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

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  • LightFlare
    LightFlare Posts: 525 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 8 November 2023 at 8:30AM
    Ah - that good old social construct whereby if you ask a question that in your mind you think is reasonable and the answer should be yes to and then take massive offence when someone actually says no.

    The answer is - it depends.

    If someone asks with any sense of entitlement, then my answer is more likely to be no

    If the question is asked with no expectation of agreement, then I am more likely to agree

    Next time you go round to theirs in your ICE, hand them the keys and say "Would you mind nipping to the garage and filling my car up please"
  • I don't have an EV. However I have imagined life with one, including trips to relatives and friends where the return journey is beyond the range of the vehicle and needing to plug in to their mains. In my imagination I would offer to pay and in my imagination, if they refused to accept payment, I would put the appropriate amount of fuel in their vehicles or just simply leave money somewhere in their house before I left.

    I also imagined my adult children having EV cars and visiting us and wanting/needing to charge their cars. I wouldn't accept a single penny from them because I can afford it and whenever they offer money for other things I always say to them to pay it forward when they can (I also add that they are spending their inheritance ahead of time!!!). However, knowing my kids as I do I suspect that they would also leave money somewhere for us to find after they left.

    There is no simple answer to this though - I would expect anyone who is hooking up to charge their cars from your mains to offer to pay. I would expect them to continue to offer even if you declined every time. Even if your personal circumstances mean that you can afford to not charge for charging (pun intended), you should not be taken for granted - true friends would not do that. Family members shouldn't either but if they did I would let them know that there is a cost and that you would appreciate a contribution.
  • Goudy
    Goudy Posts: 1,485 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 8 November 2023 at 8:51AM
    Shouldn't the question be different.

    If you had an EV would you ask someone your are visiting if you can charge it from their house and pay or not pay?

    I don't think I would ask.
    Why would I put myself in a socially awkward position when we all know and like to be told there over 50,000 chargers and the number is growing.
    There are fast chargers that charge to 80% in minutes.
    There are cheap home charging tariffs that you would presumably have at home.
    Newer cars have bigger/better batteries with longer ranges that compare to ICE cars.

    Why would you want to ask to really really slow charge at someone else's house?

    If you thought the charging infrastructure was good enough when you bought the car, why isn't it good enough when you visit family and friends?

    If you are having to ask, have you bought the wrong car?
  • Goudy said:


    If you thought the charging infrastructure was good enough when you bought the car, why isn't it good enough when you visit family and friends?

    If you are having to ask, have you bought the wrong car?
    Because the ability to charge from effectively any plug socket (with the owners permission) *is* part of the charging infrastructure.


  • Goudy
    Goudy Posts: 1,485 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 8 November 2023 at 9:31AM
    Isn't that saying the public charging network isn't good enough or your EV isn't good enough to make those trips?

    You wouldn't just rock up at someone you knows house and plug in, so what are the reasons for having to ask to do that?

    If EV's are good enough, which they are, we're told often enough and we're happily told they are getting better and better all the time.
    The public charging network and your home charger was good enough for you to buy an EV in the first place.

    There must be another reason for having to ask to charge at someone else's home?

    There would be opportunities to charge up before leaving home.
    There would be fast charging opportunities to fast charge on the way there AND the way back.
    And there are local on street chargers in most residential streets these days to charge while you are visiting.

    Why would you ask or need to?
    If you can't do any of the three things above, surely you've bought the wrong car.

  • I would always expect to pay a friend if I charged my car at a friends house (or give them a nice gift if they declined payment). You may think you would never have to face this dilemma if you do not have an EV charging point, but that is not the case. When I bought my EV earlier this year it came with a charger fitted with a domestic 3 pin plug. The salesman described it as perfect for charging during an overnight stay at a friends house ( you do need to feed the cable through an open window if they don’t have an outside socket).
  • As more and more people get EVs it's more likely that your friend or relative you are visiting will have a proper 7kW charger with a cheap overnight tariff and offering the use of it makes economic sense and I don't know any EV driver who wouldn't offer to pay.

    But there's an awful lot of uneccessarily aggressive responses on here along with just plain misinformation, e.g:
    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.
    Really?! You're on a tariff at over £2 an hour? ;-)

    It's not a question of inadequate infrastructure either, but the sheer convenience of charging at your destination at a rate possibly around a tenth of what you are paying at the motorway service area when you are on a long trip, and not having to make a stop if you don't need to. Actually my bladder has a shorter range than my car so it's never an issue!

    Recently I did a south coast to North Yorkshire trip to visit a friend at her remote cottage. She offered to let me charge as there was no nearby slow destination charger, but as I didn't trust her old cottage electrics I declined the offer and just made sure I charged on the trunk roads there and back. Not a problem, as anyone with an EV will know.


  • As an EV owner I would consider it obligatory to at least offer to pay if I needed to charge my car at someone else's home.
  • Goudy said:


    There must be another reason for having to ask to charge at someone else's home?

    There would be opportunities to charge up before leaving home.
    There would be fast charging opportunities to fast charge on the way there AND the way back.
    And there are local on street chargers in most residential streets these days to charge while you are visiting.

    Why would you ask or need to?
    If you can't do any of the three things above, surely you've bought the wrong car.

    Yes, you absolutely could charge up before leaving, or charge on the way there, or on the way back, or not charge at all if you don't need to.

    Charging whilst you're at a friends house is simply *another* option and is "zero time" because you don't need to travel anywhere extra to do so - it happens whilst you're enjoying social time with your friends/family.  None of this mean's you've bought the wrong car. 
  • JayD
    JayD Posts: 698 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Again, we really have insufficient information i.e. how long and how often they visit - all day is it an overnight/weekend stay etc. Obviously for short, not frequent visits, this is a no-brainer - no, don't ask them to pay - but for much longer ones e.g. a whole day, or overnight/weekend, then I think you should broach the subject of how much this has been adding to your electric bill .

    However, don't let this move into the realms of pettiness, calculating the exact cost etc. A small offered donation should be enough to ease your sense of being taken advantage of. After all, do you add in the cost of the food/heat/water/wear and tear on furnishings when they visit you and deduct the same you feel applies to you when you visit them, and request the difference, given those rising costs too?

    So, if it is truly impacting your electric bills, tell them, show them if need be and hope they do the decent thing.
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