Latest MOT data shows motorists are driving less year-on-year


On Friday 11th January 2019 the Department for Transport released the latest MOT results.

This is the first update since the Government published the 2015/16 MOT results more than a year ago.

Data scientists at By Miles, the company behind the UK’s first real-time pay-per-mile car insurance policy, have analysed the 23 million MOT tests.

Here are the trends you need to know:

  • UK motorists continue to drive lower mileages year-on-year
  • If you want to pass your MOT, get tested on a Sunday and not a Monday
  • The busiest day in the year to get an MOT is the 20th March
  • London and the South East had the highest MOT pass rates in the UK
  • Turquoise cars are most likely to pass an MOT, with a pass rate of 92% (compared with an overall average of 73%)
  • Honda cars have the highest MOT pass rate, with the Honda Jazz offering the highest overall pass rate
  • Chrysler, Chevrolet, Renault, Citroen and Alfa Romeo cars offer the worst MOT pass rates

UK motorists continue to drive less

Motorists drove an average of 7,134 miles in 2017, down from 7,250 miles in 2016, and 7,334 miles the year before that.

According to James Blackham, co-founder of By Miles, “The latest data clearly shows that motorists continue to drive less and less each year.

“Sadly, this hasn’t been reflected in the cost of car insurance, in fact for many people it’s quite the opposite. Drivers continue to see price increases - especially at renewal. This simply isn’t fair.

“If you spend less time on the road, you’re less likely to be involved in an accident, so it stands to reason that you should pay less for your insurance cover. That’s why we created pay-per-mile car insurance. It’s a fairer way to pay.”

Further trends and MOT analysis...

If you want to pass your MOT, get tested on a Sunday (and not a Monday)

The busiest day to get an MOT test in 2017 was 20th March - so it’s best avoided!

Believe it or not, your chances of passing can be affected by the day of the week you take your car for its MOT. The stats show that you’re more likely to pass if you take your car for an MOT at the weekend. Only 72% of cars tested on a Monday passed their MOT, while 79% passed when they were taken for a test on a Sunday.

The busiest months for MOTs are March and September. This corresponds with when the new number plates come out each year, so it’s when the majority of new cars are registered.

The quietest month for MOT bookings is December, with people preparing for the festive season.

UK postcodes

When it comes to actually passing the MOT test, the cars in the South East of England come out clear winners. More than four in five cars pass their MOT first time in the South East’s top five postcode areas of Enfield (EN), Romford (RM), South East London (SE), Ilford (IG),  and East London (E). These regions outperform the rest of the UK by 14%, averaging an 84% pass rate compared to the national average of 73%.

It’s no coincidence that the postcodes with the UK’s lowest annual mileage are all also based in the South East. Cars in the five postcodes areas of South West London (SW), Bromley (BR), West London (W), Sutton (SM) and Kingston upon Thames (KT) averaged just 5,600 miles per year, compared with the national average of 7,134 miles. The milder weather in the region, and not being that close to the salty sea air of the coast, also seems to help cars stay in more roadworthy condition.

Low mileage helps

The data also shows that the safest cars are driven by low mileage drivers. Cars driven 7,000 miles per year or less have an average pass rate of 93%, compared with 84% for those that drive over 10,000 miles per year.

(So that the results weren’t skewed by the age of the car for this analysis, this comparison only included cars that were aged between 3 to 5 years old).

Does car colour make a difference to your MOT?

Turquoise cars have the highest pass rate of all colours, passing 92% of all their MOTs first time, compared to the national average of 73%.

Pass rates for all cars

It’s no surprise that newer cars are more likely to pass their MOT than older vehicles. Just under 90% of newer cars between 3 and 4 years old will pass their first MOT. The likelihood of passing decreases steadily as cars age, getting down to an average pass rate of just 58.8% for cars by the time they’re 17 years old.

After this, the worst offending cars get scrapped, causing the pass rate to increase again as cars get older. 50-year-old cars actually have an average pass rate of 80%, compared with the national average of 72%. Cars that make it to this age are likely to be doing lower mileage and will be well looked after.

Comparing MOT pass rates by make and model

Only manufacturers with more than 3,000 cars tested for the year have been included in this analysis. This means that many of the more exclusive brands didn’t make the list. So that the analysis wasn’t skewed by older vehicle models, By Miles has only compared cars that were aged between 3 to 5 years old.

Honda sits at the top of the MOT league table, with an average first-time pass rate of 93.8%. Chrysler is at the bottom, with an average MOT pass rate of 80.1%. Here are the top 5 brands, and their first-time-pass percentages:

  • Honda 93.8%
  • Porsche 93.2%
  • Subaru 92.8%
  • Lexus 92.6%
  • Toyota 91.5%

Trailed by the bottom five brands, with the lowest pass rates of all the large manufacturers:

  • Alfa Romeo 84.9%
  • Citroen 84.4%
  • Renault 82.5%
  • Chevrolet 82.2%
  • Chrysler 80.1%

For specific car models, analysis only includes cars for which more than 1,000 models were tested.

The Porsche 911 tops the table with an average pass rate of 95.9%, while the Renault Megane sits at the bottom, with an average of 77.5%. Here are the top 5 models, and their first-time-pass percentages:

  • Porsche 911 95.9%
  • Honda Jazz 95.3%
  • Toyota IQ 94.5%
  • Mazda MX5 94.4%
  • Porsche Boxster 94.4%

Trailed by the bottom five models with the lowest pass rates:

  • Citroen DS3 81.1%
  • Vauxhall Corsa 79.4%
  • Peugeot 5008 78.8%
  • Fiat Punto 78.5%
  • Renault Megane 77.5%

European-made cars seem to be popular for driving high annual mileages, with Skoda, Mercedes and Audi taking the top 3 positions for highest annual mileage. The top 5 most driven brands are shown below:

  • Skoda 8,800 miles per annum
  • Mercedes 8,500 miles per annum
  • Audi 8,400 miles per annum
  • SEAT 8,200 miles per annum
  • Volvo 8,000 miles per annum

With the lowest mileage brands shown below:

  • Fiat 6,000 miles per annum
  • Jaguar 5,900 miles per annum
  • Suzuki 5,700 miles per annum
  • Smart 4,800 miles per annum
  • Porsche 3,600 miles per annum