MoT tests and electric vehicles

Electric cars need a normal annual MoT test after the third anniversary, like all other cars. As there are no emissions (or exhaust) to check, the test should be slightly quicker, but not normally any cheaper.

However, electric vans under 3.5t have always been exempt from MoT tests due to the law originally excluding slow commercial electric goods vehicles such as milk floats and parkland vehicles. But this loophole has now been closed and from 1st September 2018, newer electric vans do now need an MoT. But the new law has only included vans registered after 1st March 2015. So if your electric van is older and registered before 1st March 2015, the vehicle is still exempt from tests and always will be.

Which vehicles are exempt?

In The Motor Vehicles (Tests) Regulations 1981, Regulation 6 (xvii), an electrically propelled goods vehicle with an unladen weight of less than 1,525 kg is exempt from MoT tests. The Gov website states: "The unladen weight is the weight of the vehicle when its not carrying any passengers, goods or other items and it doesn't include the weight of fuel and batteries in an electric vehicle".

The electric vans manufactured before 1st March 2015 and sold in the UK are:

  • Renault Kangoo ZE
  • Nissan E-NV200
  • Peugeot Partner Electric
  • Citroen Berlingo Electric

All these vans in all body styles (i.e. SWB, LWB or crew cab) are less than 1,525kg without the battery pack and are therefore exempt from MoT tests, if registered before 1st March 2015.

For further information, see "Vehicles that do not need an MoT" on the GOV website.

If my van has an MoT, does it always need an MoT?

If a vehicle that is exempt has previously had an MoT test, it doesn't mean it must now always have to be tested. Many electric vans do get tested as this exemption isn't widely known about, but the vehicle remains exempt even if does have an MoT. An MoT test can just expire and the vehicle is still legal.

However, there's still a legal requirement for a vehicle to be safe and roadworthy. An MoT test at £40-£50, is a cheap way of getting a vehicle thoroughly checked and it would be wise to do this, especially if your an employer and the vehicle is being used by employees.