Charge your Tesla for Free

Rhys Adams
5 min readMay 17, 2021

Running an EV is already cheaper than an ICE vehicle, but is it possible to run your Tesla Model 3 for free? Here are my top tips on how I charge my Tesla FOC!

Credit: Rhys Adams

I like to be absolutely clear and upfront with this article as some of the ways to charge your Tesla for free will involve you having to sign-up to something. I have also included affiliate links in some of the external click throughs, if you don’t want to use my link, it really isn’t an issue and you can find most of the services by doing a quick Google. Some of the links may get you additional benefits though.

Tesla Referral Link

I have already written about what a Tesla referral code is and how it can benefit you, but if you have taken delivery of that shiny new Tesla Model 3, S or X, have you actually taken the time to share your code?

If you haven’t you must be crazy! Share it! But make sure you adhere to the terms and conditions of Tesla Referral program, you may lose your bank of miles. Write blogs about your experiences of owning or running a Tesla, if you haven’t got a blog, Medium or Wordpress is a great start.

If you fancy being in-front of a camera, get yourself on YouTube and share hints and tips videos, get your referral link at the bottom of the screen.

If you have taken delivery of your Tesla, getting a referral link is super easy. Go to the app and select the treasure chest in the top right hand corner. If the chest doesn’t appear straight away, close the app completely and go back in.

Then click on “Share Your Referral Link” — You can text this using your phone to friends and family, or just copy the link into your notes. You can keep track of your Tesla referrals in “My Referrals.”

Cashback or Points Credit Cards

It’s not always possible to use a Tesla Supercharger when out and about, although the supercharger network is growing all of the time, the day might come where you are only a few miles out of breaking down completely and the only charge points are non-Tesla.

So this is where I use cashback credit cards or point credit cards to subsidise my charge. I pay for everything on my credit card, I use them in the following order:

Let’s start with the Amex, it is much harder to use this in the UK and I have noticed quite a few merchants withdraw Amex as a merchant this includes Costa Coffee where I spend a fair amount of money on a monthly basis.

Every time I shop, I get 1 point per £1 spent. This all adds up and I’m currently sat on a bank of points in excess of 50,000. These can be redeemed against purchases, in this case charge costs.

My next card of choice is the Barclaycard Cashback, this is what I use when I cannot use my Amex card. It currently gives me 0.5% cashback on all of my purchases. Again, when I’ve used this card for a purchase, I request the cashback in the following months statement.

It is really important to pay your credit card off every month, it has taken me years to get in to this mindset. I use Starling Bank to put money to one side for my payments so when I get my bill, I can transfer the money without thinking about it.

Octopus Energy

I was anti-changing our energy supplier for a long-time, especially after we moved house and we were tied into a contract with British Gas. But since moving to Octopus Energy it’s been an amazing experience.

This is a proper “think outside the box” energy provider and if you can sign-up for the Go or Agile tariff, you could save a fortune on your car charging.

They offer cheaper rates in the evening and if you’re on Agile, you occasionally get negative rates where Octopus Energy actually pay you to charge your car.

Before you sign-up, I’d advise you to sign-up using my affiliate link, this will bag us both £50 bill credit, once you are signed up get your own link and share share share!

I am currently earning £150 per month in referrals, this easily covers my gas and electric bills, so do the same!

Referral Code: Octopus Energy Referral Code

Shopping Centre Charging

Although many shopping centres have been closed during the lockdown period, many have opened back up along with their charging stations.

More and more chargers are popping up, near us we’ve got Derbion in Derby City Centre, Meadowhall and East Midlands Designer Outlet, even some of the major supermarkets are offering some kind of charger.

Workplace Chargers

This can cause arguments in a few workplaces, I know some nurses who work at the Royal Derby who said that staff just leave their cars on the small amount of chargers all day, but as a business, chargers could prove a huge benefit.

On top of this, at the moment, there is no Benefit in Kind to charging your car at work. Some councils are also offering grants to install chargers at work for your employer, we managed to get ours for free.

Then if you have a nice employer, you may be able to charge your car for free.

Tesla Destination Chargers

When there isn’t a Tesla Supercharger near you, do not discount the Tesla Destination Network. Whilst they offer a slow charge, they are free and fully supported by the Tesla App.

These are available at all types of places including Golf Clubs, Car Parks, Shopping centres and more.

Near me, we have a great choice including Morley Hayes, The Belfry and Derby Conference Centre.


As I find more ways of charging my Tesla for free, I will keep this page updated but if you have any ideas, please do drop it in the comments. And remember, this article is based on charging your EV for free in the UK and may differ, country to country.

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Rhys Adams

I live in a beautiful town called Belper on the edge of the Peak District with my wife Rebecca. I enjoy writing, photography and gadgets.