Cars with the most MOT fail rates so far in 2023 revealed

Cars with the most MOT fail rates so far in 2023 revealed

  • EXCLUSIVE: Popular French family hatchback has the worst fail rate in 2023
  • We reveal the 10 models with the best and worst MOT pass records this year
  • Car most likely to fail for ‘dangerous defect’ is from a brand synonymous with safety

Car models and brands that are most – and least – likely to fail an MOT have been revealed in new data.

It found a French family hatchback has the worst record of all with half flunking the annual test.

The Peugeot 307 has the lowest first-time MOT pass rate of any car in 2023, according to DVSA data provided to LeaseLoco – and exclusively shared with This is Money.

While the ageing 307 has a woeful pass rate of just 48.3 per cent in the first seven months of the year, it isn’t the model that’s most likely to fail for a ‘dangerous defect’.

Surprisingly, the car with this unwanted record is produced by a brand that’s synonymous with safety…

Car models with the worst MOT records so far in 2023 

Leasing comparison website, LeaseLoco, submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency last month requesting MOT pass and fail rates this year to date.

In total, 18,345,342 MOT tests have been carried out in the UK up to the end of July, with 13,150,543 vehicles passing first time and 5,194,799 failing.

The average first-time MOT pass rate this year is 71.7 per cent, the figures show.

Only cars with more than 1,000 MOTs to their record in 2023 have been included in the lists to ensure there is a robust sample size of the vehicles being named and shamed. 

The figures don’t make great reading for owners of French cars, with six of the top 10 with the worst records being brands based on the other side of the Channel. 

Three Peugeot models – the 307, 207 and 206 – appear in the list of 10 cars with the lowest MOT pass rates, well below the average national pass rate of just under 72 per cent.

The 307 – produced between 2001 and 2008 – is joined by the smaller 207 (2006-2012) and its predecessor, the 206 (1998-2009), which have respective pass rates of 50.6 per cent and 52.7 per cent.

Peugeot 207 (2007-2012)

Peugeot 206 (1998-2009)

However, second in the list behind the 307 is Citroen’s Xsara hatchback (2000-2004) with a 48.4 per cent first-time pass rate, closely followed by Renault’s Grand Scenic (2004-2016) with a 50.4 per cent success rate so far this year.

Contrastingly, Lexus has two models with the highest first-time MOT pass rates of any car this year. 

The Lexus UX SUV (2018-present) scored an incredible 95.4 per cent pass rate, though the fact the oldest version on the road is less than five years old makes this less surprising.

However, the older – and larger – RX, which dates back to 2005, is the standout in this list, with models already tested in the first seven months of the year having an average 93.7 per cent pass rate.

The Lexus UX SUV has the best MOT pass rate in 2023 at an incredible 95.4%. Though the fact the oldest version on the road is less than five years old makes this less surprising

Jaguar's electric I-Pace squeezed into the top 10 list of cars with the best pass rates, with 90.8% successfully sailing through in 2023. It's the only EV to make either list

The NX also featured in the list (sixth place) among a raft of VW Group cars from Porsche, Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda.

Jaguar’s electric I-Pace (2018-present) also made the top 10 with a 90.8 per cent MOT pass rate to fly the flag for battery-powered models. 

John Wilmot, chief executive at car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco, says the huge variation in pass rates by car make and model is due to a variety of factors, including how ‘diligent owners are in preparing their cars for the annual MOT test’.

He told us: ‘The annual MOT can be a stressful and costly part of owning a car, but it’s also vital to ensure that the vehicles on UK roads are roadworthy and safe.

‘Motorists can improve their chances of passing an MOT first-time, and save a lot of stress, by carrying out basic pre-MOT checks and ensuring their car is serviced regularly throughout the year.’

Car models with the worst – and best – MOT pass rates in 2023 so far 


1. Peugeot 307: 48.3% (5,521 tested)

2. Citroen Xsara: 48.4% (3,061 tested)

3. Renault Grand Scenic: 50.4% (1,271 tested)

4. Peugeot 207: 50.6% (46,623 tested)

5. VW Beetle: 51.6% (1,870 tested)

6. Hyundai Getz: 52.0% (2,765 tested)

7. VW Fox: 52.4% (4,792 tested)

8. Ford Focus C-Max: 52.5% (1,867 tested)

9. Peugeot 206: 52.7% (11,521 tested)

10. Renault Megane: 52.8% (19,574 tested)


1. Lexus UX: 95.4% (1,195 tested)

2. Lexus RX: 93.7% (1,231 tested)

3. Porsche Macan: 93.4% (2,986 tested)

4. Ford Puma: 93.4% (1,493 tested) 

5. VW T-Cross: 91.8% (1,816 tested) 

6. Audi Q2: 91.6% (14,301 tested)

7. Lexus NX: 91.5% (4,692 tested)

8. VW T-Roc: 91.0% (15,352 tested)

=9. Jaguar I-Pace: 90.8% (1,532 tested)

=9. Skoda Karoq: 90.8% (8,484 tested)

Source: DVSA data for 1 January-31 July 2023 provided to LeaseLoco 

Car brands with the best and worst MOT records in 2023

According to MOT data from the DVSA, Ferraris are most likely to pass their MOT with an 89.9 per cent first-time pass rate. 

Chevrolets and Chryslers – both American manufacturers – are least likely to pass their MOTs first time, with 55.4 per cent and 62.2 per cent pass rates respectively, the DVSA data shows.

Renault (63.0 per cent) and Citroen (64.9 per cent) are also among the brands with the worst records, joined by European rival Alfa Romeo with a 64.2 per cent pass rate across all models tested in the opening seven months of 2023. 

Of the 5,485 Teslas tested this year (up to the end of July), 84.2 per cent passed their MOTs at the first time of asking, which wasn’t quite enough to break into the list of the top five best brands.

Chevrolets, which pulled out of the UK at the end of 2015, is the brand with the worst MOT pass rate as a whole, the DVSA figures show. Unsurprisingly, luxury models dominate the list with the highest pass rates

Car brands with the worst – and best – MOT pass rates in 2023 so far 


1. Chevrolet: 55.4%

2. Chrysler: 62.2%

3. Renault: 63.0%

4. Alfa Romeo: 64.2%

5. Citroen: 64.9% 


1. Ferrari: 89.9%

2. Bentley: 89.6%

3. Aston Martin: 89.5%

4. Porsche: 88.9%

5. Lexus: 87.7%

Source: DVSA data for 1 January-31 July 2023 provided to LeaseLoco 

Car models with the highest percentage of dangerous defects

In May 2018, the DVSA introduced three new defect categories – minor, major and dangerous – to differentiate between the seriousness of problems.

The latter is the most severe of all and just one issue of this type means a car automatically fails the test – as does a ‘major’ defect. 

Of all cars that failed their MOTs between January and the end of July, just over a quarter (27.5 per cent) were due to dangerous defects.

However, the one car with the highest percentage of dangerous defect failures across all MOTs carried out so far in 2023 is – surprisingly – a Volvo.

Despite the Swedish manufacturer’s track record for safety, the V50 estate (2004-2012) has the highest percentage of dangerous defect fails, with 15.6 per cent of the 4,135 tested. 

Volvo's V50 estate - sold between 2004 and 2012 - is the model with the highest percentage of fails due to a 'dangerous defect', the official figures show

Car models with the highest dangerous defect count in 2023

1. Volvo V50: 15.6% (4,135 tested)

2. Chevrolet Matiz: 14.1% (1,015 tested)

=3. Vauxhall Vectra: 14.0% (5,870 tested)

=3. Ford Focus C-Max: 14.0% (1,867 tested)

5. Renault Kangoo: 13.8% (4,323 tested)

6. Jaguar X-Type: 13.7% (2,882 tested)

7. Ford Grand C-Max: 12.8% (3,493 tested)

8. Renault Grand Scenic: 12.6% (1,271 tested)

9. Mitsubishi Colt: 12.5% (2,291 tested)

10. Vauxhall Antara: 12.4% (3,443 tested)

Source: DVSA data for 1 January-31 July 2023 provided to LeaseLoco

Rob Hull

Leave a Reply