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43% of cars in Yorkshire fail their MOT


12:00am 11th May 2012
(Updated 1:08pm 11th May 2012)

An analysis of 24.5 million MOT records obtained by consumer motoring champion, honestjohn.co.uk, has revealed that 43 per cent of cars in Yorkshire failed their MoTs.

This means that the county did worse than the national average of 40 per cent.

Between October 2010 September 2011, 456,542 cars tested in Yorkshire failed their MoT.

The most common reasons were lighting and signalling (21.4 per cent of failures), followed by suspension (16.4 per cent of failures) and brakes (16 per cent of failures).

The research by honestjohn.co.uk involved examining tens of millions of records obtained from the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA) through the Government’s OpenData scheme. It is data that VOSA has previously fought to keep secret from car owners for years. Now honestjohn.co.uk is publishing it as The MoT Files at honestjohn.co.uk/mot – the first time this information has ever been available to the public in such detail.

York (41 per cent), Bradford (45 per cent) and Leeds (46 per cent) score worse than national average fail rate, Wakefield is average 40 per cent, while Halifax does the best (38 per cent.)

The MoT data for York (YO) postcodes shows that brakes have a 40 per cent higher failure rate than the national average.

In Bradford and Leeds, every major MoT test area that's examined performs worse than the national average.

The publication of honestjohn.co.uk’s MoT Files means that consumers will for the first time be able to spot cars common failures by make, model, year of registration and postcode based on empirical data. Honestjohn.co.uk’s MoT Files represents a significant step forward for big data. As one of the very first instances of a huge data set interpreted in such a way, it will help the average consumer to make better informed decisions about their next car purchase.

Daniel Harrison, editor of honestjohn.co.uk, commented:

“This is information that has been kept from car owners for many years. VOSA even fought to keep it out of public view. It’s the first time that this information has been made available in this detail, and in a format that makes it easy to access.

Hard-pressed families can take this information and use it to ensure that they’re not failing a MoT on something that can be easily fixed beforehand. Honestjohn.co.uk’s MoT Files demonstrates that many failure items are down to the owner, rather than inherent fault with the car. Families using the data that comes from the 24.5 million records will be better prepared for their MoTs and be able to keep better control over the cost of motoring.”

Postcode area

Pass rate (%)












National Data on 2008-registered vehicles

European manufacturers are at the bottom of the table for first MoT failures. The worst performer, Renault, was followed by the British-built MINI, with Citroen taking third from bottom. A surprise addition to the bottom ten list, given that their cars are traditionally a byword for durability, is Volvo with more than 5,800 of the Swedish manufacturer’s 26,000 2008-registered cars failing their first MoT.

By contrast, the top ten best-performing cars is made up of Japanese manufacturers, with the top three places going to Lexus, Suzuki and Honda. Troubled Swedish manufacturer Saab edges in at number four.

Broken down by model, the detailed data reveals that the worst performing family car was the Renault Megane, with only 71 per cent of cars registered in 2008 passing their first MoT. The Renault Megane was most likely to fail on lighting and signalling problems, but was also failing on steering faults three times higher than the national average. The MINI One also performed relatively poorly, with 25 per cent of 2008-registered vehicles failing their first MoT, though primarily for minor faults including lighting and signalling and the driver’s view of the road. The top model was the Suzuki Splash with a 90 per cent pass rate in its first MoT.

Top 5 pass rates by manufacturer

  1. Lexus
  2. Suzuki
  3. Honda
  4. Saab
  5. Toyota

Bottom 5 pass rates by manufacturer

  1. Renault
  2. Mini
  3. Citroen
  4. Chevrolet
  5. Peugeot
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