Have you ever wondered either of the following after an MOT test on your vehicle:

  • How on Earth did my car pass that MOT?
  • Why haven’t I got any advisories?
  • Did the garage even test my car?

There are only two reasonable explanations; you caught the MOT tester on a good day, or the MOT station is renowned for passing vehicles that should have failed. The likelihood is it is probably the latter.

In fact, a recent investigation by the DVSA found that testing stations across the UK are passing 1 in 7 vehicles that should have failed their MOT – that’s 13.58% of vehicles. The 2020 MOT Compliance Survey also found that 11.9% of motorists know of a local garage with a ‘reputation for being lenient’ on vehicle testing.

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MOT Compliance Survey key findings 2019 – 2020:

– In a randomised sample of 1800 vehicles, 1671 were retested by the DVSA Vehicle Examiners.

– Of the vehicles that passed, 13.58 per cent should have failed.

– Of the vehicles that failed, 3.23 per cent should have passed.

– In 70.1 per cent of vehicles, the DVSA found at least one defect which the MOT test station missed or had incorrectly recorded.

– In 56.48 per cent of vehicles, the DVSA found three or more defects which the MOT test station had missed or had incorrectly recorded.

– In 2019 – 2020, the DVSA issued 24 Disciplinary Actions Recorded, and 179 Advisory Warning Letters to MOT test sites, following the re-testing of vehicles.

The outcome of the survey…

In 70.1% of cases, the DVSA found at least one issue which the MOT test station missed or had incorrectly recorded, while the DVSA experts found three or more issues in 56.5% of vehicles.

Safety critical features such as the brakes and suspension were subject to the biggest inconsistency between MOT testers and the DVSA:

  • Brakes had the highest number of misdiagnosed issues, at 17.74%
  • Suspension at 14.56 per cent
  • Tyres at 13.22%
  • Lights, reflectors and electrical equipment at 11.51%

As highlighted above, following this investigation, the DVSA issued 24 disciplinary action recordings and 179 advisory warning letters to the vehicle test sites it visited.