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MoT: Which cars are most likely to fail?

mot check

When taxi drivers buy a new vehicle, reliability is one of the key things they look for both for now and in the future.

But it is only when they get an expensive repair bill – on top of taxi insurance and running costs – and have to wait for their vehicle to pass its MoT retest to get it back on the road that they might question their choice of car.

To help them decide, car leasing comparison site LeaseLoco has delved through DVSA records to find the best – and worst – models when it comes to passing the MoT today.

Most fails in MoT

In details exclusively shared with This is Money, it found that the small Peugeot 307 has the lowest first-time MoT pass rate of any car in 2023, with just 48.3 per cent in the first seven months of the year.

While its size means it isn’t hugely popular for taxi work, there are some models that are which have made the top 10 with the lowest MoT pass rates this year.

The Renault Grand Scenic, which is a good size for larger groups and airport runs, was third with 50.4%. Another model that was popular with private hire owners was the Ford Focus C-Max, which sits in eighth place with a 52.5% pass rate.

Top taxis in MoT

The good news is that when it came to the highest pass rates, popular taxi and PHV models did well, with the Ford Puma fourth at 93.4%, and the Skoda Karoq joint ninth with the Jaguar I-Pace with 90.8%.

While this is good news for some taxi drivers and creates a headache for others, a greater concern is vehicles which failed MoTs because of dangerous defects.

Topping the list is the Volvo V50 estate with 15.6%, and the Vauxhall Vectra and Ford Focus C-Max – two models which have been popular with taxi drivers – joint third with 14.0%.

Ford’s Grand C-Max was seventh with 12.8%, followed by Renault’s Grand Scenic in eighth with 12.6%.

But it must be pointed out that in order to pass an MoT, cars must be well maintained and have scheduled maintenance and service carried out, and the blame for many of the fails has to lie with the owners.

Through a Freedom of Information request, LeaseLoco found there were a total 18,345,342 MoT tests carried out in the UK up to the end of July, with 13,150,543 vehicles passing first time and 5,194,799 failing, with an average first-time pass of 71.7 per cent.


LeaseLoco chief executive John Wilmot said the huge variation in pass rates by car make and model is due to a variety of factors, including how “diligent owners are in preparing their cars for the annual MoT test”.

He added: “The annual MoT can be a stressful and costly part of owning a car, but it’s also vital to ensure that the vehicles on UK roads are roadworthy and safe.

“Motorists can improve their chances of passing an MOT first-time, and save a lot of stress, by carrying out basic pre-MoT checks and ensuring their car is serviced regularly throughout the year.”

Do you think your car will pass its MoT the first time?

All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.