CUMBRIA has been ranked as the second worst area in the country for MOT fail rates.

The county has one of the highest fail rates in the whole of England and Wales in the seven months following the government's MOT changes, which came into effect last year.

A study by Protyre revealed a north-south divide, with five of the top six areas for failures in the Midlands and the North of England, while five of the top six MOT passes were in the south.

In the seven months following the government MOT changes, around 25 per cent of all MOTs failed in Cumbria and the Devon and Cornwall area - while at least 20 per cent of MOTs failed in Leicestershire and Warwickshire.

Higher than the national average, around one in seven MOTs failed in Greater Manchester.

Cumbria (20 per cent) and Greater Manchester had the largest increases in MOT fails in the seven months following the new government regulations.

In contrast, Oxfordshire and Hampshire had the highest proportion of MOT passes (95 per cent or over) followed by the Bristol and Somerset area, the Lancashire and Merseyside area, Wiltshire and Essex.

At a national level, Wales, which had the highest MOT fail rate in 2017, had one of the lowest MOT fail rates (13 per cent) in the last six months of 2018 following the new MOT rules.

The new government regulations on MOTs came into effect on May 20, 2018.

These included new defect categories, exclusion of some vehicles over 40 years old from needing an MOT and stricter regulations on emissions from diesel cars with diesel particulate filters.

Although designed to reduce emissions, it is now the law that any vehicle with a diesel particulate filter has to be failed automatically if smoke of any colour is seen from the exhaust (as this could be evidence of tampering).

Protyre’s National Retail Operations Manager David Sholicar said: “Any change in the MOT fail rate in the immediate months after the government’s MOT changes isn’t surprising given the new fault categories and stricter testing of diesel vehicles required by law.


"However, there are still several really easy and inexpensive things that drivers can do to help them pass.

"At the very least, I’d recommend cleaning number plates and checking the lights, replacing any lightbulbs and old wiper blades and checking tyre pressure and tread – it could be the difference between a pass or fail.

"Protyre are happy to check these items with no charge.

"Regular servicing will help extend your vehicles life, plus a regularly professionally serviced vehicle is more likely to pass the more stringent emissions test.”