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Scotland hosts 'most unsafe' vehicles in UK

By: Chris Taylor
15 March 2012

A recent survey of MOT failures in Scotland suggests that the country is home to more unroadworthy vehicles than anywhere else in the UK.

Halfords Autocentres found that failure rates were a third worse than than in England and Wales. Although it admitted that this is probably down to the less-than-favourable weather conditions experienced by the country, the Scotsman reports.

The findings suggest that it's critical Scottish drivers have regular services and perform DIY maintenance checks throughout the year. This could especially be true for those whose livelihood depends on motoring, such as those involved in driving jobs, like taxi drivers or private delivery vehicles.

Large commercial vehicles, such as HGVs on the other hand, are likely to have more regular checks than standard cars due to the importance of their loads.

Dundee was found to be the worst city for "major failures", or faults that cannot be immediately fixed, with some 15.3 per cent of vehicles failing to make it through their MOT there.

It was followed by 15 per cent of vehicles in Motherwell, 14.1 per cent in Glasgow, 14 per cent in Aberdeen and 12.2 per cent in Edinburgh.

While the company could not specify why there was such a marked difference north of the Borders, a company spokesperson suggested that perhaps it could be "that weather conditions in Scotland are more harsh, having a bigger impact on vehicles."

Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association, the UK's biggest motoring group, meanwhile said the findings were of "concern" to the agency, "as this indicates that there are more unsafe cars on the roads in Scotland."

King added that Westminster ministers were right not to relax the law on MOT testing, which would have seen vehicles tested less regularly.

Cited by the Socialist-Courier blog, he explained: "We have also found that 10 per cent of drivers are cutting back on servicing their cars as a result of record fuel prices at the pumps. This means that many safety faults will only be picked up at the annual test."

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