How to Keep Your Car Roadworthy and Confidently Pass the MOT Test

Owning a vehicle is a significant 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. However, 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 analysed the MOT database to reveal the most and least likely cars to pass an MOT test.

Cars most likely to pass the MOT test

Certain car models tend to perform better in MOT tests, indicating higher reliability and better maintenance records. According to the data:

  • The Honda Jazz, with an average of 2.0 advisories, boasts a pass rate of 67%.
  • Audi’s A4 and A3 models, each with an average of 2.0 and 1.9 advisories, respectively, also show a 67% and 66% pass rate.
  • Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class and BMW’s 3 Series, both with 2.0 advisories, maintain a pass rate of 66%.

Cars least likely to pass the MOT test

On the flip side, some models are more likely to fail:

  • The Renault Clio, with 1.9 advisories, has a fail rate of 44%.
  • Vauxhall’s Corsa follows closely, with a 42% fail rate and 1.9 advisories.
  • The Ford Transit, with the highest number of advisories at 2.6, shows a 41% fail rate.
  • Volkswagen’s Transporter and the Nissan Micra also have high fail rates of 41% and 40%, respectively.

Essential maintenance tips

To help car owners and those with car finance feel confident and prepared for the MOT test, maintaining your vehicle throughout the year is crucial. Regular checks and maintenance can prevent costly repairs and improve your chances of passing the MOT test. Here are some key tips:

  • Check fluid levels. Regularly monitor engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant levels. Keeping these fluids at optimal levels is essential for preventing serious damage.
  • Monitor tyre pressure. Ensure your tyres are properly inflated to the recommended PSI. Underinflated tyres can reduce fuel efficiency and cause premature wear.
  • Inspect brakes. Regularly check brake pads and rotors for wear. Replacing brake pads before they are completely worn can prevent damage to the rotors.
  • Maintain the battery. Clean battery terminals and check for corrosion. Replace the battery if it shows signs of weakness or is old.
  • Check lights. Regularly inspect headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. Replace any faulty bulbs promptly.

Common MOT concerns addressed

Many car owners have questions about the MOT test, especially regarding dashboard warning lights and the status of spare tyres.

Engine warning lights

Any warning lights on your dashboard, including the engine light, typically indicate a potential issue and are usually grounds for MOT failure. While not all engine warning lights will result in a failure, it is crucial to diagnose and repair any underlying issues to ensure your vehicle’s safety and performance.

Spare tyres

A spare tyre is not required to pass an MOT test. However, if your vehicle has a spare, it must be securely mounted and in good condition. Space saver spare wheels, intended for emergency use only, can trigger a fail if used regularly.

What to do if your car fails the MOT test

If your vehicle fails the MOT test, you can drive it away from the testing centre, but only to a pre-arranged repair appointment or for a retest, provided it remains roadworthy. If your current MOT certificate is still valid, you can continue to drive the vehicle until it expires. However, addressing the failure issues promptly is important.

Repairs can be done at the testing centre or another authorised repair facility. After completing the necessary repairs, you can schedule a retest to ensure the issues have been resolved. If your MOT certificate has expired and the vehicle fails the test, do not drive it until it passes a retest, as driving without a valid MOT certificate is illegal and can result in penalties.


MOT tests are an unavoidable part of car ownership, whether you have car financing or not. They are a legal requirement, with fines up to £1,000 for non-compliance, which also breaches any car finance agreement. While pass rates generally decline with age and mileage, drivers can confidently purchase older cars by checking the MOT status and history before buying.

Regular maintenance throughout the year can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems and help you pass your next MOT test with ease. Vehicle upkeep is key to ensuring safety and performance, making regular maintenance an essential practice for all car owners.

Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.