Opinion: MOT fraud really does seem to be getting worse and yet government wants to extend test frequency

GW columnist, Aaron Phillips welcomed DVSA to his bay after discovering "one of the worst" examples of a car passing that shouldn't have

Opinion: MOT fraud really does seem to be getting worse and yet government wants to extend test frequency

With MOT fraud on the rise and cases of dishonesty and negligence doubling, it was only a matter of time before we came across another example ourselves.

Over the years we have seen many vehicles with an active MOT that potentially shouldn’t have passed, however this week we saw one of the worst.

A regular customer of ours had bought a second-hand car with a fresh 12 months MOT.

The customer, totally unaware of the condition of the vehicle, booked it to resolve an advisory on the MOT relating to a suspension bush and she had noticed a knocking noise.

We quickly realised that the car was in a shocking state and we had already noted a long list of faults.

Related: DVSA confirms crackdown on MOT fraud

Checking the MOT history, we noticed that the car has only been issued its pass just five days before.

The list of advisories were exactly the same as the year before and in the same order despite having covered 8,000 miles.

The most dangerous issue was excessive movement in both front suspension lower ball joints – if we had pulled too hard they would have popped right out.

After speaking to our customer and explaining the situation, she was very upset.

The car she had just bought was not only unroadworthy, but should never have passed the MOT carried out five days beforehand.

We comforted her, took her through the MOT appeal process and gave her a lift home.

Related: MOT fraud on the rise, DVSA figures show

Our customer then filed the complaint, and we were pleasantly surprised to be contacted very quickly by the DVSA.

We were asked if they could come and carry out an inspection in our MOT bay and we were pleased the complaint was being taken seriously and being dealt with quickly.

The original tester and two examiners attended and the vehicle was inspected.

The inspectors went through the faults with the tester and filed a report.

On speaking with the examiners after the inspection, it turns out that they are aware of the tester and his business.

Apparently unscrupulous testers often have several tricks they use to avoid being caught – on this occasion the mileage entered was incorrect, making it look like the vehicle had covered 11,000 miles since the test was carried out and the argument was that these faults could have occurred at anytime during this mileage.

Related: Two-year MOT interval “a known risk to road safety”

However, 11,000 miles in five days just isn’t possible.

This allows the DVSA team to look further into the problem carrying out ANPR checks and using other information sources to try and prove fraud.

The big issue for the team is undeniable proof of wrong doing.

The next stage was a formal interview with the tester.

I wish the team luck in their investigations and I hope they can gather enough evidence to deal with the problem appropriately.

All this comes with the government discussing the possibility of extending the frequency to every two years.

I dread to think what could have happened if this vehicle was allowed to continue driving for another two years.

Luckily our customer had the sense to get it checked, but not everyone would have done the same.

Share your comments below.

8 Comments

  1. Its always the minority that let the trade down. I see a lot of car dealers some even have a arrangement with the mot testers not to put any advisory or minors on the ticket

    Reply
  2. Absolutely agree having operated two mot stations in my thirty plus years the standard of testing at some testing stations is a major concern. Two yearly mot tests are a accident waiting to happen.
    We still see many vehicles that don’t see a garage from one mot to another.

    Reply
  3. Everyone can find £45 a year to make sure their ‘leathal weapon” is safe. Instead Boris should talk to his mates that own supermarkets, fuel and energy suppliers, things we use every day, and get them to drop their prices to help rising costs. He should not jeopardize the safety of us all with a bi-annual mot

    Reply
  4. Yes mot fraud seems to out of control, we see these sort of dangerous crimes almost on a weekly basis nowadays ! ,,,

    I have even had customers say to me after failing their vehicle on a dangerous item, “fine I will just go and get a bent mot certificate from ghost mot’s or alike” !!! ,,,,

    When did a class 4 mot tests last go up ?! ,,, They have been £54.85 for way to long now, labour rates have more than doubled in that time & also has the cost of running an Mot test centre. They should be up around £110.00 a test and not allowed to be discounted.

    Reply
  5. I would normally be a little reluctant to involve the DVSA IF there were any doubts in my mind about what had happened. But this sounds like such an extreme case, and the mileage discrepancy seems to prove it was 100% deliberate that I congratulate the garage and the DVSA on doing the right thing!

    Reply
  6. What happened to the tester then AW ?

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  7. Just happened to me, bought a old mini with 12month mot, on the way home on the M62, vehicle locked up in the middle lane (no pins in brake pads) nearly got killed, took the seller to court, didnt get anywhere, vosa inspected and condemned the car, mot station got away scott free!!!

    Reply
  8. Good point about the maximum cost of the test. It hasn’t gone up since, I think, 2010 so it’s already massively under valued. Then consider connected equipment (and I know that’s not compulsory for existing test stations, yet!) and nobody is going to want to test.
    It’s no excuse but surely it encourages less honest people to either sell a guaranteed pass for more money or find faults to repair which don’t exist.

    Reply

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