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Unsafe vehicles fear over MOT changes plan

PUBLISHED: 09:02 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:02 18 October 2017

Many common MOT test failures are down to general maintenance. Picture: HonestJohn.co.uk/Shutterstock

Many common MOT test failures are down to general maintenance. Picture: HonestJohn.co.uk/Shutterstock

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With safety fears over extending the first MOT test from three to four years, new data shows the best and worst pass rates and common faults.

Controversial planned changes to the MoT test will increase the number of unsafe vehicles on Britain’s roads.

The government’s plans to extend the annual roadworthiness test from three to four years – currently undergoing consultation – could mean 385,000 vehicles that would have failed their first MoT will slip through the net and remain on the road unrepaired, according to government figures obtained by consumer motoring site HonestJohn.co.uk.

The consumer motoring site analysed millions of previously unseen MoT records from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and found that one in six cars were refused a roadworthiness certificate during the first MoT, with most failing due to unsafe brakes, lights and tyres.

The top five causes of failure during a car’s first MoT at three years were:

Lighting – 169,000.

Tyres – 101,000.

Driver’s view of the road – 98,000.

Brakes – 60,000.

Suspension – 27,000.

HonestJohn.co.uk has published the MoT Files for the first time in three years, following a Freedom of Information request and protracted fight with the DVSA to make the data public. It means consumers can spot common failures by make, model, year of registration and postcode based on real-world data.

Cars with the highest pass rate during the first MOT test in 2016 were:

Lexus RX 450h 94pc.

Honda Jazz 93pc.

Mazda MX-5 93pc.

Volkswagen Golf Plus 92pc.

Audi Q5 92pc.

The worst were:

Peugeot 5008 67pc.

Citroen DS4 73pc.

Renault Megane 74pc.

Ford Galaxy 75pc.

Chevrolet Spark 76pc

Honda, Porsche and Subaru all hold a collective first place for car-makers with an average pass rate for the first MOT in 2016 of 91%. The worst were Chevrolet, Citroen and Dacia with respective pass rates of 78pc, 79pc and 81pc.

Daniel Powell, managing editor of HonestJohn.co.uk, said: “Many of the common failure items are down to general maintenance, rather than a particular fault with the car.

“The government’s proposal to extend the first MoT from three to four years will effectively give irresponsible motorists a free pass to drive dangerous cars for an additional 12 months, without any mandatory safety checks.”

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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