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Motoring: How tackling MOT fraud protects drivers

Why tackling MOT fraud protects us from unsafe drivers and vehicles

Cases of MOT fraud are fortunately low, compared with other crimes: even when compared with other motoring offences. But they do exist, and they can be an enormous problem for everyone who uses the UK’s busy road network.

On completion of an MOT, a certificate is issued
On completion of an MOT, a certificate is issued

Who Commits MOT Fraud and Why?
While some MOT fraud can be something as simple as a friend of a friend putting pressure on an MOT inspector to wave a mate’s car through its MOT as a favour, it is often a sign of much more serious issues. Gangs, for example, often have fleets of poorly maintained vehicles, sometimes even with interchangeable number plates so as to evade the attention of law enforcement (in pre-ANPR days, anyway), and the enforcers of these gangs will sometimes take steps to have an MOT inspector in their debt. This can be literal debt, or some kind of protection racket, or even outright blackmail: all resulting in the demand to ‘do all these MOTs or else’. . . This is why law enforcement takes MOT fraud very seriously indeed, and why even what seems to be a harmless favour to a friend will be treated with immense gravity.

Why Is It a Problem?
Having cars on the road that are in poor condition is not a good idea for anyone, from other drivers, to the drivers of those cars, even to pedestrians who might be walking along the road or trying to cross it when issues that would have caused an MOT fail suddenly cause an accident: potentially one involving several cars and people. It is also problematic to have criminal gangs with good mobility, able to travel quickly from town to town, wreaking havoc and fleeing the scene. Issues such as County Lines drug running and people trafficking has been linked to MOT fraud – just showing that the problem can plumb the depths of criminality.

On completion of an MOT, a certificate is issued
On completion of an MOT, a certificate is issued

How to Spot MOT Fraud
Many MOT frauds are subtly done, and nearly all result in a genuine certificate being handed out to the driver and uploaded to the national database. The only real way you have of spotting a fraudulently issued MOT certificate is by subjecting the car to a similar level of testing – or waiting for the car to fail, perhaps catastrophically, on the motorway or other roadways, something that is all but guaranteed to happen sooner or later. Always make sure that your car is properly MOT tested: you can count on Elite Direct for a thorough MOT inspection in London, ensuring compliance and optimal functionality of your vehicle.

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