MOT Pass And Failure Rates

Drivers in the South-East of England are some of the luckiest without fail, according to Government MoT figures unearthed by a consumer motoring site. Our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, reports.

Passes and Fails revealed that the Essex town of Romford has the best MoT pass rate in Britain, while all the towns and cities in the top 10 were located in the South-East. By contrast, the two areas with the highest fail rate (Kirkcaldy and Dundee) were in Scotland, while failure rates were also high in the South-West, with six towns and cities in the region in the bottom 10.


The consumer site analysed millions of MoT records from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), as published the MoT Files for the first time in three years, following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request and a fight with the DVSA to make the data public. Success in this long-running battle means that for the first time in years owners and prospective buyers once again have detailed access to the latest MoT records and reasons for failure. It has been published in full at


The research also showed that the most common reasons for failure related to defects with vehicle lighting, steering, suspension and tyres.


Daniel Powell, of, said: “While the research may initially suggest that if you want to pass your MoT first time, you should jump in your car and drive it to Romford, there are other factors at play here. Drivers in and around London, for example, generally cover a much lower mileage leaving less likelihood of wear and tear, while household incomes are often higher, meaning many people own newer cars. In less wealthy areas, some aspects of car maintenance can often be overlooked, whilst in more remote parts of the country the mileage covered between MoT tests is often much greater.”

Top 10 regions

1) Romford (RM) – 72.7% pass rate

2) Enfield (EN) – 72.3% pass rate

3) Bromley (BR) – 71.5% pass rate

4) Croydon (CR) – 71.2% pass rate

5) Ilford (IG) – 70.6% pass rate

6) Chelmsford (CM) – 70.3% pass rate

7) Dartford (DA) – 70.1% pass rate

8) Southend-on-Sea (SS) – 70.1% pass rate

9) Slough (SL) – 69.9% pass rate

10) Kingston-upon-Thames (KT) – 69.8% pass rate

Bottom 10 regions

1) Kirkcaldy (KY) – 53.4% pass rate

2) Dundee (DD) – 53.4% pass rate

3) Plymouth (PL) – 54.2% pass rate

4) Truro (TR) – 55.1% pass rate

5) Exeter (EX) – 56.0% pass rate

6) Torquay (TQ) – 56.1% pass rate

7) Hull (HU) – 58.0% pass rate

8) Aberdeen (AB) – 58.0% pass rate

9) Bristol (BS) – 58.2% pass rate

10) Taunton (TA) – 58.4% pass rate