A hand plugging a black electric car charger into the front of a white electric car.

Do electric cars need servicing?

All cars need servicing to keep them in good roadworthy condition to help them pass their MOT and avoid expensive maintenance and repair work further down the road. Electric cars are no exception, although there are inevitable differences in how an electric vehicle is serviced.

First of all, there are far fewer moving parts in an electric vehicle (EV) than in an internal combustion engine (ICE). Because of this, ICE engines are likely to need more maintenance and tuning up, etc. Some parts of an EV are the same, such as the hydraulics that operate the brakes, and the electrical systems for the windscreen wipers and lights.

So the answer is that, in some ways, servicing an electric car is the same as servicing an ICE vehicle. But in other ways — especially those related to the engine, motor or drivetrain — an electric car service is likely to look very different.

What’s In An Electric Car Service?

An electric car engine service will be much easier than an ICE engine service. Whereas an internal combustion engine can have several thousand components, EV electric motors usually have far fewer — as few as 20 different parts, in some cases.

Because electric car motors don’t rely on moving parts, they don’t need lubrication. So there’s no oil level to check, to top up, or to change. That means no oil filters to replace either. Instead, the motor may be checked using a diagnostic computer, which scans the motor for any fault codes and reports them to the engineer.

A critical part of electric cars is the battery and the many individual power cells that combine to give the car its charge. If cells start to lose their charging potential, the maximum range of the vehicle can be affected. There is also a risk of damage to the vehicle if battery cells leak, so a thorough service will typically check that all the cells are performing as expected.

While there is no oil in an EV engine, coolant fluids are usually used to keep the battery at a safe temperature during long journeys. These are typically in a sealed compartment and should only be disturbed by a professional, so checking and replenishing coolants is a standard part of an EV service.

Finally, the high-voltage electrical systems that power the car itself can be inspected. These are sealed away and normally not checked as part of an annual MOT, so it’s essential to check them during the vehicle’s servicing.

How Often Do Electric Cars Need Servicing?

The manufacturer’s owner’s manual will normally recommend a regular service interval. For many electric cars this is every two years, starting two years after the vehicle is registered. If you drive long distances regularly, you might want to get your vehicle serviced more regularly, too — every 10,000 miles, for example.

Different EVs have different recommended service intervals, and they may only be a guideline. However, you should ensure that you get your vehicle serviced as often as required to meet the terms and conditions of any leasing agreement, finance arrangements or car insurance policies you have linked to the vehicle.

Equally, if you think your vehicle is performing unusually — for example, if it seems to be running out of charge sooner than it should, or if you hear any unusual noises coming from the engine or suspension — then it’s a good idea to have it serviced, just as you would with an ICE vehicle.

Do Leased Electric Cars Need Servicing?

Electric car leasing agreements will require you to have the vehicle serviced in line with the manufacturers guidelines whether that’s after a certain amount of time, a certain number of miles, or whichever of the two you reach first. Your leasing provider may offer a maintenance contract to take care of this.

Fixed Fee EV Servicing And Maintenance

Maintenance lease plans include the cost of EV servicing and maintenance as part of your lease payments. They usually cover services and repairs for the duration of your lease, at a price fixed from the start of your contract.

Fixed fee EV servicing and maintenance for leased electric cars has several potential benefits:

  • Protect yourself against rising parts and labour costs during your lease.
  • Avoid unexpected costs due to paying ‘as you go’ for repair work.
  • Cover repairs that would not be paid for by the vehicle’s warranty.

Leased EV Servicing Without A Maintenance Plan

If you do not opt for a Maintenance Plan for your leased EV, then any maintenance, repairs and routine services should be carried out by a main dealer or an approved local garage. It’s likely this will need to be VAT-registered and use original parts from the vehicle manufacturer.

Our friendly and professional team at Synergy Car Leasing are happy to help if you require more information, need to book a routine service, or think your vehicle needs repair work.