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).
Pass Rate By Postcode
|Postcode Area||Name||Number of MoT Tests||MoT Pass Rate|
|FK||Falkirk and Stirling||115,956||58%|
|KT||Kingston upon Thames||254,105||66%|
|NE||Newcastle upon Tyne||432,787||61%|
View MoT Data By Postcode in a larger map