Which Region Fails the Most MOTs

Which Region Fails the Most MOTs

24 Aug

By David Sholicar

There are many reasons why cars fail their MOTs: broken exhausts, worn tyres, faulty electrics. Even easily fixed problems such as broken lightbulbs and damaged windscreen wiper blades are often the cause of cars failing their annual check-up.

We’ve conducted some research that shows certain parts of the country that seem to be failing more MOTs than others. We’ve compiled our findings into this interactive map so you can easily find your region and see how your area ranks. Do you live in the MOT fail capital of the UK?

*percentages given are averages taken from July 2016 to June 2018.​

MOT Failure Hotspots: Research Findings

We took data from 2016 and 2017 and compared it to the first half of 2018 and the differences between regions are interesting, with the average fail rates ranging between 8.1% (the best-performing region) and 15% (the worst-performing region) according to the most recent data, for the period January–July 2018. When looking at data for July–December 2016, the differences were even bigger: MOT fail rates ranged between 3.6% in the best-performing region and 29% in the worst-performing region. This shows that there is a steady decline in people failing their MOTs overall.

MOT Pass and Fail Rate in Wales

Coming in as the most-failed region in the UK is Wales, failing 21% of MOTs in 2017. However, so far in 2018, this has declined and only 15% of cars are failing their MOTs.

There is no indication as to why Wales has the highest rate of fails than any other reason. We’ve examined commuting by car, standard of roads and number of cars registered but there is no correlation between them. In fact, Wales has only 51 thousand more cars registered than that of the best-preforming region, the north west (493,000 vs 442,000).

MOT Pass and Fail Rate in North West England

This part of the UK sees the most impressive results when it comes to passing their MOTs, with only a tiny portion failing during this period (8.1%).

The most successful car in this region is the Nissan Qashqai in black, this car passed 83.5% of its MOTs in the north west region.

The Top Five Car Models

Using DVSA data, we analysed the five most common car model/colour combinations to determine whether they could provide us with any further insight into the cars that are more likely to fail their MOTs.
Manufacturer Model Colour Failure Rate
Ford Focus Blue 25.3%
Ford Fiesta Blue 22.92%
Vauxhall Astra Black 27.14%
Volkswagen Polo Black 26.73%
Volkswagen Golf Grey 22.19%
These numbers go to show that MOT pass and failure rates aren’t a big factor when deciding which colour of car to buy. The best performing car (from the top 20 most popular model/colour combinations) was the Black Nissan Qashqai, which passed 83.52% of tests. Although an honourable mention should be given to grey MINIs, as they passed a surprisingly high number of tests, only slightly behind the Nissan, with a pass rate of 81.86%!

MOT Failure Hotspots: Research Methods

We compiled our own data from MOT tests performed around the country between January 2017 and June 2018 and combined it with Driving Vehicle Standards Agency data from the same time range in order to extend our data set. We then reviewed all data gathered and produced the following findings.

What May Cause the Difference in MOT Results?

The difference between passing and failing an MOT usually lies in the preparation. As a driver, you can do some quick and easy visual tests to make sure that common fails such as broken headlights, brake lights, windscreens, seatbelts, etc. are ruled out.
When it comes to explaining why certain parts of the UK seem to be MOT failure hotspots, we suspect that some regions might be more or less informed about the ways in which you can pass your MOT test. On top of that, the car models that are most likely to fail their MOT test might be more prevalent in poor-performing regions. A recent investigation showed, for example, that the Peugeot 208 is the car with the worst history of MOT fails.

Fun Fact: Green Cars Are Less Likely to Get the Green Light

Did you ever consider that the colour of your car might give it a better or worse chance of passing its MOT test? During our research, it struck us that green cars failed an average of 31.94% of tests, making it by far the worst-performing colour we could find. The next-worst-performing colour was yellow, with an average of 26% of cars failing their MOT tests.

How to Pass Your MOT

Of course there are steps you can take to ensure your car is in tip-top condition ahead of your MOT, to learn more, read our blog: Top 10 Things to Check Before an MOT Test.

This article was updated in March 2019.








Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive Protyre offers and our latest news