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DVSA & DfT Data reveals Britain’s MOT failure hotspots & the top 10 reasons why

MOT failure hotspots in Britain

7th August 2019

Jo Callwood
0114 383 0734

*Information and images come courtesy of CarTakeBack UK -
*Information is taken from two sets of data - clearly labelled in tables at base of press release
*Imagery attached here.
*If you were keen to use the info or images, we’d be immensely grateful for a link to CarTakeBack UK (

• Nearly 40% of drivers fail their MOTs in Kirkcaldy and Dundee - the highest fail rates in the country.
• Those living in Enfield and South London are most likely to pass their MOT, with less than a 16% fail rate - the lowest in the UK.
• 12.8% of MOT fails are down to problems with lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment.
• Nearly 1 in 10 fail an MOT due to suspension.
• Please see base of press release for all tables of data provided

An investigation into the best and worst regions for MOT pass rates showed surprising patterns. The top pass rates are all in South East England, and on the flip side, the most failures fall in Scotland.

The government research, analysed by found some high fail rates in Kirkcaldy (39.45%) and Dundee (39.4%). Over 1 in 3 motorists are bound for an MOT failure there.

Truro, Plymouth, Aberdeen, Exeter, Torquay and Hull didn’t fare much better, all with similarly low pass rates.

In better news, drivers in the London and Essex regions are most likely to pass their MOT with flying colours. This area of Britain fills pretty much all the top spots, displaying the UK’s best pass rates.

About CarTakeBack

• Previously mentioned on websites including: Money Saving Expert, The Sun,, AOL
• UK's largest scrap car recycling network - with branches in 300 locations
• Official partner to major car brands
• Operate in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, as well as UK


Data set 1: UK locations most likely to pass/fail, based on most recent DfT data (last updated 11th Jan 2019)

Where are you most likely to fail an MOT?

Highest fail rates:

Kirkcaldy - 39.45%
Dundee - 39.40%
Truro - 35.56%
Plymouth - 35.36%
Aberdeen - 34.30%
Exeter - 33.60%
Torquay - 33.52%
Hull - 33.35%
Perth - 33.03%

Where are you most likely to pass an MOT?

Lowest fail rates:

Enfield - 15.60%
South East London - 15.88%
Romford - 16.24%
Ilford - 16.41%
East London - 16.65%
North London - 17.98%
Bromley - 18.20%
Croydon - 18.36%
Luton - 18.71%
Dartford - 18.74%

Data set 2: Top 10 reasons for MOT failure, based on most recent DVSA data (last updated July 4th 2019)

Top 10 reasons for MOT failures in the past year
Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment - 12.80%
Suspension - 9.10%
Brakes - 7.50%
Tyres - 5.80%
Visibility - 5.20%
Body, chassis, structure - 4.00%
Noise, emissions and leaks - 3.30%
Steering - 1.90%
Seat belts and supplementary restraint systems - 1.30%
Identification of the vehicle - 0.40%

Most common reasons for MOT failures in the past year - 2018 to 2019 (20 May 2018 to 31 March 2019)


Rebecca Currier, Marketing Manager at CarTakeBack says: “CarTakeBack branches across the UK regularly see cars sold to them that have failed an MOT. Minor fails can often be easily repaired, relatively cheaply. However, when a car fails and it’s likely to cost more than a car is worth to get it to pass an MOT test, those cars often end up being recycled. With a change in the law recently, cars that fail can’t be driven off the MOT centre site, in these instances it’s vital that the cars are collected from the MOT centre for the customer.”