The MoT Files: £10,000 cars with the worst MoT pass rates
Based on the latest Government data, these are the used cars available for £10,000 least likely to pass their annual MoT test.
To make the list fair, we've compared pass rates for 2012 models using the latest data on 2017 MoT tests. We've excluded niche models - all of these in the list are mainstream cars you might consider spending £10,000 on as a second-hand purchase.
Hyundai i800 - 63.4% pass rate
A third of Hyundai i800s fail their yearly MoT test, with lights, batteries and brakes all proving to be sticking points. This might be because Hyundai i800 owners generally work them harder than other cars, but it’s worth bearing it in mind if you are considering one.
Citroen DS3 - 63.7% pass rate
The Citroen DS3 is a very popular with new drivers - but, unfortunately, it lives up to the reputation of French cars when it comes to MoT time. If you buy a 2012 version, it has a one in three chance of failing. The most common issue is around electrical failures - particularly headlamps. Suspension and exhaust issues are also common.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - 64.8% pass rate
Like the DS3, most of the issues with the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso picked up at MoT time could be prevented by a quick check of the car before taking it in for its test. Nearly a quarter of all 2012 Grand C4 Picassos fail their test have faults with their lights - which could be as simple as a blown bulb or fuse.
Fiat Punto - 65.6% pass rate
The Fiat Punto was axed last year following a shocking zero star crash test rating. Around half of all Puntos fail their yearly MoT. Narrowing that down, around 35 per cent of 2012 models fail. Issues with lights are common, as are problems with the suspension.
Peugeot 5008 - 67.2% pass rate
The new Peugeot 5008 is an excellent SUV, but the old model was a more conventional people carrier. Like many of the cars featured here, lighting and electrical issues are frequent. There also appears to be a common problem with its electronic parking brake.
Renault Megane - 67.8% pass rate
Buyers wanting an interesting alternative to the Ford Focus could do worse than hunting out a Renault Megane. Despite not enjoying a great reputation for reliability it’s an attractive car. Lots fail their MoT for the usual lighting and electrical issues, however. Suspension faults are also common.
DS4 - 68.5% pass rate
The biggest surprise about the DS4 is that Citroen sold enough of them for it to feature in this list. A total of 2336 2012 models took their test in 2017, with 736 failing. More than one in five (21 per cent) of those failures were for lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment, with failed registration plate lamps being the most common issue.
Renault Clio - 69.2% pass rate
While there seems to be a theme developing here - don’t buy a French car if you want it to pass its MoT test - faults like failed lights can usually be traced to blown bulbs, and these are easy to spot and fix ahead of an MoT test. Around 14 per cent of 2012 Renault Clio MoT failures are down to lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment.
Ford Galaxy - 69.5% pass rate
Like the Hyundai i800, the Ford Galaxy is a very sensible second-hand purchase if you have a family to carry. Also like the Hyundai i800, unfortunately, the Ford Galaxy suffers from an unusually low MoT pass rate. More than 30 per cent of 2012 models failed their test in 2017, with - you guessed it - lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment being the most common problem.
Nissan Qashqai+2 - 69.8% pass rate
While the Nissan Qashqai generally performs well at MoT time, the seven-seat Qashqai+2 scrapes into this top 10. Headlights are the biggest issue, but faults with the suspension and parking brake are also relatively common. Don’t let this put you off buying one - it makes a very practical second-hand family car - but do check the lights regularly.
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