DVSA record highest number of drivers failing MOT tests due to serious vehicle safety issues

MOT test

Almost 700,000 vehicles failed their MOT test due to having at least one dangerous item in the car

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia


Published: 05/06/2024

- 11:09

Over eight million MOT tests were conducted last year

The DVSA has warned that the number of drivers who failed their MOT test due to having a major safety concern has reached its highest level on record.

In total, between October and December last year, roughly 684,746 vehicles failed their MOT test due to having at least one dangerous item in their car.


The number of failings through a safety issue has grown from the same period the previous year, while the total number of cars that failed their MOT last year nearly hit two million.

In total, 8,396,179 tests were conducted last year with only 480,483 passing after rectification of a first fail.

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Motorists could be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT

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The initial fail rate also grew slightly to 29.53 per cent from 29.17 per cent the previous year with roughly 8.9 million tests taken.

Renewals for MOTs need to take place every year to assess whether a vehicle is still in roadworthy condition.

If an MOT has expired, drivers cannot drive or park a vehicle on the road as they could be prosecuted if caught.

Motorists could be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT with the only exception being when drivers are taking their vehicle to or from a garage to be repaired or to a pre-arranged MOT test.

The number of driving MOT tests that failed with no safety risk was also high at over 1.8 million.

According to analysis by Green Flag, 60 per cent of dangerous MOT failures were caused by defective tyres in 2023.

Brake-related issues accounted for 29 per cent of fails with vehicle suspension made up five per cent.

Meanwhile, problems with lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment made up a quarter of the failures followed by suspension issues (19 per cent) and visibility (8 per cent).

The number of drivers who were convicted for defective vehicle part offences also reached its highest level since 2010.

The findings by Green Flag showed that in 2022, 8,005 motorists were convicted for defective vehicle parts in England and Wales.

Katie Lomas, managing director of Green Flag, explained that it was "important that people take regular steps to ensure that they are keeping their vehicles safe and legal”.

She added: “Remember, if you think there might be a problem with your car, don’t wait for the MOT, take it to a professional to be checked right away.”

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Under DVSA rules, all cars aged three years and older require an annual MOT test to ensure they are roadworthy.

If their car fails the test, it must be repaired to conform to the required standards or Britons could be fined and clamped.

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