Categories: News

Ecological bonus: this rule has gone under the radar

For the past year, a decree has specified that the rate used to grant the bonus must not include the amount of the options. This mention, which has gone unnoticed, nevertheless allows certain buyers to request assistance which they have not received.


Until very recently, that is, a few weeks, the rule was always accepted: to benefit from the ecological bonus of €5,000 (or up to €7,000 for low-income households), the administration takes into account the price of the electric car, all options included. And this must be €47,000 maximum. But on December 4, 2022, a decree * specified that the invoice price used no longer included “non-intrinsic equipment of the vehicle, such as options”. A change far from trivial, which was only discreetly revealed by Tesla than last October. In fact, the manufacturer has modified its online configurator. Thus, a Model Y, then at €45,990, chosen with a blue color, as an option, billed at €1,600, or €47,590 in total, can now benefit from the bonus whereas until now it was excluded. A “new” boon for buyers of the model… except that this rule has in fact been applicable for almost a year and seems not to have been taken into account before. According to our information, it is a document issued to manufacturers and dealers at the beginning of October to clarify the terms of allocation of the bonus, in this case the price retained “without options”, which friends the chip to the ear of the brand.

Damaged buyers?

This rule therefore changes the situation for all models approaching a price of €47,000 and whose options (color, rims and other equipment, etc.) exceed this threshold. This is particularly the case for the Mercedes EQA and EQB, Renault Megane E-Tech, and certain versions of the Volkswagen ID. 3.

Six months to claim the bonus

From now on, the rule is clear: the price taken into account for bonus eligibility must not take into account the cost of the options. The threshold is therefore €47,000 invoiced, excluding options.

If you have ordered an electric car whose additional equipment has exceeded this threshold, you can still qualify for assistance of €5,000 (or even €7,000 depending on your income), up to six months following delivery of the vehicle or the date of payment of the first rent as part of a rental (long term or with purchase option). So, if you purchased your vehicle after May 17, you can still make your request on November 17. Either through your dealer, or yourself by sending the necessary documents (invoices, registration certificate, etc.) online via the website.

If buyers have six months following delivery of the vehicle to request the ecological bonus (see box), what about those who acquired automobiles falling into this scenario, at the start of the year, particularly during the first five months? In fact, the rule was already applicable and was not necessarily known to the dealer or the buyer. Can we therefore ask the brand to cover (and “repay”) the equivalent of the bonus? Several manufacturers, including Peugeot, assured us that people whose choice fell on models priced around €43,000 were generally content with the standard options and in any case made sure not to add any to the point of exceeding the bonus eligibility threshold. Certainly, but what about those who were deprived of a bonus that they should have received? Asked by the editorial staff, lawyer Jean-Baptiste Le Dall explained to us that if the concessionaire is bound by a duty of advice, the latter does not apply to the aid measures put in place by the State. “No one is supposed to be ignorant of the law”, the buyer could therefore only blame himself. On the other hand, nothing prevents us from asking the State for this help, arguing that the decree in question had not been properly taken into account by professionals who sometimes advance the amount of the bonus themselves. Not sure if it works, but don’t try anything…

* Order of December 4, 2022 amending the order of December 29, 2017 relating to the terms of management of aid for the acquisition and rental of low-polluting vehicles.

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