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Stricter MOT creates North-South divide in failure rates

New data has revealed a north-south divide when it comes to the MOT fail rate since stricter rules were implemented in May last year.

In the seven months following the introduction of the new MOT procedure, failures reached up to 25% in several key areas of the Midlands and the North of England, according to figures released by Protyre.

Revealing a North-South divide, five of the top six areas for MOT failures are in the Midlands or the North of England – while five of the top six areas for MOT passes are in the South of England.

This is in stark contrast to 2017, when the North overall had the lowest MOT fail rate in England and Wales. 

It found a 12% average MOT fail rate across all regions of England and Wales in this same period (June to December 2018).

Protyre’s national retail operations manager, David Sholicar, said: “Any change in the MOT fail rate in the immediate months after the government’s MOT changes isn’t surprising given the new fault categories and stricter testing of diesel vehicles required by law. However, there are still several really easy and inexpensive things that drivers can do to help them pass.

“At the very least, I’d recommend cleaning number plates and checking the lights, replacing any lightbulbs and old wiper blades and checking tyre pressure and tread – it could be the difference between a pass or fail.”

In the seven months following the government MOT changes, around 25% of all MOTs failed in Cumbria and the Devon and Cornwall area, while at least 20% of MOTs failed in Leicestershire and Warwickshire.

Cumbria (20%) and Greater Manchester had the largest increases in MOT fails in the seven months following the new government regulations. 

In contrast, Oxfordshire and Hampshire had the highest proportion of MOT passes (95% or over) followed by the Bristol and Somerset area, the Lancashire and Merseyside area, Wiltshire and Essex (90%).

At a national level, Wales, which had the highest MOT fail rate in 2017, had one of the lowest MOT fail rates (13%) in the last six months of 2018 following the new MOT rules.

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