Survey reveals first-time failures

MOT data analysis yields some interesting results

Published:  11 May, 2012

AN analysis of 24.5 million MOT records obtained by a motoring website has revealed that one in five cars registered in 2008 failed their first MOT, with testers most likely to fail cars from French firms Renault, Citroen and Peugeot.

The research from involved examining tens of millions of records obtained from the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA) through the government's OpenData scheme. The website says that VOSA 'fought to keep the data secret from car owners for years'.

The data shows that between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2011, one in five cars (352,000 in total) failed their first test. The most common reasons were lighting and signalling (164,837 failures), followed closely by tyres (96,760 failures), headlight aim (82,555 failures) and issues with the driver's view of the road (80,605 failures).

Statistically, the car most likely to fail its first MOT is the Renault Megane and the least likely is the Indian-built Suzuki Splash. However, the statistics change as vehicles age.

Daniel Harrison, editor of, commented: "The MOT Files demonstrates that many failure items are down to the owner, rather than inherent fault with the car. Families using the data that comes from the 24.5 million records will be better prepared for their MOTs and be able to keep better control over the cost of motoring."

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