New data released today by Kwik Fit reveals the car marques whose owners have been most cautious over vehicle safety in the lockdown.

To help reduce traffic during the lockdown, the government introduced a rolling MOT extension policy from 30 March, automatically adding six months to vehicles’ MOT expiry date. However, despite this automatic extension, Kwik Fit research has found that around a quarter of vehicle owners have decided that they want the reassurance of a physical MOT.

Analysis of MOT data by Kwik Fit, the UK’s largest MOT tester, reveals that of the UK’s most popular 20 car marques, it is the premium German brands which are most likely to have been taken for an MOT test during the lockdown period in April and May. Owners of Mercedes, BMWs and Audis are the drivers most likely to have had their car MOTed and not simply rely on the automatic extension.

For these brands, approximately one in three vehicles receiving an MOT extension have also been taken for physical MOT. The top five is completed by MINI and Fiat.

At the other end of the scale, just one in five Hondas (21%) with their MOT expiring in April and May were taken for a test, with most of their owners content with the automatic extension. Despite the marque’s reputation for safety, Volvo owners are the second least likely motorists to have taken their vehicle for a test, followed by Toyota. The five marques least likely to have been taken in for a test over the two month period are completed by Land Rover and Hyundai.



(Top 20 by vehicle numbers)

Number of vehicles requiring MOT test in April and May 2020 Number of vehicles taking MOT test in April and May Percentage of vehicles taken for a test while also granted extension
MERCEDES 214,429 70,607 32.93%
BMW 268,531 87,348 32.53%
AUDI 249,525 77,859 31.20%
MINI 112,842 33,962 30.10%
FIAT 109,731 32,812 29.90%
VOLKSWAGEN 419,032 119,649 28.55%
NISSAN 232,875 66,422 28.52%
FORD 642,840 179,968 28.00%
RENAULT 164,649 45,751 27.79%
MAZDA 82,950 22,716 27.38%
KIA 114,671 30,863 26.91%
CITROEN 156,523 40,927 26.15%
VAUXHALL 516,009 130,383 25.27%
PEUGEOT 224,445 56,613 25.22%
SKODA 108,849 27,284 25.07%
HYUNDAI 123,797 30,735 24.83%
LAND ROVER 116,228 28,562 24.57%
TOYOTA 231,460 53,227 23.00%
VOLVO 83,458 19,042 22.82%
HONDA 168,966 35,495 21.01%
UK Total (all makes) 4,779,200 1,303,131 27.27%

Source: Kwik Fit estimates based on analysis of DfT, SMMT and Kwik Fit data

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit said: “This analysis has highlighted some interesting differences between the owners of different makes of car. It’s certainly striking that the owners most likely to have opted to have a physical MOT are drivers of what many consider to be the premium marques in the top 20. It may be that these drivers have been using their cars more for essential journeys during lock down and want peace of mind, or they may believe that maintaining their MOT record will help hold their resale value.

“As we have seen, the majority of owners have not taken their car for a test, so as lock down restrictions ease and traffic volumes increase back towards normal levels, we urge all those drivers who have received an MOT extension to carry out their own thorough checks, especially on tyres and brakes, the most common causes for dangerous MOT failures. Our analysis has shown that 150,000 unroadworthy vehicles a week are being given MOT extensions, so it’s vital that drivers don’t neglect their responsibility to keep their cars safe.”

Any driver concerned about the condition of their car shouldn’t wait for their next MOT. They can visit a Kwik Fit centre for a vehicle safety check – information can be found here. Drivers who are taking their car for an MOT can also do a number of advance checks themselves to avoid failing on minor items – more information can be found at