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Renault tops the ‘most reliably used car’ in road safety assessments

A further deep-dive into the data finds that cars aged 20 years are most likely to fail their MOT.

Renault exited Russia in May after Moscow invaded Ukraine
Renault exited Russia in May after Moscow invaded Ukraine - Copyright AFP OLIVIER DOULIERY
Renault exited Russia in May after Moscow invaded Ukraine - Copyright AFP OLIVIER DOULIERY

Renault drivers, as fleet management firm Wessex Fleet has found, is among the car brands least likely to fail their Ministry of Transport test (or the ‘MOT’). This finding is based on UK Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) data.

In the UK, once a car is three years old (four years in Northern Ireland) it must be tested each year to check it meets road safety and environmental standards.

These data were used to analyse the number of cars failing their MOTs and highlight trends in cars that are most likely to fail. 

Due to their uptake in the UK, Renault had the highest MOT number of tests taking place in the last year – but had the lowest percentage of MOT fails at 21.6 percent.

The outcome of the analysis shows:

RankBrandTotal MOT tests taken (2023)Total MOT failures (2023)Likelihood of fail*
1Renault1,838,736398,41321.6%
2Citroen1,668,801369,76822.1%
3Vauxhall1,696,113393,67023.2%
4Peugeot920,609217,52023.6%
5Fiat794,587190,01323.9%
6Ford885,433231,11026.1%
7Nissan1,633,501428,09926.2%
8Volkswagen545,074143,09126.2%
9Mazda858,407229,57726.7%
10Honda568,738153,73827%

With the above table, the likelihood of fail was calculated using percentage of total MOT failed in the last year as a percentage of total tests taken.

A further deep-dive into the data finds that cars aged 20 years are most likely to fail their MOT.

The researchers analysed cars aged 1-50 years that were all tested in the last year. This found that 20-year-old vehicles, made up of various brands were when cars were at the most likely age to fail their MOT. Twenty year old vehicles had a likelihood of fail rate at 37.3 percent. 

In comparison, 50-year-old cars featured in the data have a low MOT fail rate of just 17%. These vehicles are more likely to be collectable vintage motors typically worked on by car fanatics and are not driven as regularly as a day-to-day motors. Drivers often restore them themselves and keep them up to date in terms of maintenance.

Causes of MOT failure includes brakes, with many drivers being unaware of any wear when driving.  In addition, failure to undertake regular fluid checks is also a concern, especially with engine oil levels. In addition, diesel cars can require engine cleaning to improve their efficiency.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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