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Vehicle History2020 MOT Statistics Revealed

2020 MOT Statistics Revealed

We made a freedom of information request to the DVSA to find out:

  • In 2020 which top 10 vehicles (by make and model) were most likely to fail the most MOT test?
  • In 2020 what were the top 10 MOT advisory notices issued?
  • In 2020 what were the top 10 reasons for MOT failures?
  • In 2020 how many MOT tests were carried out in total?

We have presented the data returned to us by the DVSA in this blog post, this information could be especially useful to used car owners that are due an MOT shortly and want to be better prepared.

In 2020 which top 10 vehicles (by make and model) were most likely to fail the most MOT test?

MakeModelTestsFailuresInitial Failure Rate
VAUXHALLCORSA846,742316,00937.32%
VAUXHALLASTRA724,623260,28235.92%
FORDFOCUS1,031,127345,73533.53%
VOLKSWAGENPOLO571,842188,58532.98%
FORDFIESTA1,359,812446,40332.83%
TOYOTAYARIS410,373124,98430.46%
VOLKSWAGENGOLF865,840255,87029.55%
BMW3 SERIES453,370127,55428.13%
NISSANQASHQAI420,716115,11527.36%
AUDIA3395,454103,04726.06%

In 2020 what were the top 10 MOT advisory notices issued?

inspection_manual_referencelevel_1level_2level_3level_4Advisory TextAdvisories
5.2.3 (e)TyresTread depthworn close to legal limit/worn on edge8,185,136
1.1.14 (a) (ii)BrakesMechanical brake componentsBrake discs and drumsBrake discsworn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened3,381,677
5.2.3 (d) (ii)TyresConditionslightly damaged/cracking or perishing2,972,076
1.1.13 (a) (ii)BrakesMechanical brake componentsBrake linings and padsBrake padswearing thin2,753,921
1.1.11 (c)BrakesRigid brake pipescorroded, covered in grease or other material2,024,556
5.3.4 (a) (i)SuspensionSuspension armsPins and bushespin or bush worn but not resulting in excessive movement1,904,764
8.4.1 (a) (i)Noise, emissions and leaksFluid leaksEngine oil leaksleak, but not excessive1,274,137
5.3.1 (b) (i)SuspensionSpringsCoil springsCoil springcorroded1,000,329
5.3.2 (b)SuspensionShock absorberslight misting of oil or has limited damping effect972,232
n/aNon-component advisoriesChild Seat fitted not allowing full inspection of adult belt855,374

In 2020 what were the top 10 reasons for MOT failures?

Class 3 & 4: Cars and light vans up to 3,000kg

  Overall  Dangerous  Major 
Defect category% of tests% of defects% of tests% of defects% of tests% of defects
Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment12.8399%26.3647%0.1984%1.6244%12.7297%31.2259%
Suspension9.1654%18.1388%0.5493%5.1792%8.8428%20.6852%
Brakes7.7138%17.1004%2.9399%29.1846%5.7837%14.7260%
Tyres6.7748%12.3574%5.3487%59.5508%1.7049%3.0845%
Visibility5.2299%8.4583%0.0206%0.1641%5.2157%10.0880%
Body, chassis, structure3.9149%6.5407%0.2351%2.0965%3.7518%7.4139%
Noise, emissions and leaks3.1435%5.1777%0.0478%0.3816%3.1158%6.1200%
Steering1.8181%2.8026%0.1124%0.9662%1.7285%3.1634%
Seat belts and supplementary restraint systems1.1679%1.7848%0.0319%0.2783%1.1403%2.0808%
Identification of the vehicle0.4180%0.6685%0.0000%0.0000%0.4180%0.7998%
Road Wheels0.3285%0.5839%0.0618%0.5713%0.2705%0.5864%
Buses and coaches supplementary tests0.0017%0.0025%0.0003%0.0026%0.0015%0.0025%
Seat belt installation check0.0076%0.0109%0.0000%0.0000%0.0076%0.0130%
Speedometer and speed limiter0.0064%0.0087%0.0000%0.0000%0.0064%0.0104%
Motorcycle brakes0.0000%0.0000%0.0000%0.0000%0.0000%0.0000%
Motorcycle lamps and reflectors0.0000%0.0000%0.0000%0.0000%0.0000%0.0001%
Motorcycle tyres0.0000%0.0000%0.0000%0.0001%0.0000%0.0000%
Overall Initial Failure Rate30.5%8.7%21.8%
Average defects per Initial Test Failure2.530.422.11

Data notes for top 10 reasons for MOT failures

  • All figures are for vehicles as initially presented for test (Failure and PRS type Reason for Rejections are included).
  • A failed test commonly has multiple failure items.
  • % of tests = Number of tests with one or more failure items in defect category / total tests.
  • % of defects = Total defects in category / Total defects for all categories.
  • Average defects per Initial Test Failure = Total failure items / (Total tests with Fail result + Total tests with PRS result).
  • Overall Volumes for 2020 have been impacted by the Expiry extension exercise. Test were at a lower level April-July, and rose monthly levels higher than in previous years thereafter.

In 2020 how many MOT tests were carried out in total?

         Failures with at least one Dangerous item Failures without any Dangerous items 
Financial YearClassTestsPRSFailsInitial Fail RateFinal Fail RateFailuresInitial Fail RateFailuresInitial Fail Rate
January-December 2020Classes 1 & 2: Motorcycles823,85655,90075,25715.9%9.1%40,1934.9%90,96411.0%
Classes 3 & 4: Cars, vans and passenger vehicles with up to 12 seats29,427,5882,001,3726,967,90030.5%23.7%2,558,5948.7%6,410,67821.8%
Class 5: Private passenger vehicles with more than 12 seats41,5032,0388,91626.4%21.5%2,5256.1%8,42920.3%
Class 7: Goods vehicles between 3,000 and 3,500 kg gross vehicle weight762,80958,500236,90038.7%31.1%92,01512.1%203,38526.7%
Total31,055,7562,117,8107,288,97330.3%23.5%2,693,3278.7%6,713,45621.6%

Data notes for in 2020 how many MOT tests were carried out in total?

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the beginning of Lockdown, on 25th March 2020 the DfT announced an MOT expiry extension programme, to take effect from 30th March 2020.


Whilst testing continued through the following months at a lower level, and started back towards normal levels later in the year, there was already a small reduction in test volumes prior to the announcement, likely due to some VTS ceasing testing, and to some vehicle owners having already decided to not to leave home, so no longer travelling.

More information about this data

How was this information obtained?

We made a freedom of information request to the DVSA. So, the information in this blog post came from the DVSA.

How to check the MOT history/status of your vehicle

We offer a free MOT check tool and also include MOT data in our initial check, this data comes from the DVSA MOT API.

Got a question?

Feel free to get in touch via email: enquiries@rapidcarcheck.co.uk

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