One In Five UK Cars Fails First MOT MOT failure analysis infographic
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One in five UK cars fails its first MOT, which takes place when it’s three years old. This is too many – and I believe it is mostly caused by a lack of proactive maintenance by drivers.

I’ve written about this issue before in November last year, when I looked at why our first-time failure rate is so much higher than the first-time failure rate in France and Germany. Broadly speaking, the roads, weather and cars are exactly the same – so what’s the difference?

Nothing’s Changed

In my article last year, I used the 2007 MOT failure statistics from VOSA. The website has now got hold of the 2010/11 statistics, which unsurprisingly show almost exactly the same pattern of failures I highlighted in the 2007 failure data:

  • Between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2011, one in five cars (352,000 in total) failed their first MoT

The most common reasons were:

  • Lighting and signalling (164,837 failures)
  • Tyres (96,760 failures)
  • Headlight aim (82,555 failures)
  • Issues with the driver’s view of the road (80,605 failures).

Lazy Drivers

Unfortunately, when you analyse the figures above, they add up to one thing: British drivers who don’t take care of their cars.

Headlight aim might be excusable, as it’s not always obvious, but lighting and signalling failures (blown bulbs), tyre failures (worn-out tyres) and drivers’s view of the road failures (cracked windscreens) are all easy to check and require no technical skill whatsoever to understand.

There simply isn’t any excuse for driver’s not recognising and fixing these things when they happen. Unfortunately, what these drivers seem to do is to never fix or replace anything on their car unless it causes it to fail its MOT. This is, of course, one of the reasons we have MOT tests.

Save Money & Lives

British drivers need to up their game and start taking some basic care of their cars.

It isn’t difficult, expensive or time-consuming – and it could end up saving you money and protecting you in the event of an accident, where worn-out tyres could make the difference between stopping in time and crashing.

Similarly, a cracked windscreen is weaker and could make the difference between a bird coming through your windscreen and bouncing off it. At 60mph, a bird hitting you in the face is likely to cause a very serious accident.

MOT Pass Rates By Manufacturer

In terms of manufacturers, found quite a wide variation between the best and worst average pass rates:

Top 5 pass rates by manufacturer

1.   Lexus 88%
2.   Suzuki 86%
3.   Honda 85%
4.   Saab 84%
5.   Toyota 83%

Bottom 5 pass rates by manufacturer

1.   Renault 76%
2.   Mini 76%
3.   Citroen 76%
4.   Chevrolet 76%
5.   Peugeot 77%

Check out this infographic for some more details (click to enlarge) or visit to see what the failure rate is in your postcode. MOT failure analysis infographic
Click to enlarge

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