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Four out of 10 cars fail first WoF inspection

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MEDIA RELEASE 11 February 2020

End of year warrant of fitness figures show four in every 10 vehicles are not roadworthy enough to pass their first inspection.

In total 1,886,104 vehicles failed their first warrant of fitness inspection in 2019.

Commenting on the statistics, Motor Trade Association Advocacy and Strategy Manager Greig Epps said the 41 percent fail rate should ring alarm bells for all road users.

“We reached this record high failure rate in the middle of last year and it continued throughout the rest of the 2019,” Mr Epps said.

“It shows that many car owners still rely on the warrant of fitness inspection to discover any problems.”

But with most cars coming in for a warrant just once a year that wasn’t good enough.

“Drivers need to be doing more to monitor the safety of their car. Everyone should check the most common issues – lights, brakes, suspension and tyres at least every six months.”

Mr Epps compared the failure rate with that of commercial vehicles, such as taxis, business fleets and trucks, which was between 17 and 23 percent, depending on the category of vehicle.

”Commercial operators are safety rated and passing their inspections is an important component of their rating.

“The different system shows that it’s possible to halve the failure rate if there was some incentive to do so.”

Mr Epps said if a car owner didn’t feel comfortable doing their own check they can call in the professionals.

“Most MTA workshops are able to do a check at very affordable rates.”

The MTA is urging the government to add a component on vehicle maintenance to the driver licence test, Mr Epps said.

“We believe the driver training process should include information on how to do a simple safety inspection to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy.

“The message should be that any necessary repairs should be done straight away – for the safety of everyone on the road.”

Historic WoF Fail Rates

2013 - 35%; 2014 - 36%; 2015 - 36%; 2016 - 37%; 2017 - 37%; 2018 - 38%; 2019 - 41%.