RAC Cars News


20% Of MOT Passes Are Not Roadworthy

By raccars Published

Image Source

Research by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suggests that potentially millions of cars are given MOT test passes when they are in fact not roadworthy. Up to 20% or three million vehicles received an MOT test pass incorrectly last year.

More than 25 million cars take an MOT test every year, of which 60% pass the test first time; however the DVSA's investigation showed that many of these passed displayed faults with steering, brakes, tyres, seatbelts, suspension, indicators and lights. One in eight of these vehicles was in such a bad condition that it should have been immediately banned. The DVSA's report resulted in action being taken against some of the garages that handed out inappropriate MOT passes.

The DVSA makes spot checks on MOT test error rates every year; however, 2013-2014 saw false passes increase by 2.3% on the previous year. 1,500 vehicles were examined by the DVSA after undergoing the MOT test, which also revealed that 11.2% of vehicles that failed the test should have passed.

240 infractions were noted during the spot checks, of which fewer than 10 resulted in disciplinary action, while warning letters were sent to one in eight of the garages involved.

Of the false MOT passes uncovered, 8.8% should have been failed on headlight aim, 6.0% on the driver's view of the road, 5.6% due to signalling and lighting equipment issues, 5.5% on suspension, 4.3% on road wheels and tyres, 2.6% on steering, 2.6% on emissions, 2.3% on seatbelts, 1.5% on bodywork problems, and 0.5% on various other issues.

The MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is a legal requirement for a car to be allowed on public roads and a failure to comply could result in a fine of £1,000. Along with spot checks on vehicles, the DVSA maintains the standard of MOT testing with unannounced garage visits and by strictly enforcing a training and support regime. It claims that garages found breaching the required standards will have their licence removed.

Motoring bodies are particularly concerned that even more vehicles can that are not roadworthy could be allowed to keep running if the government goes ahead with its plan to change when a car's first MOT is required from three to four years. Data analysis shows that 10% of cars fail their first MOT test when only three years old. With 2.4 million new registrations recorded last year, potentially 222,879 of these vehicles will fail their first test in 2017.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars