Rise in rogue MOT testers – check credentials of your local garage before taking car in


Rise in rogue MOT testers: Some 687 MOT technicians were disqualified in the last two years, a new report has found

Motorists must check the credentials of garages before taking their cars in to be assessed following a big rise in the number of MOT testers being disqualified in the last two years.

There has been a 49 per cent increase in rogue testers after a growing number of cases of improper or careless practices during the test procedure and issuing of fraudulent certificates, data obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency shows. 

Some 687 MOT testers were disqualified in 2020 to 2022 financial years, compared to 460 in the two years previous, 2018 to 2020. 

The number of dodgy MOT testers being struck off has been rising in recent years, BookMyGarage.com – which issued a Freedom of Information request – warns.

In fact, the number of disqualifications recorded in 2020/21 is three-and-a-half times higher than the financial year of 2015/16, which represents an additional 252 cases, according to DVSA records.

As well as the 687 disqualifications issued by the DVSA following investigation over the course of the past two financial years, there were also over a thousand warnings issued to MOT testers in the same period.

BookMyGarage says the figures show how important it is for motorists to do their homework and find trusted and reputable garages to carry out the annual roadworthiness assessment on their vehicles, both from a safety and legality perspective.

‘We welcome the disqualification of rogue MOT testers, as it grants peace of mind that vehicles on the road are being inspected properly. 

‘This ultimately improves safety for all road users,’ said Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage.

‘The rise in disqualification numbers from the DVSA shows the importance of doing your research when booking an MOT and finding a trustworthy garage.’

The latest available MOT testing data shows that UK motorists are driving far less than even before the pandemic, which is closely tied to an increase in hybrid working and rising fuel prices in the last two years.

Average annual mileage recorded in MOT tests shows drivers covered 5,398 miles in 2021, which is 24 per cent down on 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

‘It’s official, we’re now a nation of low mileage drivers,’ says James Blackham, chief executive of short-term insurance provider, By Miles, which analysed the latest MOT data.

Over a thousand warnings have been issued to MOT testers in the last two years on top of almost 700 disqualifications, the DVSA's records show

Over a thousand warnings have been issued to MOT testers in the last two years on top of almost 700 disqualifications, the DVSA’s records show

He said average annual mileage could continue to decline as motorists reduce the number of trips during the cost-of-living crunch. 

‘Many of us may have expected to see the UK’s annual average mileage bouncing back from the lows of the 2020 data, but our analysis shows the opposite.

‘Even with more freedom in 2021, the average driver is now covering the equivalent of a round trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats (1,700 miles) less than they were in pre-pandemic times.

Car brands with the best and worst MOT pass rates in 2021 

BEST MOT PASS RATES

1. Lexus 94.7%

2. Honda 94.1%

3. Porsche 94%

4. Toyota 92.4%

5. Suzuki 92.3%

WORST MOT PASS RATES

1. Citroen 86%

2. DS 86%

3. Renault 86.7%

4. Vauxhall 87.5%

5. Peugeot 88.2%

‘Despite the drop in mileage, most drivers simply don’t know how far they’ve driven – 65 per cent of By Miles members overestimate their mileage every year, despite us only charging for what they use. 

‘Coupled with this, we know that half of drivers have cut back on driving since the start of this year as a result of the cost of living crisis.’

Overall MOT pass rates also dropped last year to 75.6 per cent, down from 76.2 per cent in 2020.

Sunday (82.5 per cent) remains the best day of the week to pass a test, with Monday (74.5 per cent) being the worst. 

The single day of the year when the highest MOT pass rate was recorded in 2021 was Boxing Day, with 93.3 per cent – though very few motors are likely to have been assessed that day. 

The worst day for MOT passes was 1 February, with only a 72 per cent success rate.

Japanese car brands are the most likely to pass first time, with Lexus leading on 94.7 per cent pass rate ahead of Honda (94.1 per cent), Toyota (92.4 per cent) and Suzuki (92.3 per cent). 

Porsche also appeared in the top five manufacturers for MOTs, with 94 per cent sailing through the assessment at the first time of asking.

French brands dominated the opposite end of the spectrum, with Citroen. DS. Renault and Peugeot among the five makes with the lowest MOT pass rates, with Vauxhall (which is coincidentally now French owned) also among the five worst performers.

While Japanese brands are most likely to pass an MOT first time, French motors are the most likely to fail. Renaults (a Clio pictured) had an MOT pass rate of 86.7% in 2021

While Japanese brands are most likely to pass an MOT first time, French motors are the most likely to fail. Renaults (a Clio pictured) had an MOT pass rate of 86.7% in 2021

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