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What Car? Reveals the UK’s mot-offence hotspots

What Car? Reveals the UK’s mot-offence hotspots
More than 140 drivers a day are caught in the UK without a valid MOT, with Scottish drivers the most likely to forget to renew their test certificate, new findings reveal.

Exclusive research by Britain’s leading consumer champion and new car buying platform, What Car?, found 210,886 drivers – equivalent to 144 a day – were caught driving without a valid MOT certificate by the UK’s police forces between 2015 and 2018*.

Police Scotland caught 55,000 drivers in the four-year period – an average of 37 drivers a day. The Metropolitan Police in London caught the second highest number of drivers, with 40,462 fined, while West Yorkshire recorded the third highest at 12,022.

The MOT test plays a vital role in maintaining road safety. Last year, more than a third of all cars failed their initial MOT**, with a worrying 9.20% failing due to dodgy brakes, while another 19% failed from either faulty suspension or illegal tyres. In 2017, vehicle defects, including illegal tyres, defective brakes and missing mirrors – all components inspected as part of the MOT – were a contributing factor in 1539 road accidents which required police attendance***.

The Department for Transport overhauled MOT testing in the UK in May 2018, introducing new defect categories as well as stricter rules for vehicle emissions. The data collected from the UK’s police forces suggests the new rules are working. Offences for driving without a valid MOT dropped by around 30% in the six months after May 2018, compared with the same six-month period in previous years. However, not all forces were able to give full figures for 2018.

Driving without an MOT will result in either a £100 non-endorsable Fixed Penalty Notice, or a Traffic Offence Report. Accumulatively, police forces across the UK have earned £20.81 million from drivers without a valid MOT certificate**** in the last four years.

The research also found drivers are more likely to fail to renew their MOT in the winter months from November to February, than in the summer between May and August. The winter months saw 17.3% more drivers, on average, fined for not having a valid MOT certificate.

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “Forgetting to renew your MOT certificate is an easy mistake for many drivers to make, but something that clearly happens too often. With more than 140 caught every day in the last four years, more needs to be done to ensure our cars are roadworthy. Drivers aren’t just risking their own lives, but those of other road users.

“There is even a free service from the UK Government to send drivers an MOT reminder, and the onus is on motorists to make sure theirs is up to date.”

Top 10 highest police forces for MOT offenders

Rank

Region

Police Force

Number of drivers caught without a valid MOT certificate 2015 – 2018

1

Scotland

Police Scotland

55,000

2

London

Metropolitan Police Service

40,462

3

West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire Police

12,022

4

Merseyside

Merseyside Police

10,782

5

Essex

Essex Police

9685

6

Sussex

Sussex Police

6735

7

Hampshire

Hampshire Constabulary

5675

8

Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire Constabulary

5549

9

South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Police

5409

10

West Mercia

West Mercia Police

5261

You can find the best car models to pass an MOT, visit: www.whatcar.com/advice/owning/mot-test-fail-rates-best-and-worst-models/n19766