A third of UK drivers have let their MOT lapse

UK drivers let MOT lapse

New research reveals that around 11 million UK motorists have let their car’s MOT lapse beyond its expiry date. 

The research from Kwik Fit also revealed that one in 10 of those who’d let their MOT lapse had done so repeatedly. And ‘repeatedly’ here means more than six times…

Drivers aged 18-34 are five times more likely to be a repeat offender than those 55 or older, too.

UK drivers let MOT lapse

A third of drivers use their car without an MOT for three days or less, which, while illegal, doesn’t sound so bad. More worryingly, the average time cars without a valid MOT are driven in the UK is around two months (66.2 days).

Londoners beat the national average of 29 percent twice over, with 63 percent of drivers in the capital admitting to having let their MOT lapse. 

Forgetfulness is the most common reason for the problem, with 42 percent saying they’d let their MOT slip their mind. Also, 21 percent said that it was because they didn’t make a note of the expiry date, while 16 percent said it was because their garage didn’t remind them. 

Financial woes are a major reason as well. Around 1.4 million drivers say they can’t afford the work the car would need. Ironically, however, this decision could end up costing you more. Driving without a valid MOT can carry a fine of £1,000, while driving a car considered to be in dangerous condition can land you with a fine of up to £2,500, with three penalty points to boot.

If you’re a repeat offender, like the three percent of drivers that admit to being so, you could find yourself banned from driving.

UK drivers let MOT lapse

“It is concerning to see that people are knowingly or unwittingly driving a vehicle which could pose a danger to them or other road users,” said Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit.

“We understand that people have busy lives and MOT dates can slip off the calendar or a ‘to do’ list. We would encourage drivers who don’t have a note of their expiry date to check it and get it marked in the calendar with plenty of time, to avoid any issues.  March is a peak month for MOTs and so drivers should book as far in advance as possible to ensure they don’t end up driving illegally.”

Basic car checks for before an MOT

UK drivers let MOT lapse

“Many cars fail their MOTs on components which drivers should be very aware of, such as illegal tyre tread or lights not working,” Griggs continued. 

“Some simple checks will enable motorists to prepare their car in advance and avoid that dreaded verdict of a fail.  Now that a car’s MOT history is available online for anyone to see, including a prospective buyer, having a consistent series of passes will help show that a vehicle has been well maintained.”

Car check % of drivers who complete this ahead of MOT
Check all lights are working 38%
Check tyre tread depth 34%
Check wiper blades 32%
Check tyre condition (e.g. splits, nails) 31%
Check all dashboard warning lights 30%
Check mirrors are all functioning 27%
Test horn is working 23%
Check brake fluid levels 21%
MOTs cancelled in Northern Ireland

Revealed: The biggest MOT myths

MOTs cancelled in Northern Ireland

Three percent of motorists thought a car radio not working would count as an MOT fail. That’s according to the results of a new survey.

Research shows that 7.6 million cars have been driven on the roads without a valid MOT – around 20 percent of the cars on the road. Thirty-one percent of the drivers polled in the Halfords survey were unaware that they could face a fine of up to £1,000 for driving without an MOT.

ALSO SEE: 10 things to check before an MOT test

Meanwhile, 16 percent didn’t know that an expired MOT puts them at risk of invalidating their car insurance.

When asked why they had driven without an MOT, 64 percent of drivers said they had forgotten when the test was due. Two-thirds of drivers (33 percent), believed there’s a grace period for driving without an MOT. There isn’t.

It’s worth remembering that the government runs a free MOT reminder service. You just need the car’s registration number and a phone number or email address. Click here to access the service.

‘An anxious time’

Pre-MOT checks

Aaron Edwards from Halfords Autocentres said: “The MOT test can be an anxious time –  it can be a little bit like waiting for your exam results. When it comes to doing things that may cause stress and cost money, people tend to leave these things to the last minute.”

The biggest MOT myths

Rank Myth Percentage
1. Didn’t realise that running out of water in the screen wash bottle would count as a fail 71 percent
2. Didn’t know that windscreen stickers that obscure the driver’s view would be classed as a fail 60 percent
3. Weren’t aware that having under-inflated tyres would mean a fail 56 percent
4. Thought that window not opening would be a fail, but that isn’t the case 33 percent
5. Didn’t know that driving with damaged windscreen wipers would be a fail 31 percent
6. Thought they could pass their MOT without having a registration plate 25 percent
7. Thought they could pass their test with a missing door mirror 24 percent
8. Thought a radio not working with count as a fail 3 percent


MOTs cancelled in Northern Ireland

MOT tests in Northern Ireland have been suspended

MOTs cancelled in Northern Ireland

All MOT tests in Northern Ireland have been suspended, effective immediately, after 48 of 55 lifts inspected in test centres were found to be unsafe.

The lifts were found to have damage that could put testers at risk, including structural cracks. Drivers in NI with an MOT test booked for today (Tuesday 28 January 2020) have been advised not to attend.

Pre-MOT checks

“This is hugely embarrassing,” said Paul Duffy, chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA), speaking to BBC News Northern Ireland.

“I think we have a fairly good reputation and this is something that has tarnished that reputation.

“The DVA recognises the considerable inconvenience and disruption this will cause for many people and sincerely apologises that it has been unable to rectify this situation more quickly.”

Can’t get an MOT? There are exemptionsMOTs cancelled in Northern Ireland

So far, more than 5,000 tests have been cancelled, and rising. As of yesterday, drivers can apply for exemptions.

Cars going for their first MOT test will still be required to do so. They will be tested, temporarily, in lanes normally used for lorries and buses. Tests on HGVs and buses will also continue as normal.

Will car insurance be valid with no MOT?MOTs cancelled in Northern Ireland

There have been assurances that insurers will be ‘pragmatic’.

“I think the key thing here is to talk to your insurer,” said Malcolm Tarling of the Association of British Insurers.

“Let them know these quite unusual circumstances and get hold of one of those exemption certificates as well.”

“Insurers are going to keep a very close eye on the situation and they are going to be guided by the advice the authorities in Northern Ireland are giving out.”

10 things you need to check before an MOT test

Pre-MOT checks

The annual MOT test is a legal requirement for all cars over three-years-old. An approved testing station will assess the safety of the car, along with the emissions to make sure they meet the minimum standards.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), around 40 percent of cars fail the MOT at the first attempt. Further MOT data reveals that around 50 percent of the faults could have been avoided by carrying out some basic pre-MOT checks.

Following an overhaul of the MOT test in May 2018, it’s never been harder to pass first time. Under strict new rules, faults are graded depending on how dangerous they are, with greater emphasis placed on diesel car emissions. As a result, MOT emissions test failures have nearly doubled.


This one is blindingly obvious, but so many motorists forget to check the lights before the MOT test. Indeed, a surprising 30 percent of faults found during the MOT test relate to lighting and signalling.

Make sure you check all of the lights – headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators – and be sure to include the brake lights in your inspection. Either ask a friend to press the brake pedal, or reverse up to a reflective surface. Make sure the high-level brake light is functioning correctly.

Number plates

Number plates (also known as licence plates) must show the car’s registration number correctly. You could be fined up to £1,000 and your car will fail its MOT if you drive with incorrectly spaced letters or numbers.

The number plates will also be inspected for condition, secure attachment and colour. Give yourself plenty of time to order a new set of plates – you can only order from a registered number plate supplier. You will need to prove your identity and show that you’re entitled to the registration number.

Wheels and tyres

Pre-MOT checks

Firstly, check that the wheels and tyres are undamaged – you can do this yourself or at a local tyre fitter. The minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm, and anything less than this will be marked as a ‘fail’.

However, we’d recommend changing the tyres when the tread reaches 3mm. While spare wheels and tyres are not inspected, it’s worth noting that cars first used on or after 1 January 2012 will be checked to make sure the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is working.

Note: 10 percent of all MOT faults are related to tyres.

Seats and seatbelts

Check that the driver’s seat can be adjusted and that all seats are securely fitted. It’s essential that the seatbacks can be fixed in the upright position.

While you’re there, check the entire length of the seatbelt for damage and pull on them sharply to ensure that they react appropriately.


Take a look at the windscreen to ensure that there are no cracks or damage to the glass. Any damage larger than 40mm will result in a ‘fail’, as will any chips or damage wider than 10mm in the area swept by the wipers.


Checking a windscreen wiper blade

On the subject of wipers, make sure they are able to clear the windscreen of rain. If it’s not raining, use a watering can or a hose. The wiper blades should be free of damage or tears – it’s likely to be cheaper to buy a set of new blades in advance rather than relying on a distress purchase at the MOT test centre.

Note: 8.5 percent of all MOT faults are related to ‘Driver’s view of the road’. So, if you have stickers, toys or air-fresheners obstructing your view, remove them before the test.


Your car could fail its MOT for having no screenwash, so make sure the washer bottle is topped up in advance. You’ll also be turned away from the MOT test centre if the vehicle has insufficient engine oil or fuel. The MOT tester will also check the power steering oil.


Again, it’s a simple one to check, but when was the last time you used your horn? Make sure it works and is the suitable horn for the vehicle.

Warning lights

If your car’s dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree you could be in for a rough ride at the MOT testing station. A failed main beam warning light will result in a fail, as will the ABS light, engine warning light, brake fluid light and airbag warning light. Get all dashboard lights checked out in advance.

Suspension and brakes

Pressing the brake pedal

One in 10 of all MOT fails are related to brake issues, and you can minimise the risk by testing the brakes every day. If you hear any strange noises or the car pulls to one side, consult a garage.

Similarly, the MOT tester will check the suspension, so press down on each front wing to check for worn shock absorbers. If the car ‘bounces’ up and down rather than returning to the correct position, they may be worn. Also, listen out for knocking noises

These simple checks should only take a few minutes, but it’ll be more hassle arranging for any repair work to be carried out or booking a re-test. For a full list of the car parts checked during the MOT test, visit the government website.

Remember, an MOT test isn’t the same as having your car serviced and doesn’t provide an accurate description of the vehicle’s general mechanical condition. Regular service and maintenance will almost certainly improve your chances of an MOT pass and fewer advisories.

Read more:

MOT test centre

Half a million cars have a late MOT test in January

MOT emissions failures double inside a year

Half a million cars had a late MOT in January 2019, as cash-strapped motorists deferred the test until payday. Of these, around 70,000 cars FAILED with a dangerous fault – that’s 14 percent.

January is a tough period for the household budget, with many families still paying the price for over-indulging at Christmas. The problems mount when the credit card bill arrives towards the end of the month.

Deferring an MOT is illegal and could be expensive. Anyone caught driving a vehicle without an MOT is likely to be fined up to a maximum of £1,000. It’s for this reason that Highways England is urging drivers to make sure their car has a valid MOT. 

There’s no excuse for a late MOT. While some garages will contact a customer up to a month prior to the date of expiry, there are some things you can do from the comfort of your home. These include:

  • Putting a note on the calendar. Make sure you transfer the date when you get a new calendar at the start of the year. Alternatively, use the calendar on your smartphone and set a reminder for a month before the test is due.
  • Sign up for a free MOT reminder via the government website. You need the vehicle’s registration number and a mobile phone number or email address. If you own a car, van or motorcycle, you’ll receive a text message or email one month before the MOT is due.
  • Download an app to keep track of your car’s service and maintenance. The AA app includes special offers, a map and information about your car, including when the MOT is due, tyre pressures and the VED renewal date. You’ll receive a reminder before the MOT runs out.

If you’ve lost your MOT certificate, it’s worth remembering that you can check the MOT history of a vehicle at any time via the government website. You’ll need the vehicle’s registration number.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), around 50 percent of all faults found during the MOT test could be avoided by carrying out regular maintenance or by checking some basic items before the test.

Further MOT data reveals that around 40 percent of cars fail their MOT at the first attempt. Check out our guide to 10 easy pre-MOT checks to increase the chances of your car passing first time.

Simple regular checks for drivers

Get a Grip tyre campaign to get young drivers educated

Highways England has issued further advice for drivers, regardless of when the MOT is due. These include:

  • Check tyres
    • Prior to a long journey, check your tyre pressures are suitable for the load and the condition of your tyres. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.
  • Check engine oil
    • Use your dipstick to check oil regularly and before any long journey. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.
  • Check water
    • To ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screenwash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen.
  • Check lights
    • If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, light malfunctions can be a reason for your vehicle to fail its MOT.
  • Check fuel
    • Before setting out, check your fuel levels and make sure you have enough to reach your destination.

For more hints and tips, please visit our motoring advice section.

UK drivers too scared to get their car serviced

Drivers too scared to get their car serviced

Millions of motorists are avoiding car maintenance over fears of unexpected problems.

Around half of UK drivers (47 percent) worry about having to pay for unexpected car repairs. This is according to a survey of 2,000 motorists.

A quarter (24 percent) of those who worry about unexpected problems say this uncertainty is putting them off getting their car serviced.

The research found that drivers are paying hundreds of pounds to pass an MOT, with 5 percent paying £1,000 or more to get their vehicle through the test.

MOT stations can charge up to £54.85 for a car, but some outlets will encourage motorists by charging a reduced fee for the test.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), nearly 50 percent of all faults found on MOTs could be avoided by carrying out regular maintenance or by checking some basic items before the test.

Further MOT analysis reveals that around 40 percent of cars fail their MOT at the first attempt, costing motorists time and money.

There are concerns that there could be millions of cars on the road that are in a less-than-perfect condition.

‘A nerve-wracking experience’

Unexpected repair bills

Lauren French, product manager at RAC MOT Assist, the company behind the research, said: “Clearly, taking a car in for a service or MOT can be a nerve-wracking experience with many drivers concerned about what might be uncovered, and the unpleasant financial consequences that can result.

“But it’s even more alarming that this experience is enough to put some people off getting their car serviced in the future. Just how many people are driving vehicles on the UK’s roads that they know have problems?

“The best advice to any driver is to keep on top of servicing and maintenance work – the quicker problems are identified, often the cheaper they are to remedy. But at the same time we know that running a car can feel burdensome, and that some drivers don’t feel confident finding an affordable but reliable garage, or trusting one with looking after their car.

“This is why we’ve built a national network of RAC approved independent garages that drivers can depend on for good service and fair prices, with every one of them backed by the RAC’s Customer Charter and Code of Conduct.“

Halloween horrors: frightful MOT failure finds

halloween horror MOT finds

Halloween looms. As we carve our pumpkins and prepare for trick or treat, it’s worth considering the real-life horrors our country’s MOT testers face all year-round. 

To illustrate that, the Driver and Vehicle Standard’s Agency (DVSA) has shared some of the scariest sights MOT testers have seen in their daily lives. “Just when we think MOT testers out there have seen it all, something else comes into their garages to make them gasp,” says the DVSA’s website. Let’s get into it.

Frankenstein bolts

halloween horror MOT finds

In the face of a bolt deficiency, after the originals fell out, a Suzuki motorcycle rider secured his brake caliper with monster bolts. If they’d fallen out and the calliper broke free, that’s the front brakes out of action.

And to think the owner rode the bike to the test station in this condition…

Twisted terror

halloween horror MOT finds

If you’ve ever used a hose, and the water stopped, and you found kinks in that hose were the cause, you’ll be able to empathise, and cringe, at this one. 

Imagine that, but with a brake pipe designed to feed precious brake fluid to your stoppers. The new flexi hose spun the pipe to the point of strangling fluid supply.

Suspension at stake

halloween horror MOT finds

A lot is made of how Morgans are part-constructed out of ash wood. In the case of this classic British sports car, it’s quaint. In the case of a bit that’s chucked in by an ‘ingenuitive’ owner to stop suspension falling apart, it’s scary.

Witches brew

halloween horror MOT finds

In the car world, few concoctions are scarier than when oxygen, water and a little bit of salt set to work on steel. Rust is the car enthusiast’s equivalent of the poison lacing a chalice.

And it really can riddle your ride, to the point that desperate measures are resorted to. In this case, someone re-purposed a lager can, in combination with some filler, to create something resembling a safe wheel arch. It definitely didn’t work…

Offensive MOT advisory notice ‘completely unacceptable’

offensive MOT advisory note

An offensive MOT advisory notice for a 2004 Smart has been branded “completely unacceptable” by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Forget failure notices for diesel particulate filters, this MOT advisory requires a profanity filter.

An item on the car’s MOT history has been dubbed “the most offensive MOT advisory ever”, following widespread sharing on social media.

The MOT advisory – which isn’t safe for work – was entered by an MOT tester at an independent garage, and called the Smart’s owner a rather crude word.

To compound the misery for the owner, the Smart failed its MOT on account of a registration plate lamp not working.

The DVSA is investigating the MOT advisory notice

Offensive MOT advisory

Neil Barlow, DVSA’s head of vehicle engineering, told Motoring Research: “DVSA’s priority is to help everyone keep their vehicle safe to drive.

“The comment posted on the MOT history service is completely unacceptable and how now been removed. We are investigating this further.

“Since 2017, there has been a profanity filter in place to stop MOT testers being able to include these words on a certificate.”

Last month, the DVSA published a new guide setting out 15 important points to ensure MOT testers carry out each test to highest possible standard. There are penalties for failing to meet the required standards, and the DVSA can ban a garage from running an MOT centre for up to five years in the most serious cases.

MOT test stations are required to check at least one MOT test from each tester every two months and must check that new staff are eligible to meet the standards. All MOT testers must complete their annual training and assessment programmes by the end of March every year.

A total of 31 million MOT tests were recorded on the DVSA database in 2018, each one free of swear words and offensive remarks. That said, we suspect the responses to many MOT failure notices were greeted with phrases that aren’t necessarily safe for delicate eyes and ears.

‘Problem area’ for car MOT failures in Scotland

Scotland has an MOT fail epidemic

An investigation into where most MOT failures occur in the UK reveals a problem area in Scotland.

Four towns within a hundred miles of each other in northern Scotland all come in the top 10 places cars are most likely to fail an MOT. More than one in three motorists faces an MOT fail in Perth, Aberdeen, Dundee and Kirkcaldy.

The latter two towns have a particularly poor track record, with nearly four in 10 cars failing. Respective MOT fail-rates are 33.03 percent for Perth, 34.30 percent for Aberdeen, 39.40 percent for Dundee and 39.45 percent for Kirkcaldy.

The figures come from Department for Transport (DfT) data, as collated by CarTakeBack. 

The worst places for MOT failure

Scotland has an MOT fail epidemic

  • 1. Kirkcaldy – 39.45%
  • 2. Dundee – 39.40%
  • 3. Truro – 35.56%
  • 4. Plymouth – 35.36%
  • 5. Aberdeen – 34.30%
  • 6. Exeter – 33.60%
  • 7. Torquay – 33.52%
  • 8. Hull – 33.35%
  • 9. Perth – 33.03%

What causes the most MOT fails?

The most likely cause of MOT failures is lighting, reflectors and electrical equipment (12.8 percent). Make sure all your lights on the outside are working, and that your reflectors are where they need to be. Also, be sure there are no warning lights on your dashboard.

Scotland has an MOT fail epidemic

The next reason for failing is suspension (9.1 percent) followed by brakes (7.5 percent) and then tyres (5.8 percent).

Visibility is next (5.2 percent), and is an easy one to sort. Make sure your wipers are clearing your windscreen properly, and there are no chips. This comes from DVSA data on failures between May 2018 and March 2019.

Top 10 reasons for MOT failures in the past year

  • Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment – 12.8%
  • Suspension – 9.1%
  • Brakes – 7.5%
  • Tyres – 5.8%
  • Visibility – 5.2%
  • Body, chassis, structure – 4%
  • Noise, emissions and leaks – 3.3%
  • Steering – 1.9%
  • Seat belts and supplementary restraint systems – 1.3%
  • Identification of the vehicle – 0.4%

The cars most and least likely to pass an MOT

MOT test winners and losers

The dreaded MOT test: it’s something we all face with cars over three years old, and you can never take a pass for granted, regardless of how meticulously your car is maintained. Now, we reveal the top 10 winners and losers at MOT testing stations across the UK, according to figures obtained by What Car?.

The cars least likely to fail an MOT

MOT test winners and losers

Firstly, the winners. These are the cars to consider buying if you want your MOT test to be smooth sailing. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that even these cars don’t offer a free pass. Maintenance and sympathetic driving are still integral to the ongoing performance and safety of your car.

Smart Fortwo

MOT test winners and losers

This might come as a surprise to some, but the 2007-2014 Smart is the 10th-placed MOT hero here. Just 14.4 percent fail when they show up for a test.

Ford Ka

MOT test winners and losers

A trend you might note is that many of the cars in the top performers are quite new. That’s no coincidence. The 2008-2016 second-generation Ford Ka does well, with a 13.5 percent fail-rate. Read on and you’ll discover its predecessor isn’t such a strong performer…

Hyundai i10

MOT test winners and losers

Hyundai’s city car is competent and deservedly popular. Not too stylish, mind, but it’s clearly dependable, with just 12.5 percent of 2008-2013 models failing the MOT test.

Suzuki Alto

MOT test winners and losers

Suzuki is famous for producing affordable, dependable and likeable little cars. The Alto is a bit quirky, but it delivers the goods when it comes to MOT tests. The 2009-2015 model manages an impressive 11.7 percent fail-rate.

Seat Mii

MOT test winners and losers

Seat’s tiny tot joins its Volkswagen Group siblings on this list of MOT stars. Just 10.8 percent of Miis fail the annual test.

Vauxhall Adam

MOT test winners and losers

Much-derided by car journalists, the Vauxhall Adam is at least decently reliable, achieving a mere 10.6 percent fail-rate.

Kia Picanto

MOT test winners and losers

Being related to the Hyundai i10, it makes sense that the funky little Picanto does well. The 2011-2017 model has an impressive 9.8 percent MOT test fail-rate.

Volkswagen Up

MOT test winners and losers

The Volkswagen Up makes it into the top three; only 6.7 percent don’t pass an MOT first time.

Peugeot 108

MOT test winners and losers

The Up is beaten by the Peugeot 108 (whose Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1 siblings, interestingly, are nowhere to be seen). It achieves a six percent fail-rate.

Skoda Citigo

MOT test winners and losers

The Citigo comes joint-top with the Peugeot, also on six percent. Cheap to buy and run, it’s clearly also very reliable.

The cars most likely to fail an MOT

MOT test winners and losers

Now we’ve seen the best, it’s time to consider the worst performers in MOT tests. Spoiler alert: many come from the same brands as the best cars. So choose wisely.

Citroen C2

MOT test winners and losers

We start with the Citroen C2, which was produced between 2003 and 2009. It’s the 10th-worst performer, with 28.1 percent failing the MOT.

Chevrolet Matiz

MOT test winners and losers

As do exactly the same proportion of 2005-2010 Chevrolet Matiz cars that are tested.

Seat Arosa

MOT test winners and losers

In contrast to the strong performance of the Mii, grandpa Arosa doesn’t have a good time at MOT test stations. The 1997-2005 model fails on 28.3 percent of occasions.

Fiat Seicento

MOT test winners and losers

The Fiat Seicento, made between 1998 and 2004, is even worse, with 31.1 percent failing the MOT.

Peugeot 106

MOT test winners and losers

Unlike the top-performer 108, the 106 has a hard time here. We suspect advancing age and lower value mean that these older models are withering away at a rate that owners aren’t willing to keep up with. In total, 31.7 percent of 106s fall short of the MOT test standard.

Hyundai Amica

MOT test winners and losers

Think of the Amica as a Hyundai i10 from another time. The 2000 to 2003 model fails its MOT at a rate of 32.7 percent.

Suzuki Alto

MOT test winners and losers

The 2004 to 2009 Suzuki Alto doesn’t fare well either. It also scores a 32.7 percent fail-rate. Remarkably, this is the second Alto here (after the top-performing 2009-2015 model), but not the last…

Ford Ka

MOT test winners and losers

Hopefully this isn’t a sign that the second-generation Ka has some hard times ahead. The first Ka, built between 1996 and 2008, has a 34.6 percent fail-rate. Another sign that the cheapest cars are potentially the least looked-after?

Suzuki Alto

MOT test winners and losers

The final Alto is almost the worst performer. The 1997-2004 model has a 36.4 percent MOT fail-rate. More evidence that age and cheapness are a killer.

Daewoo Matiz

MOT test winners and losers

The second Matiz, this time a Daewoo, is the biggest MOT loser. With a fail-rate of 38.8 percent, the 1998-2005 Matiz flunks an MOT on nearly four out of every 10 visits to the test station.

Conclusion on MOT stats

MOT test winners and losers

It’s interesting that the worst and best performers broadly come from the same brands. Does this suggest an enormous improvement in quality from one generation to the next? We don’t think so. More likely, older and cheaper models aren’t ageing well, and that – combined with not being cared for because they’re not worth much – means they get a bad record.

A car can be a reflection of its owner. Look after your car well and it should look after you.