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10 Oct 2018
Jamie Gibbs Alice Campion

Could where you live affect whether your car passes its MOT?

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Using research from Protyre, we looked into which regions have the highest MOT fail rates. 

MOT test 

There are many reasons why cars fail their MOTs: broken exhausts, worn tyres, faulty electrics to name a few. 

However, new research by and tyre company Protyre reveals that MOT fail rates are considerably higher in some parts of the country than others. 

The data 

Using information from the DVSA and their own data, Protyre has gathered statistics on MOT fail rates for each region of the UK.

They've found that the best-performing region from January to July 2018 scored an 8.1% fail rate, whereas the worst scored 15%. 

Comparing this to 2016, the fail-rate ranged between 3.6% in the best-performing region and 29% in the worst performing region.

This result is positive though, as it shows a gradual decrease in fail rates since 2016.

Read more: How to ensure you pass your MOT check

Regional pass rates

Wales has the worst MOT fail rate at 21%. 

Conversely, North West England has the best pass rate with only 8.1% of cars failing during this period.

Rank Region Failure rate
1 Wales 21%
2 South East 17.6%
3 South West 14.6%
4 East 13.13%
5 Midlands 11.7%
6 North East 17.5%
7 North West 5.3%

 Protyre investigated the reasons behind the high fail rate in Wales, and no correlation was found between road standards, commuting habits and the fail rates.

The amount of cars registered makes no difference either, as Wales has only 51,000 more cars registered than the best-performing region, the North West. 

MOT test 

Nissan Qashqai has highest pass rates 

After regional pass rates, they investigated the most common model and colour combinations to see if this contributed to MOT fail rates.


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%

It’s clear that colour doesn’t make a great deal of difference when it comes to the MOT test. 

However, the best performing car was the black Nissan Qashqai, which passed 83.52% of tests.

Grey Minis also passed a high number of MOT tests with a pass rate of 81.86%.

Read more: When should you change your cambelt?

Why is there a difference in MOT results? 

When working out reasons why cars fail their MOTs, it’s usually as a result of poor preparation.  

But these can be easily avoided by performing some simple checks, these include:

  • Windscreen wiper blades

  • Car head lamps, if they're broken and need to be fixed

  • Seat belts

  • Windscreen cracks

  • When it comes to fail rates in these regions, lack of knowledge of the MOT test could be one of the main reasons why people fail their test. 

    So it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the test and run these checks before taking your car to the garage. 

    For more MOT tips, read our guide on how to pass your MOT check with flying colours.

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