Calls for earlier MOTs for vans


Calls for earlier MOTs as one in four vans fails first test.

A leading consumer website is calling on Government to modernise the MOT rules after official data revealed that one in four vans fail their first MOT.

The three-year MOT exemption for the first test for cars and vans was introduced in 1967, but Honest John believes a rethink is needed because light commercial vehicles have a consistently lower pass rate than cars.

Honest John Vans analysed millions of MOT records and found that just 75% of vans pass their first test at three years.  Lighting, brakes and tyres are the most common causes for failure.

One of the reasons vans have a relatively poor MOT pass rate is because they are worked much harder and driven over much great distances.  MOT test data shows that a typical van clocks up 47,000 miles by the time it has its first test at three years, while the average car has covered 26,000 miles over the same period of time. As a result, 86% of three-year-old cars will pass the first MOT – a figure that’s significantly better than similar aged vans.

The number of vans in the UK has boomed by 75% over the past 20 years with a record four million on the road today.  Van sales, over the past few years, have been fuelled by Britain’s love for online shopping with the home delivery market accounting for one in every five pounds spent in retail.

“Online shopping has fuelled record growth for the van market, as thousands of businesses try to keep up with the ever growing demand for home deliveries,” Daniel Powell, the Managing Editor of, said.  “This has created new businesses and added hundreds of thousands of new vans to our roads.  Our MOT data shows that drivers are putting themselves and others at risk, often without knowing, so it’s imperative that vans get their first MOT before cars.

“The introduction of a two-year MOT exemption would not affect the majority of responsible and honest van operators, who are meticulous when it comes to vehicle maintenance.  Instead it would target drivers who do not take vehicle safety very seriously by failing to perform the most basic of checks.”