A guide to electric vehicle charging etiquette

As drivers begin to make the switch to electric vehicles, it's understandable that many of our customers may have some questions.

Admittedly, driving an electric vehicle (EV) will require a significant change in mindset around the way you refuel your car.

Unlike a traditional combustion engine vehicle that is often driven until the tank is empty, EV charging works on a ‘top-up basis’.

That means drivers will need to top up their battery at various points throughout the day or week, depending, of course, on how far they drive and their driving style.

At the turn of the year, there were 28,375 public EV charging devices available in the UK, with that number expected to continue to rise.

As these charging points become more important to our everyday life, Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental have put together some top tips to make sure your EV charging etiquette is on point.


Before you start your journey, it's a good idea to use apps to see which chargers are occupied in real-time and in turn, reduce the time you'll have to wait.


First things first, and it may sound like an obvious one, but you should only park at a charge point if you intend on charging your EV.

And of course, the charging bays are reserved only for those with EVs, not those who drive a traditional ICE vehicle.

Make sure to keep within the parking bays to allow others the space they need to charge, and abide by any maximum stay times, which may be displayed in the area.

Plugging in

As we’ve stated above, only plug in if you genuinely need a charge.

Don’t wait until your vehicle is empty to re-charge, make sure to plan your charging times.

There are lots of great websites and apps available to help you find your nearest charging point that allow you to filter by different connector types, networks, location, access and payment options – including free-to-use chargers.

Never remove another person’s cable from a charge point or use a cable without permission.

Starting a session

Make sure your charging session has started before leaving your vehicle, and that you’ve taken note of any maximum stay times.

If you want to really help your fellow EV users, you could always leave a note on your windscreen or dashboard to let me them know when you plan on returning to your vehicle.

Ending a session

Do not use the ‘emergency stop’ button to end your or another user’s session.

End your charging session with the access method you used to start your charge. Once your charging is complete, holster tethered cables back on the charge point and move your vehicle out from the bay.

Report any issues with chargers so others don’t have the same issue you’ve had.

Rapid charging

A rapid charge delivers a charge from 50kW and is intended for a quick charge before continuing your journey.

Most cars charge at a slower rate automatically when they reach 80%, which is a safety feature to protect the integrity of the battery cells.

After 80%, you may not be getting the benefit of the rapid flow, but will still be paying a higher rate.

A maximum stay of up to an hour is considered fair usage, including at long-stay parking facilities.

As your vehicle rapid charges, it’s important you stay nearby to make sure you don’t overstay at the charge point.

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