Test the MOT test

Used car buyers have been encouraged to check MOT certification online instead of trusting the paper certificate.

The Claims Management & Adjusting Ltd (CMA) has found many cases of new buyers being conned by forgeries.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Authority’s (DVSA) MOT scheme management team said, ‘The view of DVSA is that the test certificate is a receipt style certificate and it is the database holds the authoritative record. DVSA advice is that if a customer has concerns to the validity of the certificate or wishes to, they can confirm the details via the gov.uk website.’

Philip Swift, CMA managing director, said ‘This important clarification should signal a change in consumer best practice. Most car buyers accept the paper MOT at face value, but 25 years of investigating cloned and clocked vehicles has taught us not to be so trusting. The first thing we do with any claim is check the MOT on the primary source, the government website.

‘Any discrepancy between this data and the paper certificate should set alarm bells ringing. Vehicle crime has become highly sophisticated but when it comes to paper MOTs a lot of the tactics are rudimentary, commonly simple photocopies with the mileage altered. In one recent case, someone had downloaded the sample certificate from the government website, filled it in and passed it off as genuine. They should at least put a watermark on that because they’ve inadvertently provided a handy resource for fraudsters.’