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 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.”
Link to check MOT history: www.gov.uk/check-mot-status
Link to sample MOT certificate: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/431712/sample-mot-test-certificate-vt-20.pdf
Link to FOI request: www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/the_current_mot_document_a_recie
If you need further advice on this issue, please contact CMA on 0845 3888 810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org