Urgent warning for electric car drivers as they face HEFTY new fine for making easy mistake while charging up | The Sun

ELECTRIC car drivers have been warned they could be slapped with a hefty fine over a simple mistake while charging their vehicle – and it might surprise you.

If you spend too long at electric charging points, you could face a penalty.

The extra costs have come as a nasty surprise to e-car drivers, especially as the government has encouraged motorists to switch from petrol or diesel.

One driver left his van charging overnight at a service station on the M4, expecting to pay £26 – but he was left horrified when a he had to pay an overstay charge of £123, the Times reported.

It comes as a shock to many electric car owners, since even rapid car chargers take longer than filling up with petrol.

Drivers have even been scared to leave their cars charging while running errands or eating at restaurants.

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One in six motorists are caught out each month, according to Paul Jackson, chief executive of The Miles Consultancy, which advises firms on how to cut costs on company cars.

E-car owners have taken to social media to share their outrage.

One Twitter user wrote: "Wow. Just had £100 parking fine for overstaying at an @MotorFuelGroup EV charging station by, wait for it… four-and-a-half minutes.

"That’s having already paid circa £35 for charging there. File that under 101 ways you’re likely to get ripped off in the electric car revolution."

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A second added: "So 'buy an electric car' they said.. I'm not even sure these costs are cheaper than petrol! The arbitrary figure of £30 for overstay.. where did that come from?"

A third chimed in: "The overstay penalty at the 7kW chargers in the car park mean effectively we cannot use them. We arrive, and at work may be off-site for 5 hrs or sometimes for 11. Can the penalty be amended?"

Plenty of other areas will start charging fees if drivers use charging points for too long as well.

In London, ESB Energy charges you £8 after an hour at 350 charge points.

At GeniePoint, you pay an overstay charge of £10 after 90 minutes, and £10 for every 90 minutes after that.

Tesla has also had an overstay fee of 50p or £1 per minute on its network, depending on how busy the charging station is.

Meanwhile, Liberty Charge takes an extra 8p per minute.

From April 1, a new £30 penalty will be charged for those staying for over an hour in Aberdeen.

In Sheffield, the charge will be £20 from the same date.

Similar charges have been introduced across most of the Scottish Highlands since the start of the year.

It comes as experts said drivers were put off from buying electric cars due to a series of problems.

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Motor experts think that the main problems are the high cost of electric cars and the introduction of the EV tax.

And Jeremy Hunt's plan could also harm those looking to buy an EV ahead of the 2030 ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel cars.

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