The 10 cars most likely to fail their first MOT

Updated: 

A new car is generally supposed to take the hassle out of MOTs - a new model should glide through without any problems.

But recent research tells a different story - one in five cars registered in 2010 failed their first health check this year.


Car owners are required to get an MOT test to check that their vehicle meets certain road safety and environmental standards every year. But new cars don't have to be presented for a test until after their first three years on the road.

Around 70 million records from the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA) of cars registered as new in 2010 and tested this year were analysed by new MOT price comparison website TootCompare.

It found between that January and August 2013, 253,000 new cars failed the Ministry of Transport test.

Let's take a look at the winners and losers.

MOT winners
Here are the 2010 models which managed to achieve the highest MOT pass rates when tested for the first time this year.

Model

Pass rate

Average mileage

Total tests

Toyota IQ

91.82%

20,235

2,835

Honda Jazz

90.40%

19,541

15,441

Honda CR-V

89.83%

30,848

7,072

Lexus IS

89.65%

30,546

1,826

Toyota Yaris

89.61%

21,815

13,982

Lexus RX

89.31%

35,730

1,796

Audi Q5

89.27%

35,669

2,488

Audi TT

89.22%

27,460

4,137

Land Rover Freelander

88.80%

33,807

9,833

Suzuki Splash

88.07%

16,775

1,048



The top of the table is dominated by Japanese models, while European marques come lower down.

The compact Toyota IQ was found to be the best 2010 model to ace its first MOT, with a pass rate of nearly 92%.

But the Honda Jazz was also able to achieve over 90% and is perhaps more notable as the model underwent a much higher volume of tests than the Toyota IQ between January and August this year.

A surprising number of compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Lexus RX and Audi Q5 also performed well.

Overall the manufacturers that produced cars that tended to have a better MOT sucess rate were Lexus (89.5% pass rate), Subaru (88.7%), Honda (87.2%), Toyota (85.7%), Audi (84.8%), Saab (84.5%), Land Rover (84.3%), Mercedes (84.2%), Suzuki (84.1%) and Hyundai (83.8%).

Japanese- and German-made cars dominate the list, but Land Rover is the exception to this rule.

MOT losers
Here are the ten 2010 models which managed to achieve the lowest MOT pass rates when presented for the first time this year.

Model

Pass rate

Average mileage

Total tests

Chevrolet Aveo

73.75%

23,482

1,680

Mitsubishi L200

73.53%

42,793

3,513

Chevrolet Captiva

73.53%

31,894

1,390

Nissan Navara

70.59%

46,514

1,955

Mazda 5

70.55%

28,211

1,443

Fiat Doblo

69.24%

38,700

1,749

Peugeot 5008

68.14%

35,663

2,398

Citroen C4

67.86%

23,604

14,610

Citroen Berlingo

67.84%

43,437

7,182

Renault Kangoo

63.54%

43,144

3,494


The worst performing models were the Renault Kangoo, Citreon Berlingo and the Citroen C4, which all had a 32% failure rate, meaning one in three failed their first test.

At the bottom of the table the models have above average mileage for a three-year-old car.

The average was 30,177 miles, but the Renault Kangoo and Citroen Berlingo both typically had over 40,000 miles on the clock.

However, this theory of poorly performing cars having higher mileages doesn't always correlate.
The Citroen C4 for example did 23,600 miles on average, but only achieved a pass rate of 67.9%, while the Chevrolet Aveo had a similar story with only 23,482 on the clock and a pass rate of 73.8%.

The cars most likely to fail were from manufacturers in France, the US and Italy.

The manufacturers that produced cars that tended to have a low MOT pass rate were Citroen (76.2% pass rate) Chevrolet (76.6%), Fiat (77.1%), Seat (78.2%), Mini (78.5%), Renault (79.1%) and Volvo (79.1%).

According to the research the most common reasons for MOT fails were lights and indicators (165,088 failures), tyres (88,862 failures), drivers' view of the road (75,210 failures), brakes (47,088 failures), suspension (18,045 failures), registration plate and VIN (10,258 failures), fuel and exhaust (4,991 failures), road wheels (3,927 failures), seat belts (3,795 failures) and steering (3,430 failures).

See if you can drive down the cost of your car insurance

MOT tests
The maximum a garage can charge for an MOT on a car is set at £54.85 (not including VAT), but if you shop around you can find garages charging much less.

A new car can save you on the cost of an MOT for three years, but after this period it will need to have a yearly test to prove it is in a roadworthy condition.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders recently found that a third of motorists admitted to driving a car without a MOT certificate. Some drivers had left it up to six months before rectifying the matter.

Drivers tend to dread their annual MOT as if a car fails there can be unexpected costs that might put a strain on a household's finances.

2013's most reliable cars

2013's most reliable cars