MOT Statistics – Japanese Cars Best

MOT Statistics – Japanese Cars Best

Using figures obtained by VOSA, the website has conducted a comprehensive analysis of MOT results. Which cars fail the most, which areas have the best pass figures, at what age is a vehicle most likely to fail the MOT and so on. These figures make very interesting reading, although it’s not always easy to draw any firm conclusions from the results.

Results by make – high price, less failures…

Here, for example, the very best results are populated by the really luxury brands – with Rolls Royce at the very top with just an 11.7% failure rate, followed by Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bentley, and then, surprisingly, Morgan (a niche car with enthusiastic owners), and so on – well you can see the trend. Yet this says more about the owners, who can afford the very best maintenance, and how much use the cars get – often very little – than the cars themselves.

Other factors too come into play, as the website explains, citing Chevrolet and Abarth as recently established manufacturers, so the cars Tested will have a lower average age and better pass rate. On the other side of the coin, those at the bottom, with a higher failure rate are often now failed manufacturers where not only are the cars much older on average, but their value will also have dropped significantly so the owners will spend less on maintenance, Lancia, Austin and Rover are just a few examples.

For the so called ‘mainstream manufacturers’, a different trend emerges. Of the ‘top ten’, the best is Lexus with a 75.3% pass rate – a fail rate of 24.7%, well below the 40+% average, but Lexus is hardly a ‘mainstream’ car. But taking out the ‘luxury’ makes, Japanese cars do particularly well with Toyota (4th), Honda (6th), Mazda (8th) and Suburu (10th) all in the top ten – 40% of the ten top makes.

Geography matters…

It is amazing how varied the MOT pass/fail rate is country-wide – although it makes sense when you drill into the data. The lowest MOT pass rates are all in Scotland, and on the coast – Dundee, Lerwick, and Kircaldy; in England it’s coastal areas in the South West – Plymouth, Truro and Exeter. The highest pass rate is in the South East, Romford, tops the table at a very low 30% failure, with especially low failures for Lexus, Porsche and Suburu cars in that area.

Another surprise is that Testing Station in Birmingham do more MOTs than any other post code area, by a large margin too, some 788,357. Sheffield comes second with 579,371 Tests with the pass rate much the same for both cities.

Some results reflect there being a car maker in the area. In Milton Keynes, for example, Aston Martin has the highest pass rate of any car manufacturer. But their main servicing, and restoration centre is based locally in Newport Pagnell. Similarly, Fords have the best pass rate in Ilford and Romford, not far from the Ford factory in Dagenham – although as that is a factory and not a service site, it shouldn’t necessarily follow.

That first MOT

For anybody thinking of buying a new car the pass rate of specific makes and models at the car’s first MOT offers a clue to quality. Here, researchers only considered cars where more than a thousand had been MOT Tested during the previous year. Top dog for ‘mainstream models’ was the modest Suzuki Splash with a ninety percent pass rate, although that was from only 2,120 tests. It can’t have been a fluke though, because there were three Suzuki models in the top seven. The Lexus, top dog for all mainstream cars’ MOTs was only fifth.

For all cars’ first MOT, the results were much the same as for all MOTs with Rolls Royce at the top followed by Lamborghini and the other luxury makes.

Just a bit of fun…

Although the data interesting reading, and can be helpful for motorists buying a new car, it doesn’t offer too much insight into the MOT Testing Scheme for VTS owners and MOT Testers. It is, however, a bit of fun, and certainly confirms the old adage – ‘don’t buy a used car if its previous owner lived by the sea’…

For three year old car’s first MOT, the Suzuki Splash came out on top.


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