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What state help is available in France to buy a new electric car?

The main aid to buy an electric car is the 'bonus écologique' and if you scrap an old more polluting car at the same time, you could receive additional money

8 June 2021

The prime is means-tested in the case of some less-polluting cars, but not for buying an (always very low emission) electric one Pic: Zapp2Photo / Shutterstock

By Liv Rowland

Reader question: What help is available to buy a new electric car? Do you have to scrap an old car at the point of purchase to qualify?

The main aid to buy an electric car is the bonus écologique and it is not necessary to also scrap a more polluting car at the same time to benefit from it.

However, if you did scrap an old more polluting car at the same time, you could receive additional money, called la prime à la conversion.

The former can be up to €7,000, depending on the price of the car, and the latter can be up to €5,000, meaning it is possible to obtain a combined maximum state subsidy of €12,000.

The prime à la conversion is for buying a new or secondhand eco-friendly car at the same time as scrapping an old one, registered before January 2006 for a petrol car, or January 2011 for a diesel one. It must be sent for scrapping in the three months before purchase of the new car or the six months afterwards, at a scrapyard certified as a centre for véhicules hors d’usage (VHU).

The prime is means-tested in the case of some less-polluting cars, but not for buying an (always very low emission) electric one.

The bonus écologique helps towards purchase of a new electric, hybrid rechargeable or hydrogen car.

If combining the two, a single application should be made for both, which you can do online here.

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