Named and shamed: The UK towns and cities with the worst MOT records

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The year 2020 has been an unusual one for drivers, with limits on when and where they could drive, the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of driving tests and an unprecedented extension on vehicle MOTs.

That six-month extension saw the owners of nearly 10 million cars granted an automatic renewal and there are fears among some industry observers that many of these cars are now being driven around in a dangerous condition.

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Now, new data has revealed where drivers are most likely to have let maintenance slide and where cars are most likely to fail their MOT.

Scotland has emerged as the UK’s failure hot spot, with four of the worst performing areas found north of the Border, according to DVSA statistics. Devon was also home to a large number of unroadworthy vehicles, with three Devonshire postcodes in the top 10, joined by other parts of England’s south-west.

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In Kirkcaldy, Fife, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of all cars failed their MOTs between October 2019 and January 2020. Drivers in nearby Dundee fared almost as badly, with 27 per cent being handed a fail certificate. The average UK failure rate is 26 per cent.

Truro, in Cornwall, saw the third-highest failure rate - at 26 per cent followed by three Devonshire postcodes for Plymouth (26 per cent), Exeter and Torquay (both 25 per cent).

Top 10 postcodes for MOT fails in the UK

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KY (Kirkcaldy, Scotland) - 28% of car MOTs were failedDD (Dundee, Scotland) - 27%TR (Truro, Cornwall) - 26%PL (Plymouth, Devon) - 26%EX (Exeter, Devon)- 25%TQ (Torquay, Devon) - 25%AB (Aberdeen, Scotland) - 24%LD (Llandrindod Wells, Wales) - 24%PH (Perth, Scotland) - 24%BA (Bath, Somerset) - 24%HU (Hull, Yorkshire) - 24%

At the opposite end of the spectrum, London saw the highest pass rates. Enfield, with a 78 per cent pass rate topped the table for best results, with seven other London postcodes in the top 10. Slough, Chelmsford and Kingston-upon-Thames, joined the London boroughs of Bromley, Ilford and Twickenham with pass rates of 77 per cent.

The analysis of the DVSA data by Euro Car Parts also revealed that problems with lights and electrical components were the most common reason for an MOT failure, accounting for 27 per cent of all test refusals.

Lighting and electrical issues are the most common causes of MOT failures (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Colin Cottrell, marketing and central operations director at Euro Car Parts, said: “With so many vehicles due for their MOT because of the government’s extension, it’s very interesting to see the postcodes where cars are most likely to pass and fail.

“For cars within the postcodes seeing the highest fail rates, perhaps the data will urge drivers to double and triple check their cars, and ensure they are 100 per cent road-worthy before sending them for their MOT.”

Top 10 postcodes with the highest MOT pass rates

EN (Enfield, London) - 78% SL (Slough, Berkshire) - 77% CM (Chelmsford, Essex) - 77% BR (Bromley, London) - 77% KT (Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey) - 77% IG (Ilford, London) - 77% TW (Twickenham, London) - 76% SS (Southend-on-Sea, Essex) - 76% NW (North West London) - 76% AL (St Albans, Hertfordshire) - 76% W (West London) - 76% S (Sheffield, Yorkshire) - 76% DA (Dartford, London) - 76% RM (Romford, London) - 76% WF (Wakefield, Yorkshire) - 76%