Money Moral Dilemma: Should I ask for money if people charge their electric cars when they visit?

MSE_Kelvin Posts: 331
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MSE Staff
edited 7 November 2023 at 1:21PM in Motoring
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

Given the massive rise in energy prices over the last couple of years, I've been wondering whether I should ask family and friends to contribute to my bills when they charge their electric cars at my home when they visit? I have a petrol car and when l visit others I obviously wouldn’t ask them to fill it up for me, so I’m not sure what the right thing to do is.

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  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,014
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    Comparison to a petrol car isn't particularly useful given that most people don't store large quantities of petrol at home. In fact my father did, probably breaching various H&S laws, have a reasonable amount of petrol and diesel at home due to doing freelance quality surveying in the oil industry and he would put it in guests cars (and paid the local lawn mowing lad in fuel). 

    Personally, as always, I feel "it depends"... how often are people visiting? how often do you visit them? when you go to them do they repay the favour in some way? Is it every visit they ask? How far are they travelling to see you? Are you inviting them or have they said they'll come over? 

    It's not an issue for us as we don't have a realistic mechanism to charge an electric car from our supply and all the lamp posts on the street have charging sockets. I think it'd be the same as most other things though... if its occasional and they are generous when we visit them then would allow them and not charge. If they come every Sunday and want to charge every week then that's when it starts being something to talk about. 
  • Difficult one that.......If it was someone paying a visit once a year it wouldn't be a problem for me. If it was someone who regularly visited then I would have an issue. Get solar panels fitted and tell them they can only charge the car when the sun is you should be ok until next March !😁😁
  • Hodgie
    Hodgie Posts: 22
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    edited 7 November 2023 at 8:40PM
    Reselling electrical energy without a licence is illegal unless you fit certain criteria.
    When you purchased an electric car you probably assesed the pros and cons before you bought it.  So did your visitors.  If they ask to use your charger, either they can't be bothered to find a public charger or they're hoping you will charge a nominal fee or give to them for free.  You also have to wonder whether that is one of the reasons you see them so frequently. 
    The solution is easy.  You tell them that you have a tariff that gives you very cheap electricity overnight (perhaps 1am - 5am) but charging during the day the rate is prohibitively expensive (perhaps £15/hour for a 7kw charger) so you simply can't afford it.
    If you don't have an electric car and charger, the above doesn't apply, so it dangerous to trail a lead out of the window or door without a protective device and such actions make the property insecure.
    If all the above fails then it's an "of course you can't, charge your car in an appropriate place".

  • If you have a petrol car how are your visitors going to charge their cars as I believe you need a special charging port!  But yes I would certainly expect a bottle of wine or similar gesture for payment.
  • I own an EV & happy to pay for overnight charging at a friend's or relative's house.  I wouldn't expect to do it for free!
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