About the car

Tesla Charging Etiquette

Last modified: 2023-03-14

5 min(s) read

For nearly 10 years, UK Tesla owners have seen the charging infrastructure develop, along this journey we’ve picked up and shared with each other a wide range of tips and tricks, in fact, sharing advice and knowledge with each other is the core reason we set up this community and to this day we continue to share this wide and ever-evolving knowledge to both new and old owners as they continue their EV journey.

Charging Etiquette can be a personal thing and whilst we do not wish to come across as preachy we hope this guide helps everyone understand the small quirks that come with EV/Tesla charging to help you avoid a possible embarrassing and unnecessary situation or potentially help you avoid a £70 fine!

Supercharging Etiquette

  • Once your car is charged move it. Ignoring this may lead to you accruing Tesla Idle Fees (up to £1 per minute) whilst also annoying others (especially if there is a queue).
  • Never park in a charging bay (or unplug and leave your car parked) Always be sure your vehicle is actually charging before you leave it. Local authorities can fine up to £70 if you’re blocking an EV charger.
  • To avoid wasting yours and others’ time in a queue, refrain from charging above 80%. Unless you really need the charge (e.g. going on a long trip), it takes the same amount of time to charge from 0-80% as it does from 80-100%. It’s far quicker to leave at 80% and then move on to the next charger along your route instead of staying for an extra 30-60 minutes charging.

  • Park within the lines and ensure you don’t block any charging bays – A poorly parked EV that’s charging could mean another supercharger bay is unnecessarily out of action. If you’re in a non-Tesla EV that will block a bay whilst you charge (due to the position of your charge port) consider staying with your car during your charging session.
  • Use the bins provided but failing that take your rubbish home with you – You would think this was common sense but some seem to forget this (although probably not the people reading this).
  • Be courteous & friendly to others charging, don’t jump to conclusions if others make mistakes – We were all new to the supercharger network and some may struggle on their first charge. Most likely it was an honest mistake, we all make mistakes. If someone isn’t doing the right thing maybe suggest they join our public social media or public discussion groups or spend 5 minutes trying to help them find the answers to their questions.
  • Be thankful to landlords and businesses associated with the chargers – These businesses have given up a lot of space in their cars parks to support the Tesla Superchargers so the least we can do is be friendly and consider buying some of their products/services etc. 
  • Place charge cables back in their holsters securely after use The suspected #1 reason a supercharger goes offline is because of misuse and damage to the equipment itself
  • Help is nearby If you’re unsure what to do then simply ask others or post on the discussion group.

Recommended if possible:

  • If the supercharger is broken/not at full performance then Tesla likely already know about it, however, keep an eye out for a survey request within 24 hours of charging, this is a great place to inform Tesla or post on our discussion groups
  • A quick Tesla Nod or wave is a hot topic for debate ?
  • Try and charge away from other EVs charging, primarily this is for V2 superchargers (those with both CCS and Type 2) that are in pairs (e.g. 1A > 1B), a general rule of thumb is never plugin to a supercharger if another car is going to be immediately next to you, of course, if there is no other option it will be fine to do so but you will get a reduced charge rate. With V3 superchargers (CCS only) pairing isn’t an issue – Learn more about how superchargers work.

Other tips for non Supercharging:

  • The rule of ‘charge your car and move it’ should always be adhered to, however, the only exception to this is when using a destination charger based at an airport/train station.
  • Put your phone number in your windscreen if charging at a charging location that doesn’t have another charger nearby, especially if you plan to be charging for many hours or ensure reception (e.g. at a hotel) knows you’re the owner of the EV charging
  • Always unwind long cables before use.
  • If you don’t need the charge but just want to ‘top up’, offer your space to others arriving and stay with your car during this charge.
  • If an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) is parked remind them they can / will be charged up to £70 for parking in a charging bay (dependent on landlord/local authority), and consider leaving them a note explaining why this isn’t helpful. Remember most simply won’t realise they’re doing anything wrong so don’t be hostile.
  • If a charging spot you need is being used, and you are able to park next to a car that is currently charging, it’s perfectly fine to leave a note asking the owner of the current car charging to text or ring you after their session is complete, if you receive such a note please honour the request.

Do you have the expertise? Share your knowledge!

Remember modifying your vehicle may invalidate part of your vehicle’s warranty.
Therefore, be careful and check with Tesla if unsure. Also any modifications will most likely need to be OK’d with your car insurance company.

To the best of our knowledge, these guides are correct and factual. However we take no responsibility if something does go wrong.

If you spot a mistake please ensure you alert us.