The Trading Standards Institute has spoken about the potential issues MOT printouts can cause when purchasing a new vehicle.
New style MOT paper certificates were first introduced in October 2011 to be used as a receipt for an MOT and not for proof of compliance.
Trading Standards experts have warned motorists not to rely on printed MOT documents as the paper certificate can easily be forged and can mis-represent a vehicle. The news comes after a forged MOT certificate has been recently discovered.
Advice being given to motorists is to go online and find full details of the MOT belonging to the car they are looking to purchase, to check it is stored on the Operate Services Agency Website (VOSA). To do this the MOT Serial number or the V5 serial number will need to be entered to ensure the correct details are being produced.
Concerns have also been raised as to why motorists do not know that MOT certificates are no longer proof of a valid MOT even though this came into force nearly a year ago.
Motorists are also being reminded that it is illegal to drive without a valid MOT certificate.
TSI's motor trade lead officer Gerald Taylor commented: “The downloaded certificate in its present form can be altered and abused at will using the simplest of computer software available with nearly every personal computer. Purchasers - whether private or trade - should not rely on printed MOT certificates when buying cars.
“There is also the possibility that unscrupulous traders, and service and repair outlets, could agree to MOT a vehicle and charge accordingly but not carry out the test at all – the prospective purchaser would be none the wiser unless they go online.”
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By Amanda Bainbridge