Pickups among the worst performers for MOT failures

  • Isuzu D-Max worst popular model for passing first MOT - including cars
  • Four other pickups in the bottom 25 for vehicles registered in 2016
  • All based on official government data from MOTs in 2019

Isuzu D-Max (2016), worst pickup for passing its first MOT

Vehicle information service KnowYourCar has been crunching DVSA data on MOT pass rates and come up with list of the cars most and least likely to pass their first MOT first time. Turns out this doesn’t make good reading for pickup owners.

Based on cars first registered in 2016 – which means they would have had their first MOT in 2019, three years later – the very worst performer in KnowYourCar’s ‘popular models’ list is the Isuzu D-Max. And there are three more pickups in the bottom 20, with a fifth at number 22.

How worried should I be about my pickup passing its MOT first time?

Looking at the list of common failures (which KnowYourCar helpfully provides), most of the problems seem to be very minor – and possibly in part down to the way these rugged vehicles are treated and what they have to put up with on a daily basis.

The most common failures, for example, are for headlights being out of alignment, followed by windscreen wipers that don’t clear the screen effectively. So for goodness sake put a new set of wipers on before heading for that first test.

Other consistent issues relate to numberplates, warning lights and bulbs – though more alarming are problems with inconsistent braking performance across an axle and failures of suspension components. These are still concerns that ought to be picked up if you follow routine servicing schedules.

Aside from the D-Max, which other pickups have trouble with their first MOT?

The Toyota Hilux is next worst (6th from bottom), followed by the Mitsubishi L200 (11th), the Ford Ranger (16th) and then the Nissan Navara (22nd).

Note that the Hilux and the Navara both changed models in 2016, so their results are likely to be a mix of generations. The L200 that's covered by these results went off sale in 2019, though the new model is similar underneath.

This is all based on KnowYourCar’s ‘popular model’ categorisation, though, which only deals with vehicles that have data from 5,000 or more MOTs available.

Toyota Hilux (2016) MOT surprise

Switch to checking by ‘all models’ (500 or more MOTs recorded), and the D-Max is ‘only’ 7th worst. The Hilux comes in 20th and the L200 sits at 35th; the other two no longer fall into the bottom 40 using this measure.

Also note that even the Isuzu has a first-time MOT pass rate of over 81%, so it’s not as if the majority are failing – but nearly a fifth still do…

Any other small print?

KnowYourCar’s ranking ignores MOT failures for tyres and empty washer bottles, which might skew the results slightly. But it’s hard to argue that those things aren’t entirely the fault of the owner.

What about later MOTs?

There is data on the site showing you the best and worst performers up to the fifth MOT. And we’re sorry to say that the above pickups are consistently among the worst performers in the bottom 40 in using the ‘popular model’ filter – though the exact order they appear in does change.

See the KnowYourCar website for more info.

How does this information help me?

It means you can see what other vehicles that are the same as yours commonly fail on, enabling you to check these items ahead of time, avoiding the cost and inconvenience of a re-test.

If you’re planning to buy a pickup you can also use it to check common failure points, too. But note that the government’s own site allows you to look up the MOT history of a specific vehicle via its number plate.

Also read:

>> The Parkers pickup group test

>> The best pickups for payload

>> New pickups coming soon – and recent launch round-up