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Three-quarters of motorists say they check the MOT history of used vehicles

A study1 by has revealed that three-quarters of motorists are likely to check the MOT history of a used vehicle they are thinking about purchasing.

The majority of perspective buyers (78%) are also more likely to purchase a used vehicle which has a ‘good’ MOT history – a vehicle that hasn’t failed multiple tests in the past or had lots of minor faults noted (especially on the most recent test). These vehicles usually hold their value better than those with a patchy MOT history, too.

Anyone can check the MOT history of a vehicle for tests dating back to 2005 that were carried out in Great Britain by simply entering a vehicle’s registration number on the MOT Checker tool. Paper MOT records are also often kept in the vehicle’s service history.

Following the recent launch of’s Pre MOT offering, the research highlights the importance of staying on top of vehicle maintenance and ensuring drivers frequently carry out basic safety checks themselves. The survey revealed that 27% of motorists rarely or never do any preliminary checks on their car before taking it for an MOT test.

“Not doing any basic checks can often result in a vehicle failing the MOT test on something that could’ve easily been resolved beforehand,” said Karen Rotberg, Co-founder of “For example, nearly 12% of MOT failures are due to vehicle lights and reflectors.”

The new Pre MOT offering provides motorists with the option of booking a preliminary check on their vehicle in conjunction with an MOT test. Owners then have the opportunity to rectify any issues picked up in the Pre MOT inspection before the full MOT test is carried out.

“Our research indicates that keeping on top of vehicle maintenance isn’t just about safety, but also the potential resale value of your vehicle. A vehicle with few historical failures or advisory faults is a great indication of how well it’s been looked after,” added Rotberg. “It’s also a great way to increase your chances of passing the MOT first time and avoid any nasty surprises.”

Last year, over 7.1 million cars and vans failed the MOT test first time – about 30% of the total vehicle parc2.

MOT failures by category: January to March 2022
Defect category Overall % of tests
Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment 11.71%
Suspension 9.12%
Brakes 7.07%
Tyres 6.37%
Visibility 5.07%
Body, chassis, structure 3.60%
Noise, emissions and leaks 3.07%
Steering 1.89%
Seat belts and supplementary restraint systems 1.12%
Identification of the vehicle 0.40%
Road Wheels 0.35%
Seat belt installation check 0.01%
Speedometer and speed limiter 0.01%
Overall Initial Failure Rate 29.00%


For an additional cost of just £10, owners can use’s Pre MOT check to get an indication of how likely their vehicle is to pass an MOT and how much work it might need. A mechanic at the driver’s chosen garage will conduct a comprehensive series of interior and exterior visual checks to components such as the tyres, lights, and brakes which together account for around 25% of MOT failures.

The survey also found that 29% of motorists have had a pre-MOT check in the past, and a further 38% have either considered one previously or would consider one in the future.

To book a Pre MOT check and to find out more about how it can help drivers avoid unnecessary MOT failures, visit

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