Do electric cars need an MOT?

Like any car, an electric car must pass an MOT once it reaches the third anniversary of its date of registration. From then on, it’s subject to the same annual test.

Well, not exactly the same. For a start, an electric car doesn’t need to pass the emissions test, because it produces no carbon dioxide (CO2). It won’t trouble the decibel meter either, so that’s another thing you won’t have to worry about.

Unfortunately, there’s no price reduction for an electric car, so you’ll be charged anything up to the maximum fee of £54.85 for an MOT test. Note: some garages offer cheaper rates, particularly when the test is booked as part of an annual service.

Only test centres showing the blue sign with three white triangles can carry out an MOT. You should contact your local test centre to book the test.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), around 40 percent of cars fail the MOT at the first attempt. Around half of all faults could have been avoided by carrying out some basic pre-MOT checks, however.

What is checked during an MOT?

BMW i3 electric car and mechanic

A full test of the parts that are checked during the MOT test can be found on the government website. Spending an hour or so checking these items could save you time and money in the long run.

For example, it’s easy to check the lights, tyres, wipers, number plates, horn and mirrors. You might need the help of a friend or family member to test the rear, brake and reversing lights, but checking most other items should be straightforward. Just don’t leave it until the night before the day of the test, just in case you need to order some parts.

A surprising 30 percent of faults found during the MOT test relate to lighting and indicators. Meanwhile, 10 percent of all MOT faults are related to tyres, so make sure the rubber is undamaged and has a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.

For more information on getting an MOT test for an electric vehicle, visit the website.

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