Third of vehicles fail new MOT test

Almost a third of cars, vans and motorcycles failed their MOT in the first year of the tougher test.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show that more than 31 million vehicles had an MOT in the 12 months after the new test was introduced in May 2018, with 10.3 million failing. Of these, 2.9 million were deemed to have ‘dangerous’ defects requiring the vehicle to be taken off the road or repaired.

Faults are categorised differently with the new MOT test to help motorists better understand what is wrong with their vehicles.

Defects found during an MOT are now classed as ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ or ‘minor’, depending on the type of problem and how serious it is. ‘Dangerous’ and ‘major’ faults result in an automatic test failure, while those considered ‘minor’ will result in a pass, but should be repaired as soon as possible.

MOT testers are also still expected to give advisories about items that should be monitored and repaired if necessary.

The figures also show that nearly 1.2 million vehicles failed due to stricter emission tests introduced in May 2018. These vehicles have been repaired or taken off the road, helping to improve air quality.
An exhaust tip of a car emitting fumes

But while the new test has made the roads safer and the air cleaner, the DVSA noted that around a quarter of vehicles get their MOTs late.

Motorists face a fine of up to £1,000 if caught driving without an MOT.

Neil Barlow, head of vehicle engineering at the DVSA, said: “Thanks to the MOT, 3 million dangerous vehicles have been taken off the road. But with a quarter of cars turning up late for MOT every year, that means there are lots of potentially dangerous vehicles badly in need of inspection.

“We urge people to sign up to our free MOT reminder service so they get their MOTs done on time, helping keep Britain’s roads safe.”

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