The UK’s best vans for passing the MOT

September 12, 2019

When was the last time you checked your van lights or tyres? New research suggests drivers are putting themselves and others at risk because they do not carry out necessary maintenance. Dan Powell of Honest John Vans explains.

Data from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) shows one in four vans will fail the first MoT at three years, with lighting, brakes and tyres accounting the majority of failures.

One-third of these could be avoided if drivers made the simplest and most basic of checks to their van, according to the Government figures obtained by Honest John Vans.

The number one cause of MOT failures is lighting, with 36,660 faults, while faulty windscreen wipers and empty screen wash account for 14,056 failures. Faulty brakes are responsible for further 13,190 failures while 10,605 vans are refused a new MoT due to worn or damaged tyres.

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MOT test data shows that a typical van will clock up 47,000 miles by the time it has its first test at three years, compared to the average car that covers 26,000 miles over the same time.

The Honest John Vans MOT Files is the most detailed analysis of Government MoT data in the UK, covering every postcode in England, Scotland and Wales. The data is obtained from the DVSA through the Government’s Open Data scheme and based on millions of MoT tests that take place up and down the country by qualified technicians.

Best vans to pass MOT

Top five vans for passing the first MOT

  1. Mercedes-Benz Vito – 79% of vans pass
    DVSA data shows that the Vito is the best van for passing the first MoT, with an impressive 79% pass rate. Failures for common items – like lighting, electrical equipment and suspension – are all notably lower than average, with eight out of 10 vans passing.
  2. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – 79% of vans pass
    The Sprinter misses out on the top spot by the smallest of percentage margins but still gets consistently high marks across the board. Tyre wear, for example, is almost 50% better than other three-year-old vans.
  3. Volkswagen T5 Transporter – 78% of vans pass
    Another German van and another high MoT score. This time it’s the T5 Transporter, with its 78% pass rate proof that premium panel vans are sometimes worth paying that little bit extra for. Tyre problems are rare for Transporter drivers, with Volkswagen’s pass rate being almost 30% better than the average.
  4. Ford Transit Connect – 78% of vans pass
    A builders’ favourite, the Transit Connect is a great all-rounder with its car-like interior, low running costs and practical load area making it a hit with UK buyers. Lighting, suspension and brakes all get high marks, with only tyre wear – 42% worse than other 2014 vans – being the blot on the otherwise excellent MoT report card.
  5. Volkswagen Caddy – 78% of vans pass – It’s official, German vans are among the best when it comes to scoring a pass at the first MoT. The Volkswagen Caddy is just half a percentage point behind the Ford, with its tyre wear letting it down. This aside, the Caddy is a reliable van at the MoT with its 3% failure rate on brakes being 50% better than average for a three-year-old van.
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