Earlier this week, Honest John unveiled its 2017 MOT Files. This extensive piece of research looks at pass and failure rates and the reasons why. It also reveals the locations where you’re most likely to pass or fail.

MOTs are an important annual check-up as they find danger areas of the car, before they potentially cause an accident.

According to the Department of Transport, poor tyre maintenance was the most common reason for accidents last year ahead of faulty brakes. Both of these are things checked during an MOT.

However, last year 90% of garages said that they saw an increase in the number of customers with expired MOTs. Proposed changes also mean that new cars will go longer before needing a safety test.

So could we soon be seeing more accidents due to unsafe cars?

Proposed changes to the MOT

Changes would mean that cars wouldn’t need their first MOT until they’re four years old, rather than the current three. However, Honest John’s research shows that 385,000 cars currently fail their first test.

Some of the top reasons for failing are lights, tyres and brakes. All of these could be factors in accidents. The worry is that if they are not picked up quickly we could see a lot more accidents on the road.

However, the Government is doing something to tackle unsafe cars. It is trialling a new service to remind people about their MOT every year, similar to your tax reminder.

At the moment it’s only in the early stages and you have to sign yourself up, but should help keep forgetful drivers on top of their admin.

Best and worst performing cars

It’s good news for drivers of SUV type vehicles as these made up the top three cars most likely to pass their MOT. The Audi Q3, Vauxhall Mokka and Mazda CX-5 all had very high pass rates. Unsurprisingly, both Aston Martin and Bentley also featured in the top 10. However it’s reassuring to also see affordable vehicles such as the Skoda Citigo and Volkswagen Up scoring well.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the list it’s mostly older cars that are failing. Of these, it’s people carrier style vehicles that feature most prominently. The Fiat Multipla, Peugeot 807, Renault Megane Scenic and Citroen C8 all performed badly.

Locations most likely to pass and fail MOT

By far and away the most likely location to pass is the South East with all of the top 10 best locations in the region.

Meanwhile, the worst locations are the South West, North East Scotland and Hull.

However, it’s probably not that testers in Essex are more easy going than those in Cornwall. The fact is that those living in the South East do less miles. That means there’s less wear and tear on their cars. Those in more rural areas such as the South West are more likely to need to drive further, naturally leading to more maintenance.