CUMBRIA has one of the highest MOT fail rates in the whole of England and Wales, according to new figures.

According to statistics released by Protyre,the MOT fail rate in Cumbria was over 25 per cent, compared to a national average of just 12 per cent.

The new stats were recorded in the seven months following the introduction of stricter MOT tests by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

The changes in regulation have seen around one quarter of all MOTs in Cumbria failed in the months after the changes came in on May 20, 2018.

These saw the introduction of new defect categories, as well as the exclusion of some vehicles more than 40-years-old from needing an MOT and stricter regulations on emissions from diesel cars with diesel particulate filters.

Although diesel particulate filter were designed to reduce emissions, it is now the law that any vehicle with these kind of filters fitted has to be failed automatically if smoke of any colour is seen from the exhaust.

This is because the smoke could potentially be evidence of tampering.

Protyre’s national retail operations manager, David Sholicar, said: “Any change in the MOT fail rate in the immediate months after the government’s MOT changes isn’t surprising given the new fault categories and stricter testing of diesel vehicles required by law.

“However, there are still several really easy and inexpensive things that drivers can do to help them pass.

“At the very least, I’d recommend cleaning number plates and checking the lights, replacing any lightbulbs and old wiper blades and checking tyre pressure and tread.

“It could be the difference between a pass or fail.

“Regular servicing will help extend your vehicles life, plus a regularly professionally serviced vehicle is more likely to pass the more stringent emissions test.”

The Mail contacted the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency for comment regarding these latest statistics the changes in MOT regulation but have received no response.