Which cars most commonly pass and fail their first annual MOT?

Get your headlamp alignment checked before you take your three-year old car for its first MOT as that seems to be the number one cause of failures.

New cars have their first MOT test to ensure their suitability to be driven on the roads after three years.

According to KnowYourCar website, when 2016-registered D-Max models, petrol-powered Sanderos and diesel Fiestas were tested for the first time, 19% failed – with the same issue causing the most failures for all three models: ‘headlamp aim out of alignment’.

They are also the top three cars with the most number of first time MOT failures. 18.5% of the Isuzus failed with 18.3% for both Dacia and Ford. Next was the Vauxhall Corsa diesel at just under 17%.

The cars that were most likely to pass were Honda Jazz (96.5% pass rate) , Mini One Petrol and Skoda Octavia petrol. Most Honda Jazz faillures were also for the same headlight misalignment reason.

KnowYourCar processed DVLA MOT data for cars registered from 2012-2016, with league tables for 40 models in each year. Three Chevrolets come bottom of the table for 2012, with around a third of Spark superminis and diesel and petrol Orlando MPVs failing their tests.

KnowYourCar’s Dan Owen said: It’s worrying that headlamp alignment issues rank so highly as failure items, and not just for the top three 2016 cars – it was a common failure for the 10 worst performers, which included the Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagens Passat and Golf.

“The fact that headlamps are such a problem for so many different models is startling. Misalignment can be caused by a number of issues, including minor collisions, faulty headlight motors and even assembly issues at the car factory. These MOT results certainly explain why so many cars’ headlights tend to dazzle at night.”

Best performing cars*
Honda Jazz (96.49% pass rate)
Mini One petrol (94.89%)
Skoda Octavia petrol (94.81%)
Mini Countryman petrol (94.74%)
Audi Q5 diesel (94.67%)

Worst performing cars*
Isuzu D-Max (81.46% pass rate)
Dacia Sandero petrol (81.70%)
Ford Fiesta diesel (81.74%)
Vauxhall Corsa diesel (83.07%)
Volkswagen Passat diesel (83.90%)

*Models first registered in 2016 and having their first MOT in 2019, ignoring failures caused by tyre condition/empty windscreen washer bottle. Includes models with more than 5000 MOT test results.

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