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Tackling MOT fraud: protecting us from unsafe drivers and vehicles

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Last year, we stopped 45 fraudulent garages and 111 testers from testing.

Although most garage owners and MOT testers follow the rules and work within legitimately run businesses, there are still those who try to cheat the system.  

Anyone attempting to defraud the MOT isn’t just committing fraud, they’re also putting the public at risk by allowing what could be an unsafe vehicle onto the road.

Minimising risk to the public

We investigate all reports of MOT fraud. And when we do find any evidence of it, we take immediate action.

We conduct a variety of activities to check that garages are operating within the law.

These can include site visits, vehicle inspections, posing as a customer to assess standards and procedures and, in some cases, covert surveillance by our specialist teams.

Last year's results

Last year we investigated 511 garages and 483 testers. As a result of this, we stopped 45 garages and 111 testers from testing. For the most severe cases, we took them to court as well.

We’ve also seen an increase in authorised examiners reporting staff that they suspect of committing fraud. By following good management controls and conducting audit checks you can help us put a stop to MOT fraud. We encourage managers who find these problems to come to us.

The case below shows just an example of the successful work we’ve done bringing MOT fraudsters to justice.

Testers guilty of issuing fraudulent MOTs

Last year, we received reports that a garage in Brockley, London, was issuing MOT certificates without testing vehicles.

So, to investigate, we carried out 3 days of covert surveillance at the garage.

Over those 3 days, we found that 2 testers at the garage had been issuing MOT test certificates to vehicles that hadn’t ever been to the garage. Of the 45 vehicles they had registered for test, 27 hadn’t been to the garage.

Later they both admitted to issuing MOTs without checking vehicles and that they had no knowledge of the condition of any of them.

When taken to court, both men pleaded guilty. The garage owner was given an 8 month suspended sentence, ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £2,500 and an £80 victim surcharge.

The other tester was given a 4 month suspended sentence, ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £500 and an £80 victim surcharge.

We also banned them both from testing for 5 years.

Reporting suspicious activity

As you can see, anyone who puts the public at risk will be dealt with accordingly. Our enforcement work is vital for protecting the integrity of the MOT and the safety of the general public.

Later this year, we'll be launching a service on GOV.UK where you can report suspected MOT fraud. We'll blog about this closer to the time of its launch.

In the meantime, if you suspect someone of committing MOT fraud you can report this by calling the confidential line 0800 030 4103.

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  1. Comment by Graham Brown posted on

    Dodgy MOT's issued to friends of the tester or garage have always been part of the scene; I've bought quite a few over the years. I bought a vehicle in 1979 that was a neglected wreck; it had a recently issued pass certificate. I bought a vehicle recently that also had a recent pass certificate and a variety of failure points. Noticeable, the vehicles were only offered for sale after a time lapse and having registered no additional miles since the examination.

  2. Comment by Stephen posted on

    SYSTEM PLAYING UP. SO many times to log in. Enter vehicle details then re-enter pin Enter vehicle details repeat. What is going on. SYSTEM STATUS NEEDS LOOKING AT

  3. Comment by Dave McKimm posted on

    I am a retiring AEDM who has worked for a multi site fastfit operation for a very long time.
    Unfortunately some testers do go down the fraudulent route my policy has always been removal from testing and reporting of any malpractice immediately to the DVSA.
    People who issue VT20's without examining vehicles are a danger to us all and give our industry a bad name, my advise for AEDM's is check the MOT Log every morning as the first task of the working day, investigate any anomalies and take action if needs be.
    You have nothing to fear from the DVSA by reporting matters to them it proves you are responsible and take testing seriously.
    Having said all of the above where testers make a mistake I have always supported them with additional training, help and guidance, testers have a very difficult job and this is not always appreciated. Support the good ones and stop the fraudsters and road safety will improve. (Dave McKimm )

  4. Comment by cheekyboy posted on

    tuesday 28th march, anyone else having problems when finishing mot, adding defects etc and keep getting kicked back to home screen?

    • Replies to cheekyboy>

      Comment by trevor posted on

      yes monday 3 march brake test weight works when it feels like it and had to do a test 4 times kept kicking me back to the start please stop tinkering with the system

  5. Comment by mark posted on

    why have half the brake weights dissapeared

  6. Comment by David Meredith posted on

    Well, Mark Millard and Thomas (DVSA), your intro is interesting. You are concerned with fraud? In that case you should be fiercely lobbying the DfT to desist from their plans in 4-1-1 testing.
    If I am correct, should 4-1-1 succeed, there will be no formal mileage record until year four, so increasing the opportunity for ‘clocking’. Yes?
    That then is inciting fraud is it not?
    Please be bold enough to tell us here what the DVSA’s opinion is on this proposal, after all, you will lose some £4.5m in slot fees won’t you?
    Where will you recover that from, surely your budget can’t stand that sort of loss?

  7. Comment by DAVID posted on

    THOMAS- will we see vehicle safety recalls notices included on future VSI information when we log a vehicle for mot?
    keep up the good work

  8. Comment by Don posted on

    Yes I agree lifetime ban.
    We all know these things go on in the motor trade and it will be almost impossible to regulate it 100%, if a trader selling cars owns or uses a testing station they can more or less do want they want.
    We had a customer come in with a vehicle that he had bought from one of these doggy car dealers that spring up over night in a car park or old pub, the car had been MOTed in Luton and failed with a list of failures and advisories, within two weeks it was retested at the same garage with just one advisory on the certificate. When the car was retested and all the previous failures plus more were still there only 100 miles after and less than 2 weeks after the pass, our customer had only had the car a few days and the sales place would not accept the vehicle back as they said that they do not do refunds, so suggested that I should retest it and then return it with the mot test results and a formal letter of complaint, the customer used the mot failure to return the car and only received a partial refund.

  9. Comment by Jim posted on

    Try and report mot fraud to dvsa.they are not interested and tell you to phone police.hell even the mot fraud number rings out.what a joke.

  10. Comment by chris posted on

    DVSA.... why are some brake testing weights gone?? only happened since this weeks issues and why do you have to log in twice with user name and password when you open a new web page??
    All these things happen when you do "maintance work" !!!

  11. Comment by Gary posted on

    Spent 1 hour trying to contact the help desk my day is busy enough come on sort it out ,,,,

  12. Comment by Ray posted on

    I always read this blog with interest, we (testers) are always quick to tar all fast fit centres with the same brush ! I work for a HI Q franchise and our mandate is not to fail all we can !! We have 2 testers myself with 42 years testing under my belt and my fellow tester has 38 years our monthly figures are always there or there abouts in line with the scheme average even though I do some 120 tests per month. My boss checks my results daily, if I have 9 passes in a day so be it, neither of us are on any incentive bonus to fail ! Yes there are stations I know of who manufacture (shall we say ) fails and this does get us a bad name but it is pressure from managers who have no idea about the trade and have never even lifted a spanner so some testers I agree do have to bend the rules to please managers. I consider myself lucky to have a boss who lets me carry out the mot's in a manner which is fair to the public and safe according to the system. Rant over !

    • Replies to Ray>

      Comment by Stephen posted on

      With the thousands of MOT testers around, there certainly not that many comments going around.
      Perhaps DVSA should do a mail drop to the Garages and to the NT's just to let them know about Matters of Testing, and what's happening in the world of testing.

  13. Comment by Harry posted on

    07/03/2017 System down. Unable to log fails or advisory's all morning.
    Come on DVSA. Where is my contingency code.

    • Replies to Harry>

      Comment by Thomas (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Harry,

      We're currently experiencing issues with the service when testers are trying to add a failure or advisory items.

      If you're experiencing this issue please cancel the test and use the contingency code: 7A06F94B

      We have emailed all MOT testing service users with this information and also updated the status page (

      Please keep checking the status page for updates on this.



      • Replies to Thomas (DVSA)>

        Comment by cheekyboy posted on

        it took over an hour to get my contingency code and every time i rang service desk before then no one answered the phones, joke if you ask me

        • Replies to cheekyboy>

          Comment by Thomas (DVSA) posted on

          We're really sorry about this, we received a high volume of calls to the service desk this morning. This meant it was hard to get through to speak to anyone.

          As soon as we knew about the issue we updated the service status page straight away with the contingency code.

          If you're experiencing any issues with the service then please check the status page first -



          • Replies to Thomas (DVSA)>

            Comment by cheekyboy posted on

            i was checking the status page and my emails but still over the hour mark before anything was published

          • Replies to Thomas (DVSA)>

            Comment by Stephen Ball posted on

            System still playing up. When having entered brake results, and you want to advise a brake problem you can't click on the blue box. You have to go back to the list of items..

  14. Comment by mercedes posted on

    i do up to this amount on a back and forward like today have 12 booked in but i am open till the mots dry up that day we do not turn them away that lost money

  15. Comment by glenn boothroyd posted on

    see that everyone seems to be concerned about dodgy tests where a vehicle has not been examined.lets open a can of worms about certain high street franchise names such as quick fit Halfords motor save ect that reward their staff by means of bonus systems to create business.some of the estimates I have seen by these companies to find on my inspection of the vehicle that the repairs are not required are criminal.think its about time these robbers that give the motor industry such a bad nameshould be investigated too .glenn 37 years of this crap and never had 1 point .

    • Replies to glenn boothroyd>

      Comment by Frank posted on

      Glenn, well said and I totally agree

  16. Comment by castrolrob posted on

    we have 2 test lanes but started with 1,rollers next to ramp,1 test being started by I guy on the rollers,gas test,interior checks,brakes etc,another being started by a guy on the ramp.we could get thru 20 tests a day this way.(and we are legit)going back to the health issues unless my memory is going its a ministry rqmnt not to have an extractor closer than x mm to tailpipe

  17. Comment by craig posted on

    i agree with tony should never be allowed to run an mot station or carry out tests again the findings where only over 3 days how long as this been going on?

  18. Comment by Tony posted on

    5 years isn`t long enough, these guys should never test again

  19. Comment by Les posted on

    I logged on to the system from a boat in the south of France and could have done an mot, I have been expecting a call from d v s a to find out what I was doing, no more secure than paper tickets.

    • Replies to Les>

      Comment by Tony S posted on

      You say you logged on, but did you do a Test?

      • Replies to Tony S>

        Comment by Honest tester posted on

        I have also logged on from Malaga,Spain not to test obviosly!! But i think a secure system should be in place to lock out ip addresses other than the station ip address which can be set to remain static. An easy fix to prevent remote "illegal" testing. Come on DVSA talk to your it guys and maybe they could implement this during the next update which won't be far away given the frequency their currently at just now 🙂

  20. Comment by El posted on

    Prime example of this , had a customer & neighbour booked in for an mot test , didn't show up so once I finished and got home I went and asked him what happened and his reply was "I got one over the phone" and this was on a Volvo 340 (which shows how long ago this was but just shows its been going on forever) and he put his kids in the car .

  21. Comment by Robert posted on

    My opinion. Not possible to do 15 or 14 MOTso in a day on one test Lane. Yes.get ministry to spend a whole day at these stations,& see how they perform. Rob.Nottingham.

  22. Comment by stephen dakin posted on

    can not believe they can ever be allowed to test again