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

Would you expect where you live to influence how likely your car is to pass its MoT?

Maybe not - but, if you think about it, it’s fairly logical. The MoT Files reveal that coastal and rural areas have the highest fail rates. This is probably because of a combination of factors, including poor roads damaging suspension, drivers covering higher miles and sea air causing cars to rust. There are probably some economic factors, too - there’s generally less wealth in rural areas, so there might be less money for spending on vital car maintenance.

The Scottish area of Kirkcaldy has the perfect storm of factors, giving it the lowest MoT pass rate in the UK. It’s next to the sea, which is tough on cars, and motorists often have to travel long distances on rural roads in poor condition. 

Conversely, drivers in cities tend to cover lower miles, drive on better roads, buy newer cars and maintain them better. This is why there are lots of London districts in the top 10 areas with the highest pass rates.

Nearly three quarter of cars in Enfield pass their annual MoT test. This North London borough is well connected via public transport, meaning motorists cover fewer miles in their cars than those in the countryside. The most common failure in Enfield is for lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment - relatively minor issues usually, and still below the national average for similar faults.

Pass Rate by Postcode

Postcode Area Name Number of Tests Pass Rate
AB Aberdeen 186,024 59.4%
BA Bath 208,104 60.4%
B Birmingham 701,632 69.0%
BB Blackburn 185,557 68.2%
FY Blackpool 97,856 62.4%
BL Bolton 165,087 67.0%
BH Bournemouth 253,294 61.1%
BD Bradford 201,205 63.5%
BN Brighton 295,650 61.4%
BS Bristol 418,441 59.6%
BR Bromley 93,804 73.0%
CB Cambridge 167,132 66.0%
CT Canterbury 181,561 64.3%
CF Cardiff 374,374 61.4%
CA Carlisle 135,200 64.6%
CM Chelmsford 286,247 71.6%
CH Chester 258,847 63.6%
TS Cleveland 209,283 64.0%
CO Colchester 182,343 68.0%
CV Coventry 329,046 67.4%
CW Crewe 137,562 64.9%
CR Croydon 168,340 71.9%
DL Darlington 132,998 64.8%
DA Dartford 172,773 70.7%
DE Derby 310,305 66.8%
DN Doncaster 300,718 65.9%
DT Dorchester 91,549 61.0%
DY Dudley 163,309 64.8%
DG Dumfries 56,592 66.5%
DD Dundee 94,395 55.6%
DH Durham 106,359 64.6%
E East London 214,944 68.2%
EH Edinburgh 292,931 63.0%
EN Enfield 141,308 73.5%
EX Exeter 264,637 57.8%
FK Falkirk 99,410 61.6%
TD Galashiels 44,708 63.3%
G Glasgow 366,198 64.3%
GL Gloucester 297,757 62.4%
GU Guildford 323,602 66.3%
HX Halifax 59,520 65.6%
HG Harrogate 61,425 65.7%
HA Harrow 153,708 66.2%
HP Hemel Hempstead 227,025 68.8%
HR Hereford 89,545 63.9%
HD Huddersfield 89,815 62.1%
HU Hull 158,993 59.1%
IG Ilford 101,744 72.9%
IV Inverness 99,529 62.7%
IP Ipswich 276,824 65.2%
KA Kilmarnock 127,739 63.9%
KT Kingston upon Thames 209,128 69.8%
KY Kirkcaldy 135,238 55.0%
KW Kirkwall 20,450 63.8%
LA Lancaster 127,935 62.8%
LS Leeds 246,488 62.2%
LE Leicester 413,866 68.1%
ZE Lerwick 9,231 59.9%
LN Lincoln 135,034 62.6%
L Liverpool 239,319 66.7%
LD Llandrindod Wells 21,210 60.1%
LL Llandudno 235,479 65.3%
LU Luton 152,481 69.4%
M Manchester 332,837 64.1%
MK Milton Keynes 232,558 65.2%
ML Motherwell 118,367 64.7%
NE Newcastle upon Tyne 378,186 65.3%
NP Newport 199,177 63.4%
N North London 183,540 67.1%
NW North West London 171,964 69.0%
NN Northampton 290,219 62.5%
NR Norwich 328,817 64.9%
NG Nottingham 438,917 62.6%
OL Oldham 152,185 66.0%
HS Outer Hebrides 10,656 65.0%
OX Oxford 255,053 65.2%
PA Paisley 108,226 63.1%
PH Perth 68,654 61.7%
PE Peterborough 415,759 64.9%
PL Plymouth 245,811 55.3%
PO Portsmouth 345,539 60.5%
PR Preston 208,676 65.5%
RG Reading 359,656 67.7%
RH Redhill 244,491 67.5%
ME Rochester 255,765 66.1%
RM Romford 198,040 72.7%
SP Salisbury 113,016 61.8%
S Sheffield 513,432 67.8%
SY Shrewsbury 159,396 64.0%
SL Slough 163,932 70.8%
SE South East London 229,114 70.7%
SW South West London 133,936 68.6%
UB Southall 142,415 67.2%
SO Southampton 298,517 64.1%
SS Southend-on-Sea 217,076 70.5%
AL St Albans 106,384 68.3%
SG Stevenage 172,668 67.9%
SK Stockport 233,599 66.2%
ST Stoke-on-Trent 254,026 62.0%
SR Sunderland 79,015 62.9%
SM Sutton 58,697 68.9%
SA Swansea 305,105 62.3%
SN Swindon 204,762 64.6%
TA Taunton 155,634 59.8%
TF Telford 85,969 63.0%
TN Tonbridge 316,683 65.5%
TQ Torquay 125,734 58.1%
TR Truro 143,684 56.5%
TW Twickenham 183,528 69.5%
WF Wakefield 204,042 67.7%
WS Walsall 170,470 64.2%
WA Warrington 245,879 67.1%
WD Watford 101,790 66.7%
W West London 73,440 68.4%
WN Wigan 103,144 65.5%
WV Wolverhampton 153,669 64.0%
WR Worcester 133,755 65.3%
YO York 222,691 62.7%

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