When Buying a Car Don’t Rely on the New-style MOT Certificate
Published: 5 September 2012 By Julian Stone Leave a Comment
If you are buying a car don’t rely on the printed version of new-style MoT certificate, that’s the message from the Trading Standards Institute (TSI).
The TSI has issued the warning after a 38-year-old man was arrested by Cleveland Police on suspicion of forging MoT test certificates with intent to deceive, albeit he has been released on bail pending further enquiries by Cleveland Police.
Gerald Taylor, the TSI’s motor trade lead office, said that new style MoT test certificates are causing concern to police and trading standards because of the ease with which they can be fraudulently reproduced.
This concern over the ease of reproduction is coupled with a general lack of awareness amongst consumers about the fact that the paper documents are no longer proof of existence of a valid MOT certificate.
Mr Taylor said: “When the new certificates were first implemented in October 2011 they were only intended to be a receipt for the MoT. The actual record and full details are stored online at the VOSA website, which can be accessed by going via the www.direct.gov.uk website.
He added: “The downloaded certificate in its present form can be altered and abused at will using the simplest of computer software available with nearly every personal computer. Purchasers – whether private or trade – should NOT rely on printed MoT certificates when buying cars.
“There is also the possibility that unscrupulous traders, and service and repair outlets, could agree to MOT a vehicle and charge accordingly but not carry out the test at all – the prospective purchaser would be none the wiser unless they go online.”
Mr Taylor emphasized that the only way to ensure a vehicle has been MoT tested is to check online. This can easily be done as long as you have the serial number of the MoT Certificate or the serial number of the V5.
If you have any information regarding the fraudulent use of MoT certificates, you should report it to your local police using the non-emergency 101 number.
MoneyHighStreet comments: “When buying a car it is vital to ensure you ensure you will become the legal owner of it and that it is genuinely what it seems it is – and this includes ensuring the MOT certificate provided is valid. It is therefore vital that you take the steps as identified by the TSI and it really will only take you a few minutes.
“Equally ensure ownership of the car can legally be passed to you and that there isn’t any outstanding finance agreement in place which has been taken out against the car.
“As well as concentrating on the legality of the car, do make sure too that your budget covers not only the purchase but also the ongoing running costs, these can really add up – when you consider car insurance, maintenance and of course fuel, which seems to be ever going up in price.”