Revealed: The cars most likely to pass their MOT, plus the models to avoid

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Government data shows the brands and models with the best records

MOT. Three letters sure to strike dread into the heart of most motorists.

The roadworthiness test is an essential safety check for every car over three years old but it can lead to some budget-busting bills for the unwary or owners of certain models.

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Now, new analysis of Department for Transport (DfT) data has revealed the cars most likely to pass the test first time, as well as the models that are most likely to struggle.

The cars most likely to pass an MOT first timeThe cars most likely to pass an MOT first time
The cars most likely to pass an MOT first time

Consumer title What Car? looked at 745,000 MOT records from the DfT and compiled a list of the 50 best performing models between three and eight years old as well as the brands with the best records. The data shows good news for owners of hybrids and electric cars, and particularly those from Korean, Japanese and German marques.

Cars most likely to pass an MOT

Coming out on top as the model most likely to pass its MOT first time is the 2017-onwards Hyundai Ioniq. The Korean brand’s family hatchback is available as a self-charging or plug-in hybrid as well as a pure EV and topped the table with an average pass rate of 96.18 per cent.

Close behind it is a very different hybrid - the BMW i8 sportscar built between 2014 and 2020, with a pass rate of 95.97 per cent.

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Another German sportscar - the 2012-16 Porsche Boxster - ranks third ahead of the current Lexus NX and the Boxster’s stablemate the 2012-19 Porsche 911.

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In fact, the data shows Porsche to be the overall best brand, with two more models - the 2013-16 Cayman and current Macan also in the top 10. Its average MOT pass rate of 91.15 per cent puts it ahead of Tesla, with 89.94 per cent, and three Japanese brands famed for their dependability - Lexus (88.72 per cent), Subaru (88.46 per cent) and Honda (88.41 per cent).

Cars least likely to pass an MOT

The news isn’t so great for South Korean’s SsangYong, which took bottom spot in the manufacturers’ table with an average pass rate of 76.98 per cent, behind Dacia (78.17 per cent), Citroen (79.72 per cent), Renault (80.20 per cent) and Alfa Romeo (80.73 per cent).

The Peugeot 5008 MPV from 2009-16 came bottom of the DfT figuresThe Peugeot 5008 MPV from 2009-16 came bottom of the DfT figures
The Peugeot 5008 MPV from 2009-16 came bottom of the DfT figures

Peugeot’s first-generation 5008 - a people carrier built from 2009-16 rather than the current SUV - proved to be the worst performing car at MOT time, with a lowly pass rate of 70.81 per cent. The Hyundai i800 - a van-based MPV favoured by taxi firms - fared only slightly better with a pass rate of 71.36 per cent, ahead of the 2006-14 version of the best-selling Vauxhall Corsa (73.18 per cent).

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Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “One of the first things used buyers do is check a vehicle’s MOT record to see how well it’s been maintained and if it’s suffered lots of faults. Our extensive study reveals the models with the best MOT pass rates, ranging from large SUVs to city cars. Buyers can use it to help them choose the most dependable models.

“Although the top 50 list contains several prestige cars, that tend to have lower mileage and immaculate service records, it’s reassuring to find some budget and family cars in the mix.”

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