Check the MOT history of a vehicle on-line

| Author: Phil Swift [Member (F/1672)] | Filed under: General News
Check the MOT history of a vehicle on-line

If you know of anyone about to buy a car, do tell them to check the MOT on-line rather than accept the paper document at face value.… 

To check the MOT on-line click here.

The following is an example of what can go wrong.

The incident involves a chap who spent £21,000 of his hard earned cash on a 4x4. This innocent purchaser did all he could, comparing the documents against the car – the ‘data triangle’ (car, corres’ & check). Within weeks, the DVLA were asking odd questions, the police arrived and that was the last he saw of the vehicle – there is only so much we can do to help … checks on phone numbers, advertisements gave some clues and these have been passed to the police.

But the evidence of a problem was available … the MOT was forged. Since stealing the vehicle and applying a false identity, the true car, sat on a garage forecourt (likely where the crooks saw it and took the identity from) was MOT’d – so the MOT produced to the innocent purchaser was an old one (albeit still in date) … the mileage displayed on-line would also have been a warning. The crooks put a lower mileage on their car and document … bumping up the price and desirability.

A few years ago we asked VOSA for the number of vehicles with a mileage on the current MOT that was lower than on the last one … 1 in 39. There may be a legitimate reason or this … but this needs to be ascertained and unless aware, you will not ask.

DO NOT accept the paper certificate at face value:

Following DVSA clarification CMA urges used car buyers to check MOT details online – the paper certificate is too susceptible to forgery

“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” – CMA MD Philip Swift

Following a clarification by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Claims Management & Adjusting Ltd (CMA) is urging used car buyers to check MOT details online, rather than relying on the paper certificate.

In response to a Freedom of Information request by CMA’s Philip Swift, the DVSA’s MOT Scheme Management Team confirmed: “…the view of DVSA is that the test certificate is a receipt style certificate and it is the database which holds the authorative [sic] 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.”

Managing Director of CMA, Philip Swift, a former police detective, 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. It is a great free service and you can see at a glance the recorded mileages going back years and any advisory notes on the condition of the vehicle.

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.”

Source:  Phil Swift CMA Ltd

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