Drive a Renault Clio? You’re More Likely to Fail an Mot Test, According to New Research

Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility, with a strict set of maintenance rules to follow to ensure everyone and everything is kept safe – but how confident are drivers when it comes to the MOT test?

The MOT (Ministry of Transport) test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards, yet meeting these requirements can be daunting and unclear.

Hoping to get on the roads soon with the help of car finance and struggling for choice? Or do you simply want to know where you and your vehicle stand when it comes to the MOT test? The car experts at Zuto car finance have dug into the MOT database to reveal the most and least likely cars to pass an MOT test.

Vehicles most likely to pass an MOT test

Rank

Make

Model

Average advisories

Pass rate

1

Jazz

Honda

2.0

67%

2

A4

Audi

2.0

67%

3

A3

Audi

1.9

66%

4

C

Mercedes-Benz

2.0

66%

5

3 Series

BMW

2.0

66%

Vehicles least likely to pass an MOT test

Rank

Make

Model

Average advisories

Fail rate

1

Clio

Renault

1.9

44%

2

Corsa

Vauxhall

1.9

42%

3

Transit

Ford

2.6

41%

4

Transporter

Volkswagen

2.2

41%

5

Micra

Nissan

1.9

40%

You’re not alone if you ask yourself the same questions in the lead up to your MOT test. To help car owners and car finance holders feel confident and prepared, Andrew Hockenhull, Director at HKO Vehicles, working in partnership with Zuto Car Finance, answers the top commonly asked MOT questions:

1. What can you do to keep on top of car maintenance throughout the year and avoid costly repairs at an MOT test?

  • Check fluid levels. Regularly check engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant levels. Low fluid levels can lead to serious damage
  • Monitor tyre pressure. Keep tyres properly inflated to the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch). Underinflated tyres can reduce fuel efficiency and cause premature wear.
  • Brake inspection. Check brake pads and rotors for wear. Replace brake pads before they wear down completely to prevent damage to the rotors.
  • Battery maintenance. Clean battery terminals regularly and check for corrosion. Replace the battery if it’s old or showing signs of weakness.
  • Inspect lights. Regularly check headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals to ensure they are working properly. Replace bulbs as needed.

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your car running smoothly and avoiding costly repairs down the road. By staying proactive with maintenance and addressing issues promptly, you can avoid costly repairs and keep your car in top condition throughout the year.

2. Can you pass an MOT test with the engine light on?

Any warning lights on the dashboard, including the engine light, are usually grounds for failure because they indicate a potential issue that needs to be addressed. 

However, not all engine warning lights will result in an MOT fail, but it’s important to have the underlying issue diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to ensure the overall safety and performance of your vehicle.

3. Can you pass an MOT test with a spare tyre on? Alternatively, do you need to have a spare tyre to pass?

Having a spare wheel is not a requirement for passing an MOT test, but if your vehicle is equipped with one, it must be securely mounted and in good condition.

Nevertheless, if your vehicle is equipped with a space saver spare wheel (a temporary spare), this could trigger an instant fail as these tyres are for temporary, emergency use only and not intended for regular journeys.

What are the next steps if the car fails its MOT test?

You are allowed to drive your vehicle away from the testing centre or garage after a failed MOT test, but only to and from a pre-arranged repair appointment or MOT retest and the vehicle must still be legally roadworthy.

If your current MOT certificate is still valid, you can continue to drive the vehicle until the expiry date, even after a failed MOT test. However, you should address the issues that caused the failure as soon as possible.

You have the option to have the necessary repairs done at the garage where the MOT test was conducted or at another authorised repair facility. Once the repairs are completed, you can schedule a retest to check if the issues have been resolved.

If your MOT certificate has expired and your vehicle fails its MOT test, you should not continue driving it until the necessary repairs have been made and it has passed a retest. Driving without a valid MOT certificate is illegal and can result in penalties.”

Takeaway

MOT tests are unavoidable, whether you have car financing or not. They’re a legal requirement under which drivers can be fined up to £1,000 for failure to comply, which also breaches any car finance agreement.

The MOT data* generally showcased fairly good pass rates across the board that, as you can expect, do decline in line with age and mileage, but not significantly. Drivers can absolutely buy an older car with confidence, but it’s important to check the MOT status and history of the vehicle before purchasing, a service we already offer as part of our car buying checks.

On the other hand, the number of advisories increases in line with age and mileage, which tended to be minor issues that could easily be combated with regular maintenance checks throughout the year.

Overall, the data further proves that vehicle upkeep is key when it comes to passing an MOT test, regardless of vehicle usage and age. There’s no cheat code when it comes to your car and catering to its needs throughout the year before your next MOT test can make all the difference, especially if you also have car finance.