Where Are the Cheap Public EV Chargers?

Where Are the Cheap Public EV Chargers?

As an electric vehicle (EV) owner, you’ll know that finding cheap public EV chargers can be challenging. 

According to ZapMap, in 2021 almost 20% of public chargers were free to use. Fast forward three years and the number of charge points has increased dramatically. However only 8% of public chargers in 2024 are free to use, and the number is getting smaller. 

Free electric vehicle charge points are being replaced with fast or rapid chargers which incur costs.

With this in mind, let’s look at where you’re most likely to get the best deal when you’re charging away from home. 

Where Can I Find a Cheap EV Charger?

Family days out

Several attractions such as museums and zoos offer free EV charging points to entice drivers. Often there’s a trade-off between buying parking or plugging in, but this can be a great way of charging while having a fun day out. 

Hotels, Air BnBs & Accommodation

Several hotel chains in the UK offer complimentary or subsidised charging. Premier Inn, Best Western and the Holiday Inn have the largest number of chargers and can be found all over the UK. 

Radisson Hotels is partnered with Tesla to offer free charging and parking to guests, while Hilton Hotels has rapid and ultra-fast chargers. 

For Air BnBs, you can use this search to find accommodation with chargers. Make sure you check compatibility and charging fees with the Host before you book. 

Car Parks

Many car parks will allow you to charge for free while you’re parked. However you must be careful to follow the rules, so always read the signage!

You must be parked in an allocated EV bay, and the vehicle must be plugged in while you’re away.  Once the battery is fully charged, you’ll need to move to a normal space if you’re not leaving. This is because car park chargers are meant to be shared. If caught out, you could receive a Penalty Charge Notice of up to £100.

You can learn more about charging in car parks from this handy Wilsons article. 


Charging at work will depend on the rules of your place of employment. However, we’ll likely see more chargers where we work as the purchase of EVs increases. 

The government’s Workplace Charging Scheme is available to businesses wishing to offer EV charging as an employee benefit. If eligible, the scheme can cover up to 75% of the costs incurred with installing chargers. You can find out more and apply for the scheme here. 

Where Can I Charge My EV for Free?

Free EV charging points are becoming a rarity in the UK. Your best bet to charge your electric car is public car parks (see above) or supermarket car parks like the following:


More often than not, Aldi stores offer free parking and charging while you’re doing the weekly shop. However, you may be subject to a parking time restriction – always check signage. 

For charging points that aren’t free, expect to pay between 44p/kWh and 59p/kWh depending on the provider and charging speeds.

Use their store locator and filter by EV Charging to find your nearest store. 


According to our research, Sainsbury’s is the last supermarket left still offering free charging from its 7/kWh charge points. 

The supermarket has begun rolling out Ultra-Rapid charging for a flat charge of 75p/kWh.

Use their store locator to find free EV charging points near you. 

Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons, Lidl and Marks & Spencer all offer public charging points, but for a fee. 


Free or cheap public EV chargers are becoming more scarce. While it’s cheaper to charge your EV at home, sometimes that’s not possible.

We hope this guide helps you to find cheap or free electric car charge points when you’re out and about. 

Keep a lookout in car parks that offer free charging when you park, and at supermarkets.

As the UK looks to a greener future and phasing out of traditional fuel vehicles, no doubt we’ll see increased infrastructure around charging stations with more options to charge up in public.

Some Useful Tools

Lastly, here’s a list of some tools that are super useful when it comes to finding somewhere to charge*.

*we have not been paid by any of these services or companies, neither do we endorse or recommend one service or company above another. This list is for information purposes only.

Are you looking for EV insurance? With INSHUR, all you need is your driver’s license to get a quote and be on the road in minutes.

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