It’s a common misconception that electric or hybrid cars don’t require an MOT.
Like petrol and diesel vehicles, they need to pass an MOT to ensure they’re roadworthy. However, unlike petrol and diesel cars, they don’t require an emissions test.
How frequently is an MOT required for electric and hybrid cars?
Electric and Hybrid cars have to be presented for their first MOT upon becoming three years old, the same as any other vehicle on the road. The car will then need to be tested and pass an MOT once a year.
How much do electric car MOTs cost?
Usually, the cost is much the same as any other car. The cost of an MOT has a maximum fee of £54.85 set by the government.
What is tested in an MOT of an electric/hybrid car?
Electric and hybrid vehicles don’t require emissions or noise tests.
The MOT will check for the following:
• Lights all working correctly.
• Windscreen checked for chips or cracks.
• Windscreen wipers in suitable working order.
• Function of seatbelts.
• Steering working appropriately with each wheel spinning freely.
• Tyres inspected to make sure they’re legal.
• Suspension adequate.
• Brake pads and discs tested for wear and tear and general condition.
• Key mounting points and brackets checked for rust.
• Electrical wiring checked for battery health.
MOT testers can’t remove any car part to check for rust. This means the aerodynamic panel underneath most electric vehicles remains in place.
Checking the car’s battery health
It’s useful to get an idea of the battery life of your electric or hybrid car.
If you continuously use fast chargers, it can impact your electric car’s ability to hold a charge. Slow charging at home is preferable, particularly if you charge overnight when the ambient temperature is lower. This helps preserve battery health, as does driving the car soon after it’s finished charging.
According to the RAC, fully charging or entirely depleting your electric vehicle’s battery can degrade it more quickly. It advises that you keep the charge level between around 20% and 80% to make your battery last longer.
Driving and ignition checks
During an MOT, basic checks are made to ensure the vehicle starts and moves off appropriately.
Some electric and hybrid vehicles have a green ‘ready’ symbol on the dashboard. The tester will start the vehicle and move off and stop and immobilise the vehicle.
The tester will also turn off the ignition to make the electric or hybrid vehicle not ‘ready’ and will check that the vehicle can’t start or move off. Most hybrids and electric vehicles have smart keys with a start/stop button and keyless entry.
As part of the MOT test, the vehicle is put in the park position with the parking brake applied and the system shut off with the ‘start/stop’ button. The dashboard is then checked to ensure no warning lamps are lit.
During the test, the ignition will be turned on, but the engine won’t be running to check ABS or SRS warning lights.
Would you like car advice from a friendly local garage?
Foster & Heanes offers MOT Testing for Electric and Hybrid Cars, along with servicing, maintenance and repair for all makes and models of vehicles. We can arrange free collection and delivery if you live near our Fleet or Dogmersfield service centres.