Why technical control is more expensive for electric cars

The technical control of electric cars is very specific. And generally more expensive than for thermal cars! If technical control is obvious for thermal cars, many new electric motorists are wondering whether their new zero-emission car must also show technical credentials to be able to drive. And that’s quite normal!

We hear all the time that electric cars need much less maintenance than thermal cars, in particular because of their lack of engine (ignition) and fluids. There are actually few moving parts and consumables. And then certain essential components, such as the brakes, are also much less stressed since electric cars have regenerative braking.

But then, are electric cars subject to technical control? If so, is it the same as for thermal cars and what are the essential control points? When should you do your first technical inspection of your electric car and how often is it necessary? And finally, is the price the same as that of a thermal car? We go through the whole question to know everything about the technical control of electric cars.

Yes, there is a technical inspection for electric cars

Going from a thermal car to an electric car necessarily requires a little time to adapt. Not so much for the fact of driving without noise, or only that of the tires on the asphalt, as for getting used to recharging, anticipating a much shorter autonomy, or even becoming familiar with regenerative braking, for example, which makes you brake with more or less force the car as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator pedal (the famous one-pedal driving).

And then there are obviously other administrative benefit components to consider. And in particular the passage of the technical control. Because yes, there is indeed one for electric vehicles, mandatory, and which has its own rules.

Where to do the technical control of your electric car?

As with internal combustion vehicles, zero-emission cars must pass through the hands of approved professionals to carry out the technical inspection. On the other hand, it is better to find out about the center where you have your habits beforehand, to make sure that it is indeed authorized to take care of an electric car.

Because as there are very specific points to watch in addition, additional training is necessary for the controllers. Especially with regard to all the high voltage elements of the car.

When should the first technical inspection be carried out?

As with thermal vehicles, electric cars have a first technical inspection to be carried out 4 years after the first entry into service. To be more precise, and as indicated on the government website Service-public.fr, “ the first technical inspection is to be done during the 6 months before the 4th anniversary of the 1st entry into service of the vehicle “.

It should also be noted that this first appointment for a technical inspection is at the initiative of the owner of the car and that no reminder from the car manufacturer is sent. So don’t forget and note it in your diaries.

Renewal of the technical control for an electric vehicle

In the same way as for thermal vehicles, electric ones, once the first technical inspection has passed, must renew their sticker every two years. And this, even before the date on the previous sticker has actually passed.

Used electric car: when to do the technical inspection?

With more and more electric cars hitting the market, the question obviously arises of buying second-hand. And if this is the case, most electric cars being still relatively recent, one can wonder whether a technical inspection must be done by the seller before selling it?

In this case, even if the car is second-hand, there is no obligation to carry out a technical inspection if the car sold is less than 4 years old since its date of first registration.

On the other hand, if the car is more than 4 years old, it must have a valid technical inspection carried out within 6 months before the sale.

11 electrical specific checkpoints

If a “classic” technical control requires 133 control points, for an electric car, 11 elements are inspected in addition, specific to zero-emission vehicles. Of which a certain number can obviously be subjected to a counter-visit.

Of course, during the technical inspection of your electric vehicle, elements such as vehicle identification, steering, visibility, lights, wheels, chassis, seat belts and many others are inspected. But here are in the table the elements which are specific to them, as well as the fact that they are subjected to a counter-visit or not.

Specific control points Subject to counter-visit?
charging socket
charging cable YES
Traction battery compartment ventilation openings
traction battery YES
Traction battery box YES
High voltage wiring and connectors YES
Ground braid, including their attachment YES
Mass continuity YES
Charging socket protection
Electrical and electronic equipment on high voltage circuit YES

As can be seen above, there are therefore eight points specific to electric vehicles that can lead to a counter-visit. Note that the levels of failure during the technical inspection are noted according to three levels of severity:

  • Minor failure
  • Major failure
  • Critical failure

What sanction in case of absence of technical control?

The technical control being obligatory, if it is lacking, if it was not carried out in time, it is obviously subject to sanctions. In this case, the absence of technical control is punished by a fine of up to 750 euros even if as a general rule, it is a fixed fine of 135 euros.

Be careful, however, because in the event of an inspection by the police, a decision to immobilize the vehicle can also be taken.

More expensive than a classic technical control

Last word on price. Because if one could think that because of the few strictly mechanical elements of an electric car the price of the technical control could be reduced compared to a thermal vehicle, it is not so. On the contrary even.

As we have seen, not only do inspectors have to pass additional training for the technical inspection of an electric car, but the latter also requires 11 more checkpoints. Which automatically increases the bill.

Obviously, prices vary according to the centers, but also geographically. So if we consider that the average for a thermal vehicle is just under 80 euros (78.52 euros according to the simplauto.com study of June 2022 which compared the prices of 5625 centers in France), it you have to add a few euros for a hybrid vehicle. And it’s even more expensive for an electric vehicle.

The same study has established that the average in France for the technical control of an electric car is 85.10 euros.

How to lower the price of your technical control?

The best way to try to lower the technical control bill as much as possible is still to play the competition and look through the different technical control centers around your home. To do this, you can easily go to the websites of the different brands and make a quote in a few seconds.

In addition, booking your technical inspection via the internet can sometimes reduce the bill, sometimes even with reductions on last-minute slots. In this case, it is better to be reactive!

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