Recently, there has been news of a wave of illegitimate MOT certificates being produced. A Cornish driver was killed in a horrific accident during May 2013; it was found that an MOT certificate had been issued two days prior to the driver's death. The new certificate should not have been issued due to numerous mechanical defects on the vehicle at fault.
The garage responsible for the MOT test ignored the cars brake deterioration, roll bar system, suspension and its general poor condition. The garage totally overlooked some of the most important test points. Although, this incident happened to be a genuine oversight, the garage was still heavily fined.
Problems with MOT certificates
Sloppy inspections and genuine oversights are very uncommon, but deliberate fraudulent MOT certificates are not unusual, they have been appearing on the black market for years.
Should you suspect defective MOT certificates being issued by a mechanic, then the first place to raise a dispute is with the test station listed on the certificate. The test station, or centre is where you take your car for MOT tests. Make sure your complaint is made prior to any repairs.
Should you believe the test station is in error, and they are unwilling to listen, then complete the VT17 appeal form. The VT17 form can be obtained from any MOT testing station and can be downloaded online HERE, or contact VOSA on 0300 123 9000.
Should you have bought a new car second hand and suspect a dishonest test certificate, please contact the MOT validation line on 0870 330 0444. It is also possible to check the validity of the MOT certificates online HERE.
Buying a car second hand with a new MOT certificate does not always mean the car is in perfect condition. It is against the law for anyone to sell a car without revealing to the prospective buyer its faults.
Proving you bought the car faulty is difficult and Trading Standards will unlikely take action. However, every county is different so it is still worth contacting them even if it is for some sound advice. Taking the seller to court is a costly business and the whole process could end up costing you more than the car and its defects put together.
VOSA is constantly trying to improve and regulate MOTs with any work being carried out on a vehicle. Contacting them will help them know which MOT centres are providing the best service.
Overcoming MOT certificate misfortunes
To avoid any mishaps, check MOT certificates and service documents prior to buying a car. Even car service records can be fraudulent; check the service book and contact the listed previous garages. Compare dates and mileage, this is the easiest way of validating a car's service record. Should the garage confirm the car has not been serviced at their garage, then walk away.
Take a qualified mechanic with you to inspect the car. This outlay may cost you a small fortune at the outset, but by ignoring this suggestion, it could cost you a lot more with repairs in the long term.