One in 10 Vehicles Passing MOT Should Actually Fail According to DVSA Survey

Every year, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) carries out an MOT compliance survey, and they have just published the results for 2021 to 2022. The data shows that in 10.1% of vehicles that were deemed to pass, the MOT should actually have failed it.

Interesting Data Released

Also, in the report, the data showed that 12.2% of MOT test results for the period 2021 to 2022 were actually wrong; it also discovered that 2.1% of vehicles that were deemed failed should actually have passed and been issued a certificate to confirm that. Having a valid MOT test certificate is a legal requirement for all vehicle owners. Garages certified as MOT testing stations will be the ones who assess the car and decide its safety and suitability for being on public roads.

Unsafe Vehicles

What the data shows is that the 10.1% of vehicles that should actually have failed the MOT equates to 1.3 million vehicles out on the road, vehicles that are potentially unsafe and technically being illegally driven. A false pass means that the vehicle could have a very dangerous issue and be an accident risk.

How is This Discovered?

Obviously, the DVSA cannot monitor all the MOT tests, so they carry out random retests on several cars to see if the MOT was carried out properly and the right result was issued. DVSA mechanics retested 1732 cars in 2022, and the results weren’t good. Around 65.9% of all of the vehicles retested and had a defect that was not detected by the MOT station, recorded incorrectly, or passed when it should have failed. 51.6% of these vehicles had more than three missed or defective issues compared to the original assessment made by the MOT test station.

The failure rate is around 7.3 million a year, but based on the data, the total failure rate should be closer to 8.6 million.

Why Do Vehicles Fail MOT

The reasons why vehicles fail MOT vary; some are more serious issues than others, but based on the criteria is that all will cause the vehicle to fail, and a pass certificate cannot be issued until these have been rectified. One of the most dangerous defects is having problems with the tyres, as this can cause serious accidents. The breakdown for MOT failures is as follows.

Failures for lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment, 25%

Failures for suspension, 19%

Failures for issues with brakes, 16%

Failures for issues with tyres, 12%

Failure due to visibility issues, 9%

Failure, due to body, chassis and structure of the vehicle 6%

Failure due to noise, emissions and leaks, 5%

Failure due to other reasons not listed above 7%

Conflict Areas

When it comes to retesting by DVSA examiners, the most common reason they disagree with the MOT test station's original result is the tyres. Of the vehicles retested, 734 were passed by MOT test stations, but according to the DVSA checks, they should actually have failed. They disagreed with 660 vehicles on break issues, 642 on suspension and 422 on lights, reflectors and electrics.