I’ve been shown some data from MOT testing centres under a freedom of information request that reveals which makes of vehicle are most likely to fail the road-worthiness examination because of sub-standard tyres.
As you know, tyres are the most important part of any car, the only contact with the road. As ever, rare offenders tend to be high-value cars with owners who have the budget and possibly company-subsidised ability to pay for main dealer servicing and parts. For some owners, tyres are a distress purchase and it is only when there is an MOT failure that they realise there is a problem. So which cars are least likely to have dodgy tyres?
Here’s some great news for Land Rover, a company that usually struggles when it comes to reliability surveys and stats. Top of the ‘least likely to fail its MOT on tyres’ list is the old Defender. I can vouch for the fact that owners become rather attached to them, hence the excellent showing where out of 81,316 MOT tests, just 1783 were failed on tyres (2.19%). I’ve been looking at some ex-army 110s and a specialist has a 1988 4000-miler for £9995 that should have some decent treads holding up its khaki bodywork.
Next up is the Suzuki Jimny. There seems to be a pattern emerging here with enthusiast owners and their 4x4s. Clearly, we should buy from them. Out of 62,861 MOT tests on the Jimny, there were 1400 tyre fails (2.23%). These are great little off-roaders – pretty much a micro-Defender – and prices have been on the up recently. A 2007 1.3 JLX+ with a full service history and 90,000 miles is yours for £4999.
More patterns for you, with the Suzuki Celerio in third place. After 21,574 tests, only 574 failed on tyres, a failure rate of 2.66%. It’s a small supermini-type car for old people to buy for cash and use to get cat food. They are cheap and I saw a 2015 SZ2 with 70k miles for just under £2000. Great little thing.
Nice to see (because you so rarely do) a Vauxhall Viva in at number four because after 29,057 tests, 832 failed, which is 2.86%. At least the tyres will be decent on what is another ‘matureownermobile’. A 2015 1.0 SL with 66,000 miles, a service history and even leather seats is £3700 at a dealer with a warranty.