An Investigation Into The UK’s Worst MOT Failure Rates

Published on

With vehicles across the UK failing their MOT on the daily, we at National Scrap Car have taken it upon ourselves to examine the evidence. We analysed data across June 2021- June 2022 to determine which car makes and models have failed the most MOTs. Our research also unveils the regions most failing their test, alongside which months have the least success rate. But where does your vehicle feature?

Top 10 Make And Model Of Cars With The Highest MOT Failure Rate

The data revealed the car make/model with the highest MOT failure rate is the Honda Accord with 56.9%. Overall, Honda models had a sum failure rate of 22.7%, slightly higher than the average failure rate of 20.5%.

The car make/model with the second highest MOT failure rate is the Peugeot 206 with 40%. A popular car model, with its iconic smaller design and affordability it’s often a go to buy for new drivers. Along with the 206, Peugeot 207 was also featured in the top 10 ranking fifth worst with a failure rate of 36.5%. It’s no surprise that Peugeot is ranked as the fifth worst manufacturer based on MOT failure.

Coming in with the third highest MOT failure rate is the Renault Clio with a failure rate of 37.2%.

RankingCar Make/ModelFailure Rate
1Honda Accord56.90%
2Peugeot 20640%
3Renault Clio37.20%
4Fiat Punto36.80%
5Peugeot 20736.50%
6Vauxhall Vectra36.10%
7Toyota Hilux35.30%
8Vauxhall Meriva34.30%
9Citroen DS333.90%
10Vauxhall Zafira33.20%

Top 10 Make And Model Of Vans With The Highest MOT Failure Rates

We also investigated the van makes and models that had the highest failure rates. In first place was the Vauxhall Combo with the highest failure rating of 40.6%. Labelled as ‘the UK’s best selling small van’ it’s surprising to see such a popular van with such a high MOT failure rate.

In second place is the Renault Kangoo, described as “Europe’s best selling small van”. This popular van had a failure rate of 38.6%.

The Kangoo was closely followed by another Renault model, the Traffic with a failure rate of 37.9%.

RankingVan Make/ModelFailure Rate
1Vauxhall Combo40.60%
2Renault Kangoo38.60%
3Renault Trafic37.90%
4Citroen Dispatch34.35%
5Renault Master34.70%
6Vauxhall Movano34.10%
7Peugeot Expert33.60%
8Vauxhall Vivaro33.50%
9Citroen Relay33.30%
10Citroen Berlingo31.60%

Top 10 Luxury Cars Most Likely To Fail An MOT Test

The top three luxury cars with the worst MOT failure rates are manufactured by Jaguar Land Rover. 

The luxury make/model with the highest MOT failure rate is the Land Rover Defender with 36.2%. This is twice as many as the Jaguar XF which comes in second place.

Following production run for 67 years, the Jaguar Land Rover decided to discontinue the Defender in 2016 due to rising irrelevance and the costly EU emission standards. In 2020, Jaguar Land Rover released a new generation Defender that differs from the previous model. Although we can predict a lot of the MOT fails would be from the older generation, it still isn’t promising to see such a luxury car with a high MOT failure rate.

In second place is the Jaguar XF with an MOT failure rate of 17.9%. Jaguar is another staple of Britain, with its models sold en masse all around the globe. As of 2020 there were over 200,000 Jaguar XFs on UK roads.

Closely following the Jaguar XF in third place, came the Range Rover by Land Rover, one of the most iconic and most popular British built cars, with an MOT failure rate of 17.4%.

RankingCar Make/ModelFailure Rate
1Land Rover Defender36.20%
2Jaguar XF17.90%
3Land Rover Range Rover17.40%
4Audi Q317.30%
5Audi A516.90%
6BMW X316.80%
7Audi A616.10%
8BMW 52015.80%
9BMW 11615.70%
10Mercedes A-Class15.10%

Top 10 Car Manufacturers With The Highest MOT Failure Rates

As well as models, we also wanted to look into which manufacturers performed the worst when it came to their cars passing their MOT’s. 

Renault was crowned the overall worst car manufacturer for an MOT pass with a failure rate of 37%. Renault, the French brand which dates all the way back to 1899 has proven quite popular in the UK with 48,728 sales in 2021.

In second place came the iconic British manufacturer MINI with an overall failure rate of 30.2% despite only having 5 models in its range. Few cars can claim to be as iconic and recognisable as the MINI so it’s a shame to see it so high in our list of worst manufacturers.

In third place came Vauxhall, another British car manufacturer with 28% failure rate. 

The majority of manufacturers within the top 10 are popular makes that are available in the UK such as Vauxhall, Fiat and Volkswagen. With so many of these cars in circulation in Britain, it is a cause for concern as to why so many are failing their MOT.

RankingManufacturerFailure Rate

Top 10 Car Manufacturers With The Lowest MOT Failure Rates

The data also revealed which manufacturer had the lowest failure rates and therefore one of the most reliable fleet of cars. In first place with the lowest overall MOT failure rate was Porsche with only 9.9% failure rate. Porsche is one of the most popular luxury car brands in the UK, delivering 14,017 cars in the UK and Ireland in 2021. 

In second place came Lexus with only 15.3% failure rate. Lexus is known as the luxury vehicle division of the Japanese Toyota. The amount of Lexus vehicles registered in the UK in 2021 was 13,880, which was an increase of 1.1% from the year before.

Hyundai landed in third place with an MOT failure rate of 16.4%. The South Korean vehicle manufacturer has proven popular in recent years.

RankingManufacturerFailure Rate

Top 10 Car Colours Most Likely To Fail Their MOT

The data also revealed which colour car was most likely to fail its MOT. Despite not being a mainstream colour choice, vehicles in the colour green were the least likely to pass their MOT with a failure rate of 28.9%. At the other end of the spectrum, the more neutral beige-coloured cars had the highest pass rate with 0 fails out of all cars tested throughout the year.

Despite boasting some of the highest failure rates, mainstream colours such as silver (28.9%), white (25.2%) and black (24.6%) have a broader appeal than the more unique colours like gold, yellow and pink. These mainstream colours are also a lot easier to manage and maintain.

RankingCar Make/ModelFailure Rate

The Fuel Type Most Likely To Fail An MOT

The fuel type used in a car is a hot topic at the moment with the current climate debates. Diesel cars had the largest failure rate on average with 25.9%, shortly followed by petrol with 24.2%. Electric on the other hand had a failure rate of just 5.6%, which could be something to consider when it comes to making the switch from fuel to electric.

RankingFuel TypeFailure Rate

The Months You’re Most Likely To Fail Your MOT

When it came to the month you are most likely to fail your MOT, November came out with the highest MOT failures rate of 26.1%. Followed by April with a failure rate of 25.9% and January with a failure rate of 25.4%.

Interestingly, the majority of months in the top 5 are in winter, suggesting you should be doing extra checks on your vehicle throughout colder months. Colder months can place more stress on your battery, fluids can freeze, wipers get worn and tyre tread depth becomes more critical. This might be why there are more MOT failures throughout winter. 

RankingMonthFailure Rate

Regions Most Likely To Fail Their MOT

Over half of the top ten regions with the highest MOT failure rates are located in Scotland.

Llandrndod in Powys, Wales had the highest failure rate out of all regions in the UK. This spa town has a failure rate of 48% and was the only Welsh location to make the top ten. This staggering rate is around 32% bigger than the location with the lowest MOT failure rate in the UK.

In second place came Scotland’s fourth-largest city, Dundee with an MOT failure rate of 38.7%. 

Staying in Scotland, we take a trip 30 miles south to the coastal town of Kirkcaldy. Where only 2.3% more people pass their MOT on average to that of Dundee. Kirkcaldy has an MOT failure rate of 36.4%.

RankingLocationsFailure Rate
1Llandrindod Wells48%
10Dumfries and Galloway33.20%

Top 10 Regions Least Likely To Fail Their MOT

On the other end of the spectrum, we wanted to look at which locations had the lowest MOT failure rate in the UK. A common theme that you can see in the table below is the amount of London locations. Nine out of the ten locations are located in London. The one place not in London was Slough, a London commuter town.

East London takes the crown for the lowest MOT failure rate in the UK with a failure rate of 16.3%.

Following closely behind East London is Enfield. The small town located in North London has a failure rate of 16.7%.

Romford followed Enfield in third with an average MOT failure rate of 16.9%.

RankingLocationsFailure Rate
1East London16.30%
6South East London17.60%
8North London18.20%

You can find out more information on what to do if you receive an MOT fail in our comprehensive MOT guide including the option of scrapping your car.  

If scrapping your car is the best option, you can use our Instant Quote Generator and within 60 seconds, your motor will be given a valuation and a whole host of offers from local scrap and salvage dealers will be available for your perusal.


MOT data was taken from public Government records on MOT test results from 2021-22. We removed any makes and models which had been tested under 50 times throughout that year.