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The cars most likely to pass their MOT at the first attempt

For some drivers, an MOT test reminder is a dreaded alert that their bank account is about to be raided to resolve a number of different problems with their cars.

However, for motorists with the keys to the models revealed below, it is usually a case of paying for the test - which costs a maximum of £54.85 - and getting back on the road.

That's because these are the 50 cars that are statistically most likely sail through an MOT at the first attempt, based on official records held by the Government. 

Does your car make the cut? We reveal the top 50 used models that have the best records for passing an MOT test at the first time of asking

Britain's best used cars for passing the MOT test have been revealed in an 'extensive' new study by What Car?.

The motoring title analysed more than 745,000 anonymised MOT records published by the Department for Transport to find out the models that have the best rate for passing the MOT test at the first time of asking. 

To ensure the data is reliable, only models aged between three and eight years old were included in the research - and only cars with at least 100 examples tested have been listed in the results.

Topping the charts is a green Hyundai model with plenty of choice.

The Ioniq is a family-size car sold since 2017 and available with three different powertrains: conventional self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric.

While What Car?'s data doesn't split the Ioniq's performance by power type, the model as a whole has a glowing MOT record, passing the test at the first attempt on 96.18 per cent of occasions.

Hyundai's ultra-green Ioniq family car tops the charts as the model most likely to ace an MOT at the first attempt. It has an average pass rate of 96.18%, according to DfT records

The BMW i8, which has recently been pulled from production, is a hybrid supercar that has a very good record of sailing through an MOT 

Top 50 cars with the highest MOT pass rates

1. Hyundai Ioniq (2017-present) 96.18%

2. BMW i8 (2014 - 2020) 95.97%

3. Porsche Boxster (2012 - 2016) 94.10%

4. Lexus NX (2014 - present) 93.82%

5. Porsche 911 (2012 - 2019) 93.72%

6. Porsche Cayman (2013 - 2016) 92.94%

7. Porsche Macan (2014 - present) 92.91%

8. Mazda MX-5 (2016 - present) 92.62%

9. Lexus RX (2016 - present) 91.95%

10. Mazda CX-3 (2015 - present) 91.91%

11. Mercedes-Benz SL (2012 - 2020) 91.67%

12. BMW X1 (2015 - present) 90.95%

13. Mercedes-Benz GLA (2014 - 2020) 90.93%

14. Jaguar F-Type (2013 - present) 90.83%

15. Mercedes-Benz GLC (2016 - present) 90.78%

16. Audi A8 (2010 - 2017) 90.77%

17. Audi TT (2014 - present) 90.63%

18. Honda HR-V (2013 - present) 90.60%

19. Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2015 - 2020) 90.52%

20. BMW i3 (2013 - present) 90.46%

21. Jaguar F-Pace (2016 - present) 90.43%

22. Subaru XV (2012 - 2018) 90.36%

23. BMW 7-Series (2015 - present) 90.13%

24. Honda Jazz (2015 - 2020) 90.07%

25. Hyundai i20 (2015 - 2020) 89.94%

26. Tesla Model S (2014 - present) 89.94%

27. Vauxhall Viva (2015 - 2019) 89.93%

28. Jaguar XK (2006 - 2015) 89.87%

29. BMW 2-Series (2014 - present) 89.74%

30. Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2016 - present) 89.68%

31. Toyota Prius (2016 - present) 89.67%

32. Toyota Aygo (2014 - present) 89.56%

33. Audi TT (2006 - 2014) 89.40%

34. Audi Q5 (2008 - 2017) 89.16%

35. MINI Countryman (2010 - 2017) 89.14%

36. Lexus RX (2009 - 2016) 89.11%

37. Mercedes-Benz GLE (2015 - 2019) 89.01%

38. Suzuki Celerio (2016 - 2019) 88.97%

39. Lexus IS (2013 - present) 88.96%

40. Skoda Superb (2015 - present) 88.91%

41. Toyota GT86 (2012 - present) 88.89%

42. Peugeot 108 (2014 - present) 88.69%

43. BMW X4 (2014 - 2018) 88.67%

44. Suzuki Grand Vitara (2005 - 2015) 88.67%

45. Mazda MX-5 (2005 - 2015) 88.61%

46. Audi Q3 (2011 - 2018) 88.59%

47. Honda CR-V (2012 - 2018) 88.48%

48. Mercedes-Benz B-Class (2012 - 2019) 88.42%

49. Jaguar XF (2015 - present) 88.41%

50. Nissan Pulsar (2014 - 2018) 88.40%

Source: What Car? analysis of Department for Transport data for 2019 

Second in the list is another car with eco credentials - though aimed at a totally different audience.

The BMW i8 was the German maker's first attempt at a hybrid supercar. Launched in 2014 and built until last year, it offered buyers loads of performance but with emissions to keep their conscience clear - using a Mini-derived three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine, battery and electric motor.

Data shows that the i8 has a strong track record for reliability too, acing the MOT test at the first go in 95.97 per cent of cases - the second highest pass rate of all models.

Third in the list is the third-generation Porsche Boxster convertible - which was built from 2012 until 2016 - with a first-time pass rate of 94.10 per cent, according to the DfT's records.

In fact, the Boxster is one of a number of Porsches to appear at the sharp end of the list, with examples of the 911 (2012-2019), Cayman (2013-2016) and Macan SUV (2014-present) also making it into the top 10 MOT performers. 

Porsche's Boxster - one of its most affordable routes into the premium brand's ownership - performs well in MOTs. The 2012-2016 model has a first-time pass rate of 94.10%

Also among the top 10 car models with the highest MOT pass rates is the previous generation Porsche 911, produced from 2012-2019

Left: Porsche Cayman coupe (2013 - 2016) has a first time pass rate of 92.94%, earning it sixth spot in the list. Right: Seventh in the standings is the current Macan - produced since 2014 - with a 92.91% MOT pass rate

Lexus also has a strong showing in the results, with the NX (2014-present) and RX (2016-present) SUVs appearing in fourth and ninth places respectively, as Korean, Japanese and German brands appear to have a stronghold on the top 10 order.

The Jaguar F-Type (2013-present) sports car is the highest-placed British model in the study, in 14th place with an average MOT pass rate of 90.83 per cent.

And while the Hyundai Ioniq is crowned the car with the best MOT pass record, the Tesla Model S (2014-present) is the top-placed pure electric model, with an average pass rate of 89.94 per cent - only good enough to secure it 26th place in the top 50. 

What Car? also ranked the top and bottom brands for MOT pass rates - and it is more good news for Porsche owners. 

Lexus is another brand that performs very well for producing cars that can sail through an MOT. The NX (2014-present) was the best performer of all Lexus models, with a 93.82% pass rate

The Jaguar F-Type sports car was the best-performing British model, with an average MOT pass rate of 90.83 per cent to earn it 14th spot in the standings

The Tesla Model S (2014-present) is the top-placed pure electric model, with an average pass rate of 89.94%, which earned it 26th spot in the standings

Brands with the best and worst MOT pass-rate records 

As well as achieving the highest average pass rate, the German sports car manufacturer is also the only brand to gain a pass rate of more than 90 per cent across the board. 

Tesla is second in the list, with an overall pass rate of 89.94 per cent for the US EV maker.

Lexus maintained its strong reliability identity with a third-place finish, with 88.72 per cent of its cars passing MOTs at the first go. 

Subaru, Honda and Mazda all also appeared in the top 10, capping a good performance by Japanese marques.

American car firm Jeep - which is owned by the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group - was a surprise entry, ranking ninth with an average first-time MOT pass rate of 86.52 per cent. 

Top 10 brands with the highest MOT pass rates 

1. Porsche 91.15% 

2. Tesla 89.94% 

3. Lexus 88.72% 

4. Subaru 88.46%

5. Honda 88.41%  

6. MINI 87.45%

7. Audi 87.25%

8. Skoda 86.58%

9. Jeep 86.52%

10. Mazda 86.32%

Source: What Car? analysis of Department for Transport data for 2019 

At the opposite end of the table is South Korean car brand Ssangyong, which has the lowest MOT pass record at the first attempt - just 76.98 per cent. 

It means that more than three quarters of its models passed the annual assessment at the first time of asking.

It was bad news for French firms, too.

Dacia (owned by Renault), Citroen and Renault were second to fourth in the order of car makes least likely to pass an MOT at the first attempt ahead of Italian neighbours Alfa Romeo.

Jaguar Land Rover, which in recent years has been synonymous with unreliability, did not appear in the bottom 10 list - which might be seen as a small victory for the brand and owners of its expensive cars. 

Bottom 10 brands with the lowest MOT pass rates 

1. Ssangyong 76.98%

2. Dacia 78.17%

3. Citroen 79.72%

4. Renault 80.20%

5. Alfa Romeo 80.73%

6. Vauxhall 81.20%

7.  Fiat 81.22%

8. Seat 82.08%

9. Ford 82.58%

10. Peugeot 82.78%

Source: What Car? analysis of Department for Transport data for 2019

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: 'One of the first things used buyers do is check a vehicle's MOT record to see how well it's been maintained and if it's suffered lots of faults. 

'Our extensive study reveals the models with the best MOT pass rates, ranging from large SUVs to city cars. Buyers can use it to help them choose the most dependable models.

'Although the top 50 list contains several prestige cars, that tend to have lower mileage and immaculate service records, it's reassuring to find some budget and family cars in the mix.' 

DVSA issues a warning to those who used the Covid-19 MOT test extension in 2020

Motorists in Britain are being urged to sign up for an MOT reminder service after millions had their test due dates changed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency highlighted that it has now been a year since the coronavirus-related MOT exemption was made available to motorists - under which almost 10 million vehicles had their tests pushed back.

From March 30 to the end of July last year, as lockdown measures restricted movement, all cars, vans and motorcycles in Britain were eligible for an exemption from an MOT for a six-month period.

The agency said those who did use the test extension should sign up for its free reminder service.

This will send vehicle owners an email or text a month before their MOT due date to help them remember to arrange a test.

Drivers who utilised the six-month MOT exemption last year are being urged to sign up for a free reminder service from the DVSA to ensure they don't miss their new test date in 2021

As MOT exemptions ended from 1 August last year, 15 per cent of vehicles were late for their MOT, the DVSA said, but by December this had risen to almost a third (over 28 per cent).

Chris Price, the DVSA's head of MOT policy, said: 'We know lots of vehicle owners are unsure about when their test is this year. So our free MOT reminder service offers peace of mind they won't miss their test date.

'We're committed to helping people to keep their vehicles safe to drive. Signing up for an MOT reminder is a quick and easy way for motorists to do this.'

Vehicles must have an MOT on the third anniversary of their registration, and then every 12 months if they are more than three years old.

A number of vehicle parts are checked during an MOT to ensure they meet legal standards.

Motorists can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT. 

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