MOT tester prosecuted for carrying out 800 fraudulent tests

He carried out more than four times the usual number of MOTs

MOT tester prosecuted for carrying out 800 fraudulent tests
Image: Bigstock.

A Bristol MOT tester has been convicted for carrying out more than 800 fraudulent MOTs.

The MOT tester was sentenced to eight months in prison on each of 12 counts of fraud, to run concurrently and suspended for 12 months, 150 hours of unpaid work, 10 rehabilitation days and ordered to pay a contribution towards prosecution costs of £2250.

On 23 February 2023, David Stephen Carden was convicted of recording MOTs to vehicles which hadn’t entered the MOT garage at Duckmoor Road, Ashton Gate, Bristol.

He was also given the maximum ban of 5 years from MOT testing by DVSA and will have to re-apply if he wants to test vehicles again.

Carden committed the offences between 1 August 2021 and 14 January 2022 from the same Auto Scuderia garage in south Bristol.

During this time, he recorded 1,300 MOT tests when the average number carried out over a six-month period is 284.

This is more than four times the usual number carried out.

A high proportion of vehicles being recorded as tested were for ones where the registered keeper lived some distance away, some as far as 279 miles from the testing station.

Many of the fraudulent tests had a decelerometer brake test recorded.

Whilst interrogating the data within the MOT Testing Service this was just one of a number of indicators that vehicles being issued with MOT test certificates at this garage were not being tested.

Marian Kitson, DVSA’s Director of Enforcement, said: “The high standard of MOT testing carried out on over 30 million vehicles a year contributes to Britain having some of the safest roads in the world.

“Mr Carden issued MOT certificates to vehicles he had not seen or tested.

“He was both defrauding the MOT system and the public who rightly expect the MOT to help keep them and their families safe while using the roads.

“MOT testers hold a position of trust and Carden abused that trust by allowing potentially dangerous vehicles to remain on the road.

“We will ensure that anyone who compromises safety in pursuit of personal gain feels the full force of the law.”

The DVSA monitors the industry closely and acts on poor and fraudulent practice through both proactive work and in response to reports from the public and official bodies.

People can report a garage or tester if they believe MOT certificates are being given to vehicles which should have failed or have not been tested, or certificates are being issued for bribes or for failing vehicles unnecessarily to generate work.

The garage or tester could be banned from carrying out MOTs, fined or given a prison sentence, depending on how serious the offence is.


  1. Ffs. As an owner of a Busy Mot site. Shocking news

  2. He must think the DVSA are as stupid as he is thick. How on earth did he think he would get away with it. Should be banned for life.

  3. IF you drop your soap in the shower 🚿block kick it to the door and pick it up on the way out

  4. Why a suspended sentence ? he knew what he was doing let him pay the price

  5. DVSA should update the testing procedure by adding ANPR hardware which cannot be overridden by the tester. Therefore if the vehicle is not present a test certificate cannot be issued. If the camera cannot read the registration plate, (e.g. excessively weathered, faded, cracked, mis-spaced, non-standard font, etc.) that’s a MOT fail. It wouldn’t stop every fraudulent MOT, but it would certainly help.

  6. This does show that connected software is working, as it knows when a decelerometer has done the test multiple time which is a red flag to DVSA system.


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