
  • Ebe_Scrooge
    Ebe_Scrooge Posts: 7,320 Forumite
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    I think it would be polite to offer - they may well refuse any contribution, but I think it would be rather rude not to at least make the offer.  It's not really any different to if you get a friend to drive you to the airport when you go on holiday, for instance - I'd always offer to give them something for the petrol.  Or if you drove a petrol car, when you visit your friends would you help yourself to a couple of jerry-cans of fuel from their garage without offering to pay?
    I agree with Ditzy_Mitzy - I find it surprising that anyone would even ask the question in the first place.
  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,536 Forumite
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    Do these family and friends never visit you and borrow your charger?  (Assuming compatible plugs).   Any good MSE'r would have a spreadsheet listing the time spent charging, the applicable tariff and thus the net balance of money owing in any direction.
    Wash your Knobs and Knockers... Keep the Postie safe!
  • Stubod
    Stubod Posts: 2,177 Forumite
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    ..yes most definately you should offer to pay. Would be no different if you had run out of petrol and they had some spare cans...IMHO..
    .."It's everybody's fault but mine...."
  • TripleH
    TripleH Posts: 3,018 Forumite
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    But would you ask before you charge your mobile phone?
    What about using their WiFi?
    May you find your sister soon Helli.
    Sleep well.
  • Ebe_Scrooge
    Ebe_Scrooge Posts: 7,320 Forumite
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    edited 17 May 2022 at 4:10PM
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    TripleH said:
    But would you ask before you charge your mobile phone?

    I'd certainly ask - although you're talking about a few pence at most for that, I don't think any friend would quibble over that.
    TripleH said:

    What about using their WiFi?
    I guess if you're using their WiFi, you're not costing them anything extra?  (Although, personally I'd always ask anyway, just out of common courtesy).


  • DE_612183
    DE_612183 Posts: 1,956 Forumite
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    I guess it depends if you've just plugged it in - or actually asked them!
  • Herzlos
    Herzlos Posts: 14,714 Forumite
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    Mobile phones charge at I think about 40w maximum (but more likely 10-15w), whilst cars charge at 7,000w.
    So you'd probably borrow someones charger and consume under 1p worth of energy. Ditto for the WiFi in that it'll use some energy but nothing even worth recording.
  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628 Forumite
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    Well yes, obviously.  At least offer to pay something towards the electricity; the one providing it may well refuse to accept, but it's polite to at least say you'll contribute.  I'm surprised the question had to be asked.
    How far do you go with that thought?

    Lets assume you're invited over for Sunday lunch, do you routinely offer to contribute to the cost of the food/drink inc cost of preparation?

    I would certainly ask if its ok to do it before plugging in... offering to pay maybe... but the Q said that these friends/family have electric cars too and so feels more likely that they do the same when they come to me and so like the food there is no cash exchange but just a taking it in turns type approach
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