Want the best chance of passing your MOT first time? Buy a Ferrari

Test data shows Italian supercars most likely to fly through the annual test

Ferrari 488 Pista
Ferrari 488 Pista

Drivers looking for a car most likely to pass its first MOT have been advised to choose a Ferrari.

Analysis of test pass rates shows that the Italian sports car brand has the best overall record in Britain, with 95.4 per cent of all cars passing their first MOT at three years old.

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Joining the pride of Maranello on the pass rate podium are luxury British brands Bentley and Aston Martin, with pass rates of 94.5 and 93.8 per cent respectively.

Every car needs an MOT from the age of three years until it is 40 years old

Back in the real world, Japanese brands dominate the list of mainstream brands with the best records, thanks to strong performances from the likes of Subaru, Lexus, Honda and Mazda, all of which have pass rates of more than 90 per cent.

Cars are exempt from an MOT until they reach three years old and the analysis of Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) data by BookMyGarage looked at data for all makes with more than 500 MOTs carried out in 2020.

Porsche, Infiniti and Suzuki completed the list of brands with the best pass rates - 92.1, 91.4 and 89.6 per cent respectively. At the opposite end of the table 78.1 per cent of cars from budget Korean brand SsangYong passed their first MOT first time, just ahead of Dacia (78.5 per cent) and Citroen (81.3 per cent).

The impressive pass rates for so many prestige brands could well be connected to the fact that most of these prized motors do relatively few miles every year and are maintained by fastidious owners. And while just 712 three-year-old Ferraris were present for an MOT in 2020, 347,000 Fords were tested in the same period, with a pass rate of 87 per cent.

Suzuki was among the best performing mainstream brands

BookMyGarage’s head of marketing, Jessica Potts, said the MOT failure rate of each brand is often indicative of how well owners maintain their cars and the likely annual mileage they will cover. For instance, 6.8 per cent of cars fail MOT tests due to defective tyres, a component which is the driver’s responsibility to monitor for wear and tear.

The research also looked at how brands fare in the longer term, examining pass rates for cars between the ages of three and 15 years. Again, Ferrari, Bentley and Aston Martin topped the list, with pass rates of 93, 92.2 and 90.3 per cent respectively. Porsche, Infiniti and Lexus also appeared in fourth, fifth and seventh places but were joined by Tesla, Maserati, Mercedes and DS in the top 10.

Jessica Potts commented: “It’s perhaps no surprise to see so many luxury brands perform best in the MOT test.

“Owners of prestige car brands often cover fewer miles annually as the car is unlikely to be the owner’s sole vehicle and they are usually maintained to very high standards. MOT pass rates are less indicative of brand reliability and more a representation of how well owners maintain their car and how much of a ‘workhorse’ a particular brands’ models tend to become.

“That being said, there’s a noticeable dominance of more mainstream Japanese brands in the Top 10, which perhaps goes some way to prove the notion that Japanese cars are indeed very reliable.”