PAT Testing Cost: A Look at Prices
Protect Your Equipment & Save Lives
Updated Prices For 2021
PAT testing is an electrical inspection and check of a portable electrical appliance to determine if it’s safe to use.
Portable appliances include any item with a plug and a cable; washing machines, microwaves, power tools, IT equipment, desk lights, cleaning equipment etc. are all examples of electrical items that can be PAT tested.
While not a legal requirement in itself, employers and landlords do have a legal responsibility to ensure any electrical appliances they supply are safe, and PAT testing is the easiest way to prove this.
But how much does PAT testing cost? How long does it take, and how often should it be performed?
As part of our research into the cost of home improvement projects, we contacted 26 electricians in the UK and asked them to provide us with prices for electrical jobs such as house rewires, solar panels, installing extra plug sockets, fitting bathroom fans and much more.
We looked at the cost of PAT testing, how much it costs per item, minimum charges etc.
Below you can see the results of our research. This is how much we were told PAT testing costs in early February 2021, we’ve displayed the data by region as electrical work like this is often more expensive in the south of the UK and London:
Project 1 – PAT Testing to a Small Office
We asked for a price to PAT test all the appliances in a small office with around 35 items.
The items were mostly IT equipment such as computers, monitors, printers, WiFi equipment, a projector, desk, extension leads and free-standing lights etc and also a few items in the kitchen such as a microwave, kettle, fridge, toaster etc.
Below is an average of the prices given to us:
|Location:||Average Cost Per Item:||Minimum Charge:|
|South, SW and Midlands||£2.00||£60.00|
|Outer Region and North||£1.50||£40.00|
It’s worth noting that PAT testers often have different pricing models. For example, some may charge a minimum fee, and £2 per item for up to 50 items with the price then discounted to £1 per item for any further items.
Project 2 – Per Hour Pricing
As you can see from our first project, most of the electricians we contacted used a “per item” pricing model and many stated a minimum charge.
Some, however, provided us with prices on a “per hour” basis with a minimum charge which we guess covers their callout and time for the first hour.
|South, SW and Midlands||£40.00||£60.00|
|Outer Region and North||£30.00||£40.00|
What’s Included In These Prices
The PAT testing prices on this page include:
- A visual inspection of the area around the item to determine if it’s being used in a safe place.
- Visual inspection of the item, primarily looking for signs of overheating or burn damage.
- A full inspection of the power lead looking for damage or unsafe repairs/extensions.
- An inspection of the plug, including the internals, to check that it’s legal and safe.
- An electrical test to check for earth protection, insulation and leakage.
- Sticker for each item.
- A final report and any recommendations.
- VAT is included in our prices when it was charged (not all of the 26 firms we contacted we VAT registered).
What’s Excluded From Our PAT Testing Prices
Employers, landlords and even homeowners are often confused as to what’s included and excluded in the cost of PAT testing; we hope this helps to clarify:
- Testing any fixed electrical items such as sockets, switches or fuseboxes as they aren’t portable.
- The repair of any faulty items. Some items could be repairable, perhaps by replacing a plug, but many may need to be replaced or repaired by the manufacturer.
- The removal of built-in appliances where it’s not practical to do so (i.e it’s up to you to ensure all of the items can be accessed).
- The dismantling of any appliances.
As the cost of PAT testing is between £1.50 and £2.20 per item, most of the 26 electricians we contacted charged a minimum price that was equal to one hour’s labour or their call-out fee.
It’s unlikely that any electrician would charge £10 just to test 5 items as it wouldn’t be profitable.
Our data suggests that the average minimum charge is between £40 and £70.
How Often Should Electrical Items Be PAT Tested?
There is no universal timetable as every item is different, and wear-and-tear should also be considered.
For example, a kettle will experience more wear-and-tear in an office with fifty people than one with only two people.
Moving items also carries the risk of damage, so even if the item was PAT tested recently, it might not be safe now.
Rather than focusing on a fixed timetable, we suggest you conduct a risk assessment of your electrical items with a focus on:
- The potential risk of a shock (i.e. low voltage items are by their very nature safer than more powerful items).
- How old the item is.
- Where it’s located.
- Expected wear-and-tear and usage etc.
Here’s an approximate guide to how often electrical items should be PAT tested:
|General office equipment, computers, monitors, wifi router etc||Up to 5 years|
|Cleaning equipment for a small office, fans and other items moved occasionally.||Up to 5 years.|
|Kettle and toasters used infrequently, cleaning equipment used somewhat frequently,||Up to 2 years|
|Commercial kitchen equipment, cleaning equipment used daily. Kettles or toasters used daily.||Yearly with visual inspection every 6 months.|
Do You Have Further Questions About PAT Testing?
Our FAQs section provides answers to common questions.
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PAT Testing FAQs
Below you’ll find answers to questions about PAT testing and our price guide:
When Was These PAT Testing Prices Published?
We sourced prices for PAT testing in early February 2021.
Do These Prices Include VAT?
All of the prices on this page include VAT (when it was charged), stickers for the items and a final report.
How Long Does PAT Testing Take?
It doesn’t take long to visually inspect a cable, plug and appliance and then test it with a device provided the electrician can access the item in the first place.
It takes between 2-3 minutes to test each item but can take significantly longer if the electrician is having difficulty accessing the plugs and cables.
How Long is a PAT Certificate Valid For?
There is no set expiration date, when it needs to be retested will depend on your risk assessment which should take into account:
- Age of the item.
- Power output and risk.
- Frequency of use etc.
Is PAT Testing a Legal Requirement?
No, but employers and landlords are legally required to ensure that any portable appliances they supply are safe.
PAT testing is the recognised way of doing this and proving you have done so.
What Type of Tradesperson Does PAT Testing?
Electricians often do PAT testing as do dedicated firms that specialise in this field, in fact, anyone who has completed a PAT testing training course can do this type of work.
Do I Need to PAT Test New Equipment?
No, new equipment should have been supplied to you in a safe condition.
Your risk assessment will determine when it should first be tested.
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Why only rely on three or four quotes for comparison? This website called Quotation Check gathered prices from hundreds of firms for various home improvement tasks and published their findings online.
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