As many as one third of MOT failures could be avoided if drivers just made some simple and basic checks to their car, according to Government figures obtained by motoring website HonestJohn.co.uk.
Its analysis of millions of MOT records from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency found that out of the 7.3 million MOT failures recorded in 2017, 2.5 million could have been avoided if drivers had checked their lights, brakes, tyres, suspension and windscreen before the test.
The number one cause of MOT failure was incorrect headlamp aim, with 976,569 failures, followed by poor brake performance (921,534 failures) and broken registration plate lamps (912,246 failures). Faulty side lights and insufficient tyre tread completed the top five, with thousands more cars failing due to worn out windscreen wipers and missing screen wash.
“Some drivers are putting themselves and others at risk by failing to perform even the most basic of car maintenance tasks,” Daniel Powell, the Managing Editor of HonestJohn.co.uk, said. “We all know how annoying and dangerous badly-adjusted headlamps can be, yet more than 970,000 cars failed the MOT because of this serious but easily remedied problem.”
The news coincides with the publication of the latest HonestJohn.co.uk MOT Files, which allows motorists to identify cars’ common failures by make, model, year of registration and post code based on empirical data. It also revealed that the Enfield post code area had the highest MOT pass rate in the UK, and Kirkaldy as the lowest:
1. Enfield (EN) - 73.5% pass rate
2. Bromley (BR) – 73.0% pass rate
3. Ilford (IG) – 72.9% pass rate
4. Romford (RM) – 72.7% pass rate
5. Croydon (CR) 71.9% pass rate
6. Chelmsford (CM) – 71.6% pass rate
7. Slough (SL) – 70.8% pass rate
8. South East London (SE) – 70.7% pass rate
9. Dartford (DA) – 70.7% pass rate
10. Southend-On-Sea (SS) – 70.5% pass rate
1. Kirkcaldy (KY) – 55.0% pass rate
2. Plymouth (PL) – 55.3% pass rate
3. Dundee (DD) – 55.6% pass rate
4. Truro (TR) – 56.5% pass rate
5. Exeter (EX) – 57.8% pass rate
6. Torquay (TQ) – 58.1% pass rate
7. Hull (HU) – 59.1% pass rate
8. Aberdeen (AB) – 59.4% pass rate
9. Bristol (BS) – 59.6% pass rate
10. Taunton (TA) – 59.8% pass rate
“One of the most surprising aspects to come out of the MOT Files was the amount of regional variations,” Daniel Powell said. He said the reasons for regional variations may include higher average mileages in rural areas, and a higher fail rate in areas with traditionally lower incomes.