Do electric cars need an MOT?


If you’ve joined the thousands of other drives in the electric car revolution then you may be wondering if your electric car needs an MOT. The answer is yes. In line with UK regulations all cars, including electric vehicles, must have an MOT every year (if over 3 years old) to ensure they are safe to drive on UK roads. However, electric car MOTs differ slightly to fuel cars. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about electric car MOT tests and what they entail.

Electric Car MOT vs Petrol Car MOT

The MOT test for electric cars is very similar to the MOT test for petrol and diesel vehicles; however there are some differences.

The main difference is that if your car has an internal combustion engine, then it will have an exhaust system which needs to be tested - with an electric car this is not necessary.

Outside of electric vehicles not needing an emissions test, there are also differences in the features of the cars. For example, checking the car battery is a big part of an electric car MOT.


Electric Car MOT Checklist

As with a petrol or diesel vehicle, an electric car MOT test is designed to ensure that your car is safe to drive and meets the minimum legal requirements. It will check:

  1. Tyres - must be in a roadworthy condition with enough tread depth, no cuts or bulges and the correct type of tyre for the vehicle. This test is particularly important for frequent drivers as the condition of your tyres can affect efficiency.
  1. Wheels - ensure there are no cracks or splits in the wheels (or tyre rims) and that all nuts and bolts are secure.
  1. Bodywork - look for any signs of corrosion, rust or damage to lights, mirrors and number plates.
  1. Brakes - check they are working correctly and aren't overheating. The brake fluid level should also be checked, as this can become low due to an overuse of regenerative braking - which recharges the battery.
  1. Battery condition - you will need to prove that your battery can store enough power to start the vehicle and run at least four headlamps.
  1. Charging equipment - check the charging port for damage or leaks as this could cause an electrical fault.
  1. Seatbelt - one of the key safety features we take for granted. So important in fact that if any part of the seat belt is faulty or damaged it could contribute to failing your MOT.
  1. Steering - testing both the wheel and tyre suspension to ensure the car’s steering is in good condition. 
  1. Windscreen - safety checks including looking out for cracks in the screen itself, as well as testing that the windscreen wipers are in good working order.
  1. Lights - all vehicle lights are tested from hazard lights, to brake lights, and headlights - ensuring they are the right brightness and not causing danger to other drivers on the road.


How do I get my electric car MOT?

The same way you get a new car MOT. You need to book an appointment with your local MOT station and bring in your car for a test. The only difference is that you'll need to make sure your battery is fully charged and the car is in good working order before you take it in for its check-up.

What happens if I fail my electric car MOT?

If your electric vehicle fails its MOT test because of something that could impact its safety or roadworthiness then it cannot be used until fixed by a mechanic. If this happens and you want to continue using the vehicle then you need to get these issues fixed immediately so that your electric car becomes safe enough to get back on the road.

If you're worried about failing your electric car MOT, here are some things you can do to make sure your vehicle passes:

  1. Make sure all the lights are working correctly - this includes indicators, brake lights, hazard lights, headlights and number plates.
  1. Check that all doors lock properly and that there aren't any leaks from doors or windows when they're closed.
  1. Make sure that all seatbelts work correctly - including child seats if you have them.
  1. Make sure tyres are legal and in good condition - they must all be inflated to the correct pressure.

So is an electric car MOT necessary? Yes. Your electric vehicle should be tested just like any other car to ensure it is safe enough to drive. This not only ensures that your driving experience is smooth sailing, but makes the road safer for other drivers. So be sure to book in your electric car for servicing, and use our checklist to see if you will pass.