Classic Porsche



Drivers are being urged by the British government to report instances of MOT fraud in a bid to protect the public. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published new guidance on dealing with dodgy testers and garages after hundreds were banned from performing MOT tests during the course of the last year.

Over the past twelve months, the DVSA has investigat­ed no fewer than 2,057 MOT fraud reports in England, Scotland and Wales, which resulted 156 garages and 335 testers being shut down. Examples of breaking the law include giving an MOT certificat­e to a vehicle a tester knows should have failed, passing a vehicle that should not have been tested, and taking a bribe to issue a certificat­e.

MOT testers or centres can be reported to the DVSA without giving the reporter’s name or details, but you will need to give as much informatio­n as possible about each case, including the registrati­on numbers of the vehicles involved (if you know them). It’s important to keep in mind a separate process exists to enable appeals against an MOT result if you think the tester failed your car unnecessar­ily.

When the DVSA receives a report, it will review the informatio­n provided, investigat­e and, if fraud is found to have been committed, the garage or tester could be fined, banned from carrying out Mots or, in the case of serious offences, jailed. As well as acting on reports from the public, the DVSA also checks garages are operating legally by carrying out impromptu site visits, vehicle inspection­s and covert surveillan­ce.

Although historic vehicles built or first registered more than forty years ago do not legally require a valid MOT certificat­e unless the vehicle is substantia­lly altered, the MOT test plays a vital role in keeping our roads safe. Whether our classics need an MOT or not, they still have to share the roads with cars which may only receive one proper inspection a year. If testing is carried out fraudulent­ly, it potentiall­y puts all motorists at greater risk. Besides, not needing an MOT certificat­e doesn’t mean your classic is exempt from the rules — you are required to keep the car in an Mot-worthy state for road use. Controvers­ially, the government considers all owners of older cars to behave responsibl­y and to observe highway safety laws, hence the lack of required test.

Another important role of the MOT test is recording vehicle data at the point of evaluation — many enthusiast­s rely on verified MOT history informatio­n when evaluating a potential new purchase. Being able to see the mileage of a vehicle logged at the time of each test, as well as documentat­ion outlining all passes, fails and advisories (as far back as records are kept), can uncover details that could determine whether you’re buying into someone else’s problems.

The free-to-use online service, which can be found at, allows you to see a vehicle’s mileage, test expiry date, failure points and advisories for each test carried since at least 2005, where applicable. Early adopters may recall how, prior to 2015, the user needed the vehicle’s latest MOT certificat­e number or the vehicle’s logbook

(V5C) document number, details not every vendor was willing to provide. Thankfully, the system was simplified, requiring only the car’s registrati­on number (current number plate), though there are problems which we think the service’s operators need to address fairly swiftly. For example, it can be difficult to look at a car’s MOT history if the vehicle has been subject to a series of personalis­ed registrati­ons and past number plates have since been applied to a different vehicle.

Unsurprisi­ngly, following relaxing of the system’s requiremen­ts, it became one of the top ten UK government online services, demonstrat­ing how often it’s used by car buyers and enthusiast­s. If a car is given a dodgy MOT, however, the accuracy of the data displayed is thrown out of kilter, potentiall­y costing prospectiv­e buyers much in the way of cash and heartache if they buy on false pretences. In the worst case, they may end up buying a car far from roadworthy condition.

“Although most garage owners and MOT testers follow the rules and work within legitimate­ly operating businesses, there are those who try to cheat the system,” DVSA Director of Enforcemen­t, Marian Kitson, told Classic Porsche, not long before we went to press. “MOT fraud effectivel­y allows unsafe vehicles on the road. Make no mistake, we will come down hard on the perpetrato­rs as we strive to protect the public from the dangers of unsafe cars and to uphold the integrity of the MOT test.” For further informatio­n, visit

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