Over 1,000 fraudulent MOTs were discovered between 2021 and 2022

Almost 300 examiners were banned from performing MOTs in 2021/22, with over 1,000 fraudulent tests discovered by the DVSA.

Examiner conducting an MOT. - BMF

The DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Standard Agency) is clamping down on fraudulent MOTs, after almost 300 authorised examiners were banned from running MOTs across 2021 and 2022. 

In 2021, the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) reports, the DVSA found 1,324 occasions where MOTs were proven to be fraudulent, with 710 cases relating to negligence and dishonesty. The BMF reports that “In one example, a car which had passed its MOT was found to have 21 faults including missing brake pads.” The resultant investigation led to the examiner of that car pleading guilty and admitting to passing 152 MOTs fraudulently. The BMF reports that he “received a suspended sentence of 18 months in prison, 240 hours of unpaid work and a bill for £5,000 in costs.”

In total, 280 authorrised examiners were banned from conducting MOTs between 2021 and 2022 by the DVSA as a result of fraudulent tests.

Of those fraudulent tests found by the DVSA, it is not known how many of them were made on motorcycles compared to cars. The DVSA also banned 127 Examiners from running Vehicle Testing Stations, with some facing jail sentences, according to the BMF.

The revelation from the DVSA comes after the UK government proposed reducing the required frequency of MOTs from annually to bi-annually. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) has warned against this, and the DVSA’s findings would confirm the need to keep them to an annual requirement because, on one hand, a reduction to bi-annual tests would lead to less fraudulent MOTs being conducted, but, on the other hand, that would simply be because there were less MOTs being conducted overall, and in fact there would be more dangerous vehicles on the roads than at present. As the BMF notes, MOTs are an essential means of keeping the vehicles on the roads, and therefore the roads themselves, safe for all road users.

“MOTs have always been subject to questionable practises; it’s been likened to an undeclared arms race between the DVSA and a tiny minority of the Testers,” said BMF Chair, Jim Freeman. “It remains to the credit of the system that vehicle faults are such a small proportion of accident causes. The biggest failure area remains tyres, which are something you’d think even the most uninvolved rider would take an interest in. 

“Unfortunately, while not as bad as car drivers, they’re still a surprising proportion. Going over to a bi-annual test would make it far less likely that such basic problems would be picked up in time. Riders averaging in excess of 10,000 miles a year, which is a low bar, could easily fall into that bracket.”

Lead image courtesy of British Motorcyclists Federation.

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