Most common reasons for MOT failures

Department for Tranport statistics

Transport Statistics Great Britain 

Road vehicle testing scheme (MOT)


1.  MOT computerised figures are available from 2005/06 but computerisation was only phased in at the vehicle testing stations during that year.
This results in the shortfall in volumes for 2005/06 in comparison to later years. Full records are available from 2006/07, and up to 2004/05 a 2% Sample Survey was used. Figures prior to 2006/07 are either incomplete or estimated and should be treated with caution.

2.  Pass after Rectification at the Station (PRS). This indicates that a vehicle initially failed its test. It was then repaired within one hour of the test, re-tested and passed.

3.  Initial Failure Rate = (PRS + Failures) / Total Tests

4.  Final Failure Rate = Failures / Total Tests


All vehicles: 2002 - 2007
  2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07
Tested 23,768,900 23,793,000 22,160,000 24,022,000 25,864,200
PRS2         1,941,600
Failed 7,330,400 6,934,200 6,332,400 7,883,800 7,214,700
Initial Failure Rate3 30.8% 29.1% 28.6% 32.8% 35.4%
Final Failure Rate4         27.9%

All vehicles: 2007 - 2013
  2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Tested 26,379,900 27,070,600 27,609,100 28,278,300 28,516,200 28,473,900
PRS2 2,362,800 2,620,400 2,622,300 2,651,600 2,717,800 2,721,000
Failed 7,665,000 8,038,100 8,444,100 8,460,400 8,575,700 8,398,800
Initial Failure Rate3 38.0% 39.4% 40.1% 39.3% 39.6% 39.1%
Final Failure Rate4 29.1% 29.7% 30.6% 29.9% 30.1% 29.5%



Motorcycles 2002-2007
  2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Tested 584,900 745,000 801,000 873,200 902,600 897,900
PRS2         48,500 57,900
Failed 108,200 134,000 166,500 164,100 115,900 118,700
Initial Failure Rate3 18.5% 18.0% 20.8% 18.8% 18.2% 19.7%
Final Failure Rate4         12.8% 13.2%

Motorcycles 2008 -2013
  2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Tested 942,000 948,300 989,600 1,032,400 967,000
PRS2 70,900 76,100 79,200 85,500 80,300
Failed 124,700 126,100 126,200 130,500 119,000
Initial Failure Rate3 20.8% 21.3% 20.8% 20.9% 20.6%
Final Failure Rate4 13.2% 13.3% 12.8% 12.6%  12.3%

1.  MOT computerised figures are available from 2005/06 but computerisation was only phased in at the vehicle testing stations during that year.
This results in the shortfall in volumes for 2005/06 in comparison to later years. Full records are available from 2006/07, and up to 2004/05 a 2% Sample Survey was used. Figures prior to 2006/07 are either incomplete or estimated and should be treated with caution.

2.  Pass after Rectification at the Station (PRS). This indicates that a vehicle initially failed its test. It was then repaired within one hour of the test, re-tested and passed.

3.  Initial Failure Rate = (PRS + Failures) / Total Tests

4.  Final Failure Rate = Failures / Total Tests


Since the introduction of the computerised testing of vehicles in 2007 the Department transport have been able to give accurate statistics for the failure rates of various components below is a list from 2009 to 2013 of the motorcycle components that have caused the motorcycle to fail the MOT test

Failure Percentage Rates 2009 - 2013 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Motorcycle 5.8% 5.3% 5.1% 5.2%
Motorcycle drive system 1.5% 1.4% 1.4% 1.4%
Motorcycle driving controls 0.5% 0.4% 0.4% 0.5%
Motorcycle fuel and exhaust 1.6% 1.4% 1.3% 1.2%
Motorcycle lighting and signalling 11.8% 10.8% 11.0% 10.8%
Motorcycle reg plates and vin 1.9% 1.5% 1.4% 1.2%
Motorcycle sidecar - 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Motorcycle steering and suspension 5.6% 4.9% 4.8% 4.5%
Motorcycle tyres and wheels 3.8% 3.6% 3.6% 3.5%
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