1 in 10 cars which passed their MOTs should have been classed as failures, according to the latest Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) MOT compliance survey.

The DVSA survey takes place every year, in order to check correct testing standards in the industry. The 2021/22 edition randomly selected a sample of 1,732 vehicles, and disagreed with the test outcomes in 12.2% of cases. Of these, just over 2% were failures adjudged to be worthy of a pass certificate.

More worryingly, in two thirds of the vehicles that had been retested, the DVSA found at least one defect which the MOT station had missed or incorrectly recorded. Tyres were the area with the most defects with which the DVSA disagreed, followed by brakes and suspension. 27 disciplinary actions recorded and 164 advisory warning letters sent to garages.

“Our MOT Compliance Survey is an essential tool helping us make our roads among the safest in Europe”, said a DVSA spokesperson. “The vast majority of MOT testers carry out testing to the highest standards. Our survey targets a random selection of vehicles and is designed to identify any problems with MOT testing so that we can put them right.

“We are delighted to see that standards have improved since the last report. This underlines the importance of DVSA taking action on the survey results and supporting testers with new digital tools, as well as demonstrating the hard work of MOT testers.”

This news comes at a time when the frequency of the MOT test is under scrutiny. In February we reported that the government had launched a consultation, recommending changing the date at which the first MOT for new light vehicles is required from three to four years.

Ministers claim the changes are necessary because today’s vehicles are built better and are more resilient to wear and tear, particularly with electric vehicles (EVs) having fewer moving parts.