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PAT Testing Cost & Prices 2022

PAT testing, or Portable Appliance Testing, is used to examine electrical equipment and appliance to find out whether they are safe to use.

PAT testing isn’t required by legislation, but it is the easiest way to satisfy the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and other regulations. Therefore, they are conducted regularly in business premises and a PAT testing certificate is issued upon completion along with every serial number of the appliances tested.

This article will cover what you can expect to pay for PAT testing and factors that affect the cost of it.

PAT Testing Cost Summary

We contacted a number of different companies for quotes. Most companies charge a flat fee for the first batch of appliances, then a small fee for each appliance tested after that. The more

Generally, the flat fee is from £50 – £100 which covers the first 10 – 50 items, then between £1.00 – £2.50 after that. The more appliances tested, the lower the cost per appliance.

If a full day is required, expect to pay around £400 – £450 including VAT.

A table with average figures for various numbers of appliances is given below. Prices include VAT.

Number of AppliancesInitial Fee (Up to 10 Devices)10 - 50 Devices (@£2.50/appliance)50 - 100 Devices (@£1.50/appliance)Total Cost

Factors Affecting the Cost of PAT Testing

Location of Appliances

One factor is whether appliances are located in one area or spread out like in a major office, building or school.

Because the electrician will need more time to reach all the appliances, they will charge more to cover their labour costs.

Location of Contractor

Labour costs in London and the south of England are generally more expensive than elsewhere.

If the contractor needs to travel beyond a certain radius, then they may add an extra fee on top.

A good proportion of electricians don’t offer PAT testing. If your premises are located in a more remote area, then you may need to get a quote further afield.

Additional Services Offered

Professional testing companies may offer work beyond the initial PAT testing. Pass and Fail labelling is usually included in the initial pricing along with the PAT Testing Certificate and every appliance test result.

However, if you want any devices that have failed to pass, they’ll need to add that in. Work like fuse replacements (25p – 50p per item), rewiring existing plugs (£1.50 – £2.00 per item) and fitting a replacement plug (£4.00 – £5.00 per item) are common extras.

How Does PAT Testing Work?

PAT tests consist of a couple of processes. Initially, the contractor will undertake a visual check of the appliance, checking for signs of wear and tear, loose or frayed external wiring and unbroken seals. Many defects can be uncovered at this stage.

Once the appliance has passed this stage, one or more of the following electrical tests can take place:

Earth Resistance Test

This tests the resistance offered by the earthing rods with the connection leads. To pass, the earthing resistance should be less than 1 ohm.

Earth Continuity Test

Using an ohmmeter or PAT Tester, the earth continuity test measures the resistance of the protective earth circuit of an extension cord or appliance cord.

The resistance measure should not exceed 1 ohm as with the earth resistance test.

This test aims to simulate a fault and ensure that the earth conductor does not burn itself out. This test could damage some IT equipment as the earth connection only serves a functional purpose rather than being used for safety.

Insulation Resistance Test

The insulation resistance test is used to measure insulation resistance, which indicates the condition of insulation between two conductors.

The ‘perfect’ result would be infinite resistance. However, no insulator is perfect. The higher the reading, the better.

Appliances showing a low reading below 1 ohm could have a leak between the conductors through the insulation. Readings between 1 and 2 ohms should be investigated, while readings over 2 ohms are good.

Why Do Devices Need to be PAT Tested?

Although there is no legal requirement to ensure that electrical appliances are PAT tested, UK businesses must maintain electrical equipment safely.

In addition, all businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of workers and the public. Ensuring appliances are PAT tested is one of the most effective ways to ensure that health and safety laws are complied with, particularly in high-risk or complex spaces such as offices, factories, schools or warehouses.

Several pieces of legislation cover electrical safety at work, including the 1989 Electricity at Work Regulations and the Health & Safety at Work Act of 1974.

Penalties for not meeting electrical appliances’ legal health and safety obligations include unlimited fines and up to two years imprisonment.

What Devices Should be PAT Tested?

There are three classes for electrical appliances, classes 1, 2 and 3. Class 1 appliances are considered the most dangerous, and Class 3 has the lowest safety risk.

Class 1 appliances require a full PAT test, Class 2 devices need a PAT insulation test, and Class 3 devices do not require testing.

In addition, there are seven categories of appliances that require either a visual check or a full PAT test.

Class 1 Appliances

These appliances only have basic insulation and rely on an earth for protection.

Examples of Class 1 appliances include:

  • Floor standing printers & photocopiers
  • Vending machines
  • Industrial machinery
  • Desktop computers
  • Kitchen white goods such as washing machines, fridges, freezers, dishwashers
  • Toasters
  • Microwaves
  • Kettles
  • Electric heaters
  • Laptop cables

Business owners are responsible for ensuring that all Class 1 appliances are PAT tested before being used to ensure no safety issues.

Class 2 Appliances

Class 2 appliances have extra levels of insulation in comparison with Class 1 devices. As a result, they are not reliant on an earth for safety.

Examples of Class 2 appliances include:

  • Desktop printers
  • Lawnmowers
  • Hedge trimmers
  • Drills
  • Food mixers
  • Televisions
  • DVD players
  • Hairdryers & straighteners
  • Lamps

Some of the above appliances may be classified as Class 1, so always check before booking the PAT test to ensure everything is thoroughly tested.

Class 3 Appliances

The safety of class 3 appliances is assured through their low voltage. While the devices themselves do not need to be PAT tested, their power cables may

Examples of Class 3 appliances include:

  • Laptops
  • Mobile phone chargers
  • Torches
  • Cameras

Electrical Appliance Categories that Require PAT Testing

The seven categories of electrical appliances that require some level of inspection are:

  • Fixed appliances – equipment fixed in a permanent location (low risk)
  • Stationary appliances – heavy appliances such as fridges (low risk)
  • IT equipment – PCs, laptops, monitors, printers (low risk)
  • Moveable equipment – under 18kg, easy to move (low to medium risk)
  • Portable appliances – items that can be moved while plugged in (medium risk)
  • Cables and chargers – extension cables, power leads (medium risk)
  • Handheld devices – hairdryers, drills etc. (high risk)

These items need to be tested, except for fixed appliances, unless they are Class 2 appliances situated in a low-risk environment.

How Often do Items Need to be PAT Tested?

The regularity with which appliances need to be PAT tested depends on the class, category, and environment in which the device is situated.

Visual inspections are required for some items every six months and others every two years, while the regularity of PAT tests can vary from needing to be done every year to every four years.

Get Prices on PAT Testing Near You

We’ve done our best to give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for a PAT testing.

However, our guides are not a substitute for a fixed written quote specifically for you.

We work with all the best PAT testing electricians ready to price your job. Get free, no-obligation quotes in your local area and compare prices using the form below.

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About the Author

Alex Johnson is a qualified quantity surveyor and writer with a passion for conducting original research and uncovering the true cost of jobs. His cost data has been referenced by EDF Energy and the Scottish Government.