How to Spot a Dodgy Electrician

There are plenty of blogs out there telling us how to find a good electrician and how to spot one. However, how about dodgy electricians, is it easy to spot them? In this industry there are plenty of cowboys, and the important thing is you know who they are and how to avoid hiring one. Hence, our blog post today on spotting dodgy electricians, that way hopefully, you never be stung. 

It would appear there are plenty of people out there on the receiving end of dodgy electricians. As a rule, most electricians are trustworthy, polite and hardworking, but there’s bound to be some that spoil the bunch. Keep in mind though that cowboy electricians are also quite good at being charming and can worm their way into your good books by appearing to be quite the electrician with all the skills and talent, when really, it’s all a big lie. 

If you’re worried about hiring the wrong person for the job, then you need to be extra careful and we’ve got a list of things below for you to look out for when narrowing down your choices of electricians before you hire. 


Always look out for someone with proof of training. They should also be a member of a trade association that’s government approved. A scheme devised by the government will give electricians an opportunity to learn and qualify in electrical work that means they can carry out complex electrical work. It also means they’ll be insured should anything go wrong, and you’ll have a place to go to should you wish to complain about the standard of work. 

Company logos.

Look out for authentic logos on transport and paperwork. Yes, cowboys can have logos and brands, but usually company logos are certified, and another clue is whether the company logos, vans and any vehicles or equipment they use has a clean and tidy appearance. It may seem like a small thing, but this seemingly minor observation is a good way of helping to determine whether you smell a rat. Keep in mind though that this is just one of a few things, and an untidy van or dirty equipment shouldn’t be used to completely condemn someone, they could be genuine. 

Are they asking for cash in advance?

This should be a clue as well because they ask for a large deposit or even the whole amount upfront….and then possibly, you never see them again. We’re not suggesting this will definitely happen should you go down this route, but you shouldn’t ever give an electrician a large sum of money before he starts the job. This isn’t a reliable business model and what they should be doing, and what is perfectly expected in any business, is a non-refundable deposit, 50% upfront, or a smaller amount, then another payment halfway through and then a final one on completion.


Always ask for a quotation before you agree to work with them, in fact get 3 quotes from 3 different electricians. A quote should break down the costs, and any materials, this will demonstrate to you how much the whole project will cost with all the details. To get the right quote you’ll need to be really specific about what you want and not change your mind halfway through and add something extra, because this could add to the cost.

Door to door visits and inconsistent work.

Other things to look out for are door to door visits from electricians asking if you have any work. Any good electrician shouldn’t need to be asking for work door to door, he or she should be either fully booked or sitting in their HQ waiting to take the call of the next customer. Watch out for inconsistency too, do they keeping chopping and changing, changing quotes, changing the start or end date of the project.

RML Electrical - You won’t be spotting a dodgy electrician with us.

If you’re looking to hire an electrician we’d love it if you chose us. You’ll find we’re all certificated, and members of a government approved scheme, we’re experienced and have testimonials to show you from people we’ve worked with before. Give us a call and we can discuss your requirements.

Website Editor