Massive number of nearly new cars ‘would fail MOTs’

4th June 2021 | John

4th June 2021 – www.dailyrecord.co.uk

A study has highlighted the alarming volumes of fairly new cars that would fail an MOT even before they need one.

A staggering 580,000 cars aged three years or less on UK roads would probably fail an MOT test due to potentially dangerous faults, according to a study.

Analysis of Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency data by leading MOT and service comparison website BookMyGarage.com found 13 per cent of three-year-old cars – the equivalent of 280,000 in 2021 – fail when subjected to the test for the first time.

The official statistics also revealed a further 300,000 cars aged one and two years old would also fail to get a certificate, even though they are too young to legally require it.

The figures show nearly seven per cent of one-year-old cars and nine per cent of two-year-old cars failed the test last year.

Although not required, cars can still be officially scrutinised before their third birthday – and this is often the case with taxis or used-car dealers selling vehicles with 12 months’ MOT for peace of mind for the buyer.

Throughout 2020, 21,000 one-year-old cars were sent for an MOT and 62,000 two-year-old cars were tested.

As expected, the failure rate increases with the age of the car, with 40 per cent of 12-year-old cars not meeting the required standard last year.

Cars aged 16 years old had the highest failure rate, at nearly 47 per cent but, curiously, cars older than this had a marginally lower negative result.

For instance, 44 per cent of 20-year-old cars failed the test – the slightly lower rate likely explained by a few models reaching “classic” status at this age and being more cherished by owners.

BookMyGarage.com marketing chief Jessica Potts said: “Many drivers assume that young vehicles will be safe to drive and immune from defects. However, three years is plenty of time for a car to develop a potentially dangerous fault.

“It’s extremely common for tyres, brakes, suspension parts, light bulbs, windscreens and other components to require replacement within this time frame.

“So it’s crucial that drivers regularly inspect and maintain their car in accordance with the manufacturer’s service schedule, regardless of age, to ensure it’s always safe to drive and to avoid risking fines and penalty points.”

And it turns out that Dundee and Kirkcaldy have the lowest pass rates in the UK, according to further research by major automotive outfit Euro Car Parts.

Its analysis of the latest Department for Transport figures showed that just 70 per cent of cars gained a certificate in both postcode areas – compared with a whopping 87 per cent at the other end of the pass-rate scale in Nottingham.

Euro Car Parts spokeswoman Helen Robinson said: “After a unique year for MOTs due to the Government’s extension in 2020, it’s very interesting to see the postcodes where cars are most likely to pass and fail.

“For cars within the postcodes seeing the highest fail rates, perhaps the data will urge drivers to double and triple check their cars, and ensure they are 100 per cent roadworthy before sending them for their MOT.

“If your car needs any replacement parts before your MOT, our nationwide network of trusted garages can help you install them through our new zero-contact Fit It For Me service, which allows you to order parts from our website to your local garage.”

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