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The MoT Files: Postcodes where you're most likely to pass and fail

The regional variation in the MoT Files is staggering. You wouldn't have thought that the MoT test (and whether you pass or fail) would vary that much on where you live, but our data shows a huge swing between the best and worst regions.

Generally speaking, cars that are MoT'd in the extremities tend to perform worse than areas that are further inland, with the lowest pass rates in the country made up with coastal and rural postcodes. The UK’s worst three postcodes - Dundee, Kirkcaldy and Plymouth - all cover large coastal areas and it’s a similar story for Exeter, Lerwick and Truro. 

The south east of England - particularly in and around London - dominates the other end of the table and if you have your MoT carried in Romford (RM), there's a 71 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 30 per cent of cars fail on lighting and signalling, while MoT failure for brake problems is 150 per cent higher than the UK average. 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 2012-September 2013), there were 793,306 tests carried out, significantly more than the second highest, Sheffield, with 580,874, although the former scores one per cent higher.

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 irregularity 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).

 

Mo T POST CODE GRAPH

 

Pass Rate By Postcode

Postcode Area Name  Number of MoT Tests  MoT Pass Rate
AB Aberdeen

                      217,595

55%
BA Bath                       233,967 56%
Birmingham                       793,306 62%
BB Blackburn                       208,286 61%
FY Blackpool                       115,584 58%
BL Bolton                       188,455 62%
BH Bournemouth                       291,907 58%
BD Bradford                       231,094 56%
BN Brighton                       342,253 56%
BS Bristol                       470,058 55%
BR Bromley                       110,295 69%
CB Cambridge                       191,786 62%
CT Canterbury                       205,475 59%
CF Cardiff                       436,557 56%
CA Carlisle                       155,208 59%
CM Chelmsford                       329,836 67%
CH Chester                       295,070 59%
TS Cleveland                       247,353 58%
CO Colchester                       205,084 63%
CV Coventry                       374,797 62%
CW Crewe                       154,049 60%
CR Croydon                       195,852 66%
DL Darlington                       155,690 59%
DA Dartford                       205,429 65%
DE Derby                       347,509 62%
DN Doncaster                       342,409 61%
DT Dorchester                       105,316 59%
DY Dudley                       187,456 61%
DG Dumfries                         65,895 64%
DD Dundee                       106,688 49%
DH Durham                       125,070 61%
EH Edinburgh                       331,991 58%
EN Enfield                       158,446 70%
EX Exeter                       291,060 53%
FK Falkirk and Stirling                       115,956 58%
TD Galashiels                         53,352 59%
Glasgow                       402,183 58%
GL Gloucester                       336,666 58%
GU Guildford                       374,018 62%
HX Halifax                         69,959 62%
HG Harrogate                         71,576 60%
HA Harrow                       172,541 62%
HP Hemel Hempstead                       266,586 63%
HR Hereford                       102,278 62%
HD Huddersfield                       103,863 59%
HU Hull                       182,565 55%
IG Ilford                       111,769 68%
IV Inverness                       107,248 57%
IP Ipswich                       313,448 61%
KA Kilmarnock                       147,840 58%
KT Kingston upon Thames                       254,105 66%
KY Kirkcaldy                       154,742 50%
KW Kirkwall                         23,618 63%
LA Lancaster                       148,629 60%
LS Leeds                       274,505 53%
LE Leicester                       459,197 63%
ZE Lerwick                         10,761 53%
LN Lincoln                       153,600 57%
Liverpool                       278,643 60%
LD Llandrindod Wells                         25,452 58%
LL Llandudno                       274,820 62%
London E                       261,089 66%
London N                       217,186 63%
NW London NW                       209,407 64%
SE London SE                       268,017 65%
SW London SW                       174,842 63%
London W                         98,947 62%
LU Luton                       154,478 65%
Manchester                       386,313 59%
MK Milton Keynes                       263,920 61%
ML Motherwell                       141,642 60%
NE Newcastle upon Tyne                       432,787 61%
NP Newport                       217,691 58%
NN Northampton

                      324,900

59%
NR Norwich                       371,683 61%
NG Nottingham                       490,866 58%
OL Oldham                       172,504 59%
HS Outer Hebrides                         12,195 59%
OX Oxford                       297,534 61%
PA Paisley                       127,320 58%
PH Perth                         77,958 58%
PE Peterborough                       465,281 62%
PL Plymouth                       272,350 52%
PO Portsmouth                       384,823 55%
PR Preston                       241,865 61%
RG Reading                       414,072 64%
RH Redhill                       282,970 65%
ME Rochester                       292,981 62%
RM Romford                       234,477 71%
SP Salisbury                       125,724 59%
Sheffield                       580,874 63%
SY Shrewsbury                       181,005 61%
SL Slough                       212,160 69%
UB Southall                       171,006 64%
SO Southampton                       343,067 58%
SS Southend-on-Sea                       252,922 68%
AL St Albans                       126,474 65%
SG Stevenage                       197,638 64%
SK Stockport                       271,617 62%
ST Stoke-on-Trent                       296,239 55%
SR Sunderland                         91,978 59%
SM Sutton                         67,184 64%
SA Swansea                       347,421 57%
SN Swindon                       235,542 61%
TA Taunton                       171,112 56%
TF Telford                         94,062 58%
TN Tonbridge                       363,943 61%
TQ Torquay                       141,349 53%
TR Truro                       159,294 53%
TW Twickenham                       200,646 66%
WF Wakefield                       232,653 60%
WS Walsall                       198,056 58%
WA Warrington                       294,934 64%
WD Watford                       119,246 64%
WN Wigan                       118,150 59%
WV Wolverhampton                       173,329 59%
WR Worcester                       150,889 62%
YO York                       255,418 58%

 

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