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New figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have revealed that Caerphilly is officially the worst county in Great Britain for cars being in an unsafe condition for the road.

The research carried out by the DVLA discovered that 14 out of every 10,000 people in the South Wales county were slapped with penalty points on their licence for running poorly maintained or dangerous vehicles.

Motorists driving with illegal tyres, defective steering, worn-out brakes and unsafe loads were stopped by police and handed fines and penalty points.

The results highlighted a north/south divide, with those in Warwickshire and Somerset the least likely to be stopped for driving a poorly maintained vehicle. Just 1.01 and 1.08 offences per 10,000 people were recorded in each area respectively.

An AA spokesman told Auto Express that while poor weather, such as flooding, can damage cars; the economic climate was more likely to be forcing drivers to ignore car care. "A shortage of money means people have neglected maintenance," he said. "That stores up problems."

Greater London had the highest number of overall offences with 5,000, but with a population that tops eight million, it dropped to sixth in the per 10,000 population list.

The DVLA highlighted the fact that defective tyres were to blame for the majority of penalty points issued across Great Britain, with nearly 12,000 offences recorded in 2013.

Areas with worst maintained cars
County Offences*
Caerphilly 14.15
Durham 13.12
Wrexham 10.1
Moray 7.85
Dumfries and Galloway 7.02

Areas with best maintained cars
County Offences*
Warwickshire 1.01
Eilean Siar (Western Isles, Scotland) 1.08
Somerset 1.1
North Yorkshire 1.11
Monmouthshire 1.2

*Offences per 10,000 population. Source: DVLA