Where are the UK's most beaten up bangers?

door handle of old car
door handle of old car


Dundee car owners should hang their heads in shame, as a new study has revealed that they have the highest MOT failure rate in the UK.

Car management site, Automyze, analysed 1 million MOT records of AA members, and found that more than half of cars in Dundee failed their MOT first time (53.5%). This was followed by Truro, where 51.5% of cars fail, and Plymouth where 51.3% fail.

The top ten
Dundee 53.5%
Truro 51.5%
Plymouth 51.3%
Exeter 50.5%
Aberdeen 49.5%
Bath 49.5%
Perth 49.2%
Falkirk 48.4%
Hull 48.3%
Torquay 47.9%

The high failure rates were concentrated in Scotland and the West Country. Lucy Burnford, Director of Automyze, comments: "There could be a number of reasons why MOT failure rates are higher in Dundee, from the length of time people own their cars to the types of vehicle they own."

It would seem to indicate, therefore, that there are a higher proportion of old bangers being pushed to their limits in these locations.

At the other end of the spectrum, you are most likely to pass your MOT first time in the Isle of Man. Mind you, given that it's only about 221 square miles, it could have something to do with the number of miles people tend to cover between their MOT tests.

The rest of the top ten most likely to pass was overwhelmingly dominated by London boroughs

Top ten
Isle of Man 28.1%
Bromley 33%
Romford 33.4%
Ilford 35.6%
Kingston upon Thames 36.1%
Southend-on-Sea 36.4%
Croydon 36.5%
Chelmsford 37.2%
Enfield 37.3%
Sutton 37.3%

What can you do?

Failing is a pointless waste of money, because you'll end up needing to fix the problem, and then get tested again. If your car has reached the end of its useful life, there may be very little you can do to cost-effectively keep it roadworthy and get it through its test first time.

However, most cars are not in this position. Most of the failures come down to the kinds of things that drivers ought to be able to spot on a daily basis - or at least during a quick pre-test check.

Branford says: "Some basic checks could bring failure rates down and save both time and money. There are multiple reasons why vehicles fail their MOT but the most common are tyres, headlights and indicators, which can be so easily fixed before the statutory roadworthiness test."

"Ahead of your vehicle's MOT, it's always worth doing some simple checks yourself to ensure anything straightforward like filling up the screen wash can be fixed in advance of your test. Also, make sure you have addressed any previous 'advisories' – that's the maintenance work recommended by the garage during its last MOT. You can check your car's MOT history and advisories for free using Automyze, and get free quotes to get the work done."

Watch: 91-Year-Old Rams Car Through Garage as Part of His Bucket List
Watch: 91-Year-Old Rams Car Through Garage as Part of His Bucket List