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Electric Car Charging Risks at Holiday Homes

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Electric car charging socket

There has been a rapid growth in the ownership of electric vehicles [EVs] in the last few years, with over 700,000 fully electric cars and over 400,000 plug-in hybrids on UK roads.

This inevitably means that a proportion of guests will travel to a holiday let in an EV or hybrid car, but have you considered the fire and liability risks associated with the charging of electric vehicles at your holiday let?

Electric vehicle charging risks

Fire risks

Most electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are supplied with a domestic charger (commonly referred to as a ‘granny charger’). These recharge the EV using a domestic power source via a 3-pin wall socket.

There are several potential fire risks when using a domestic charger:

  • As the charging process takes hours, leaving an EV on charge overnight or whilst they are out for the day is always going to be most convenient for holiday home guests. When guests leave a vehicle to charge unattended, there is no one around to spot malfunctions during charging.
  • Often the lead supplied with a granny charger is not long enough to reach a socket, so an extension lead or multiple extension leads are used. Due to safety risks, manufacturers recommend that extension leads are not used to charge Evs – but people do.
  • Charging units left outside are often exposed to extreme weather conditions such as heat/cold and rain.
  • Over time charging cables could become damaged, which may expose live copper wiring.
  • Old wiring at holiday cottages might not be able to cope with the demand of charging an EV.

Liability risks

When charging cables are plugged in, cables tend to be trailed across pedestrian walkways and access points, creating a trip hazard and potential injuries.

Also, there’s a risk of electric shock if cables and charging units are used in the rain.

Increased bills

Not only is there the risk to your property and people, there’s also the potential for higher electricity bills. The average cost incurred for fully charging an EV will vary, depending on the size of the car battery and your tariff. According to Podpoint, the cost to charge a typical electric car with a 60kWh battery and 200-mile range costs about £17.00 for a full charge.

If guests charge their EV(s) several times during their stay the additional cost to you quickly eats away at your profit for the booking.

What are the insurance implications?

The factors above highlight the potential increased fire and liability risks when using electric vehicle chargers, which could lead to significant loss, damage and injury. We strongly recommend that you speak to your insurer with regards to EV charging at your holiday home and how this affects cover.

Make your EV charging rules clear to your guests

Your booking terms and conditions are key to managing and mitigating the risks associated with electric vehicle charging at your holiday cottage.

Your terms and conditions should explicitly forbid the charging of EVs via a domestic charger at the property. You should also forbid the charging of e-scooters and e-bikes at your property. Make your guests agree to your T&Cs before the booking is confirmed and repeat them in your guestbook.

Also, make sure your guests know the location of local charging points that they can use.


  • Kathy Bichan |

    Is there a template for terms and conditions for guests to fill in for use of an EV charger at a self-catering property?

    • Philip |

      Hi, see section: ‘Make your EV charging rules clear to your guests’.

  • Madlen Hutton |

    We are still looking at the options for installing an EV charger at our holiday property and won’t have one installed for this season.
    Is there any wording for T&Cs we would use to discourage guests from plugging their car into the property mains and effectively charging their vehicle for free.

    • Philip |

      Hi I believe PASC have a sample T&C’s that members can use.

  • Polly Summers |

    We’ve just had an EV charger installed on our holiday let after having a bit of a fright with a guest overloading a plug socket!! We’ve worked out that it’s going to save us £16 on average per charge and the one we’ve chosen means we can set a rate so we’re actually making some money now too!
    Mostly though it was the peace of mind we were looking for so looking forward to the season kicking off soon and we’re able to advertise this added feature to our lovely cottage.

  • annie |

    @Polly – this sounds like exactly what we’re looking for – can I ask which make of charger you have installed?

  • Graham |

    @PollySummers and @annie – I too very much like the idea of being able to charge my holiday let customers for using a car charger. However, having consulted my accountant I thought it might be useful to also consider a few other things which could make this a potential minefield:

    Insurance – Clearly there is both additional risk involved as well as the cost of the items (EV charger + any additional items such as solar panels, battery etc) which should be on your schedule.

    HMRC – if you are charging your clients for using your charger HMRC may see this as a commercial activity. Not only will any profits be potentially taxable but you may also (unwittingly) also have to charge VAT on car charging (as car charging is a vatable enterprise) and then, by proxy, have to make the whole holiday let income VATable, and who wants to deal with all that admin!

    My view is that it would be far simpler to add a set amount e.g. £45 (which for me would cover Solar Panels, Battery + EV Charger) per stay to help recuperate costs of all the equipment. This would just be added to the ‘stay cost’ and the customer would be presented with one figure for the whole stay (don’t line item it or else an HMRC inspector would be able to see that) inclusive. Then, within T’s & C’s, you could potentially limit the amount of use for the EV charger e.g. 1 charge per week between 00:30 and 04:30 (which allows you to use Octopus Go time of use rate which is currently 9.5p/kWh). Most home chargers are 7.5kW so max cost of doing it this way would be £2.85 (9.5p x 7.5[kW] x 4[hours]).

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