The MoT Files: Postcodes where you're most likely to pass ... and fail
One of the most surprising aspects to come out of The MoT Files is the amount of regional variations. You wouldn't have thought that the MoT test (and whether you pass or fail) would vary that much - but it does.
Cars that are MoT'd in the extremities tend to perform worse than areas that are further inland, with the lowest rates in the country made up with coastal postcodes. Harsher conditions appear to equate to a lower pass rate, with the lowest three postcodes - Dundee, Lerwick and Kirkcaldy - all covering Scottish coastal towns. It's a similar story for Plymouth, Truro and Exeter in England.
The south east of England - particularly in and around London - dominates the other end of the table. If you have your MoT carried in Romford (RM), there's a 70 per cent chance that you'll pass. The most common fault - as with most areas - is lighting and signalling. That covers items like blown bulbs, which may only become apparent when your car is MoT'd (especially with defects that aren't immediately obvious like number plate bulbs). Even so, you're 14 per cent less likely to fail on this than elsewhere. Porsche, Lexus and Subaru owners enjoy enviably low failure rates in RM postcodes, while at the bottom of the table Lotus is the only make that has a higher failure rate than the rest of the UK.
In Dundee (DD), every other car fails its MoT and you are 22 per cent less likely to pass your first MoT than you are in the rest of the UK. Almost a quarter of cars fail on Lighting and signalling , while MoT failure for brake problems is 98 per cent more likely in Dundee than the rest of the country. Chevrolet has the lowest failure rate in Dundee, but only 348 were tested (compared to more than 13,000 Fords) and it's still 29 per cent higher than elsewhere.
Birmingham carries out more MoT tests than any other postcode area - and by some way too. In the period that our data focuses on (October 2010-September 2011), there were 788,357 tests carried out, significantly more than the second highest, Sheffied, with 579,371. Coincidentally, the two postcodes have the same pass rate and sit at 47th and 58th in the overall table.
Some postcode areas appear to favour particular makes. In Milton Keynes (MK), for instance, Aston Martin has the highest pass rate of any manufacturer and an unusually high number of MoT tests. This anomoly can be attributed to the fact that the firm's servicing and restoration centre is based in Newport Pagnell (MK16) and so it sees a greater number of Aston Martins than anywhere else (they're also the very best quality, too).
Pass Rate By Postcode
|Postcode Area||Name||Number of MoT Tests||MoT Pass Rate|
|FK||Falkirk and Stirling||118,225||58%|
|KT||Kingston upon Thames||258,555||66%|
|NE||Newcastle upon Tyne||427,987||60%|
View MoT Data By Postcode in a larger map