SOMETIMES, scrimping and saving can amount to a false economy.

That is often the case when it comes to keeping our cars in roadworthy condition.

It would appear to be especially true of the city of Dundee, where a survey has revealed that 49% of cars failed their first MoT test, the highest number in the UK. Kirkcaldy, with a pass rate of 50%, and Lerwick, with 53%, also fared badly.

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These motorists may be paying the price for skipping routine servicing, although other factors, such as the impact on road surfaces of the colder weather north of the Border, are also thought to play a part - which can only reinforce the case for allocating greater resources to tackling the bane of the modern driver's life, the ubiquitous pothole.

Like death and taxes, it seems the pothole will always be with us - as will be our love affair with the original Mini which, as chance would have it, has just been voted the best-ever British car by readers of Autocar magazine. There used to a slogan which ran: "You never forget your first Mini." Sadly, at today's prices, you are unlikely ever to forget your last MoT failure.