The DVSA has issued a warning to fraudulent MOT testing stations after the number of serious cases relating to dishonesty and negligence more than doubled in 2021 to 2022.
More than 1,300 counts of MOT fraud were recorded in 2021 to 2022, DVSA figures show.
Of these, 710 were the most serious cases related to dishonesty and negligence – more than double the 2017 – 2018 figure.
In 2021, the DVSA banned a total of 127 authorised examiners from running testing stations, and 288 from the MOT scheme.
This included bans for 85 authorised examiners and 185 testers relating to the most serious offences including dishonesty, and gross negligence.
Marian Kitson, director of enforcement at the DVSA said: “We will not allow qualified testers who we entrust to carry out MOTs to abuse a system designed to keep the public safe for their own personal gain.
“We are fortunate to have so many compliant, trustworthy, and honest garages who deliver the MOT safely.
“We want to ensure they are not unfairly disadvantaged by the greed and criminality of the dangerous few individuals seeking to dupe the system.
“The MOT test is designed to keep you and others safe.
“Don’t risk road safety, don’t cheat the system.”
The DVSA monitors the industry closely and acts on poor and fraudulent practice through both proactive investigations and in response to reports from the public.
Cases where vehicles aren’t even entering a garage but are issued pass certificates have seen the biggest increase, the agency says.
Marian added: “The latest technology and intelligence-based targeting allows us to track vehicle movements, meaning we know where vehicles are, and where they’re not.
“We can then compare this with MOT test data to ensure the right outcome.”
Recent cases of MOT fraud
The DVSA investigated Thornton-Granville of Mitcham, following a complaint about an MOT conducted on a vehicle in a shocking state of disrepair by member of the public.
An inspection of the vehicle revealed 21 faults, including missing brake pads and missing anti-roll bar.
Corrosion on the car was so severe that the security of the body to the chassis was reduced by more than 50 per cent, critically endangering the driver in any impact scenario.
When presented with DVSA’s evidence the tester admitted and subsequently pleaded guilty to issuing 152 fraudulent MOT pass certificates at City of London Magistrates Court in March.
He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for the charges, suspended for two years on the condition he completes 240 hours unpaid work within that period and ordered to pay a contribution towards prosecution costs of £5,000.
138 vehicle MOT certificates issued by Thornton-Granville were cancelled and removed.
Elsewhere, in Hampshire, Paul Rafferty, of Havant was given a prison sentence of 36 weeks in Worthing Magistrates Court on 28 February 2022 following a DVSA investigation.
The sentence was suspended for 12 months for 47 falsely issued MOT certificates over a three-month period.
Rafferty had been issuing the certificates despite the vehicles never entering the two garages he worked at in Petersfield, between November 2020 and January 2021.
All the MOTs of the 47 potentially dangerous vehicles were cancelled. Rafferty was also given the full five-year term ban from MOT testing.