As electric vehicles (EVs) become increasingly popular in the UK, the infrastructure to support them is expanding rapidly. For many EV owners, finding places to charge their cars for free can make a significant difference in their overall cost of ownership. Explore some of the best places where you can charge your electric car without spending a penny.

person charging their electric car

Supermarkets and Shopping Centres

Many supermarkets and shopping centres have started to offer free EV charging as a perk to attract eco-conscious customers. In the UK, chains like Tesco, Lidl, and Sainsbury’s have installed free charging points at several locations. While you shop for groceries or other essentials, you can conveniently charge your car at no cost.

Public Car Parks

Local councils across the UK and other parts of the world are increasingly providing free charging stations in public car parks. These are often part of broader initiatives to promote green energy and reduce carbon emissions. Check your local council’s website for details on the availability and location of these chargers.

Hotels and B&Bs

If you’re travelling, many hotels and B&Bs offer free EV charging for their guests. Websites like and TripAdvisor now include filters to help you find accommodation with charging facilities. It’s a great way to ensure your car is ready for the next leg of your journey while you rest.

Workplace Charging

Many employers are recognising the benefits of providing free EV charging to their employees. It’s worth checking with your employer to see if they offer this service. Not only is it a convenient way to charge your car, but it also promotes a sustainable and environmentally friendly workplace culture.

Car Dealerships

Some car dealerships, especially those that sell electric vehicles, offer free charging as a way to support their customers. If you own an EV from a specific manufacturer, you might find that their dealerships provide free charging. This can be particularly useful if you need a quick top-up while out and about.

Libraries and Community Centres

Libraries, community centres, and other public institutions often have free EV charging points available. These locations are usually easy to find and provide a great opportunity to charge your car while you participate in community activities or simply relax with a good book.

Parks and Recreation Areas

Some parks and recreational areas offer free EV charging to encourage visitors to drive electric. These are perfect spots for a weekend outing, allowing you to enjoy nature while your car charges.

Retail Chains and Restaurants

Certain retail chains and restaurants provide free charging as an incentive for customers. For example, Ikea and some branches of McDonald’s have charging stations available for customer use. It’s a win-win situation: you get a free charge while enjoying a meal or shopping for home essentials.

Tips for Finding Free Charging Stations

  • Use Charging Apps: Apps like Zap-Map, PlugShare, and ChargePoint can help you locate free charging stations in your area. They often include user reviews and details about the charging points.
  • Check with Manufacturers: Some car manufacturers offer free or discounted charging through partnerships with charging networks. MG, for example, offers free charging through certain partnerships with charging networks.
  • Join EV Communities: Online forums and social media groups dedicated to electric vehicle owners can be a valuable resource for finding free charging spots. Fellow EV drivers often share tips and locations.

Charging your electric car for free is easier than ever with the growing number of charging stations provided by businesses, local councils, and public institutions. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can reduce your overall driving costs and contribute to a more sustainable future. Happy charging!