3rd December 2022

The Best Time to Get an MOT Test

In the UK every vehicle must annually have its safety, roadworthiness and emissions inspected as part of an MOT test. This happens in many countries across the world, but the UK is unique as this MOT data is available for anyone to view and have access to. We have been analyzing this data whilst developing our AI model and we are sharing some of the insights we have found in this series of blog posts.

London Taxi

This Post

In this post we are going to explore what effect the timing of your MOT test has on how likely it is to pass. You would expect the timing of the test to have little bearing on if it passes, but it turns out there are many correlations. For example time of day, day of the week, and even the date all seem to be some way related to the results of an MOT test.

The best time of day

We started by looking at what time of day the test was conducted. It turns out there is a strong correlation between the time of day and how likely your car is to pass its test. The later in the working day, the more likely you car is to pass, until 4pm, at which point the chance starts to go down again. One possible explanation for this is cars which fail earlier in the day can be fixed and get tested again in the afternoon. At which point they pass. Meaning on average more cars pass in the afternoon.

The best day of the week

The trends continue when we look at days of the week. Cars which are tested on Saturdays are 5% more likely to pass than those tested on a Monday. In fact the later in the week your car gets tested the more chance it has of passing. So why is this? Similarly to the explanation to the time of day it could be that cars which fail early in the week get fixed and then retested, at which point they pass. But there could be some other underlying explanation. Maybe mechanics get more lenient as the week goes on? Maybe they just have more time to at the beginning of the week to check cars thoroughly? It is really difficult to know for sure why this trend exists, but it is clear that it does.

The best day of the year

So what about the date? Is there a particular day of the year that your car is most likely to pass an MOT test on? And which day is it least likely to? Well the answers are December 24th and January 2nd. In fact most the days in both the top 5 and bottom 5 are in and around Christmas and New years.

When we think about it this kind of makes sense. Anyone getting their car tested on Christmas eve is likely in a rush. They urgently need their car for the holidays and are willing to pay anything to get it to pass. Mechanics may also be more lenient with the tests, wanting to get through their last cars of the year quickly before they go off on leave.

Equally cars tested on January 2nd are likely cars left from the previous year. Cars they couldn't get through in time before Christmas. Maybe cars that need more work to get them to pass. Whatever the underlying reason the data is clear. You car is significantly more likely to pass its MOT test on Christmas eve.

So if you want the statistically best time to get your car tested, it looks like a test on a Sunday at 4pm is your best bet. Or equally any time on Christmas eve. One thing we would say for sure is don't get your car tested on January 2nd in the morning.

All the data and insights we have collected about cars in the UK is available for free to everyone. Just type in a registration number and instantly get all the related data to that specific car and also get a prediction for how long that car is likely to last. Follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to get updates on our posts.