New MOT certifcate

Check mileage record carefully

An MOT certificate does not mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate and is not a substitute for regular maintenance

An MOT certificate does not mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate and is not a substitute for regular maintenance

Car owners who put their vehicle in for an MOT test and fail to check the mileage on the new certificate, introduced last week, may inadvertently end up with their own ‘clocked’ car, warns the AA. The new certificate carries up to three of the previous recorded mileages.

Should the MOT test station make a mistake, the car owner has only seven days to get the tester to correct the error and issue a new certificate. If not, the car’s mileage record is frozen and cannot be changed.

It would be extremely awkward for an innocent owner to be accused of 'clocking' a vehicle when they try to sell it on or get it re-tested, because they hadn’t checked the certificate

Paul Watters, head of AA Public Affairs

“What was designed as a security measure to deter criminal clocking may bite back on the unwary. It is highly unlikely that the tester will make a mistake but the consequences are serious enough for the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to issue a specific warning,” says Paul Watters, head of AA Public Affairs.

“It would be extremely awkward for an innocent owner to be accused of 'clocking' a vehicle when they try to sell it on or get it re-tested, because they hadn’t checked the certificate. With the clocking of vehicles rife in some parts of the country, threatening the safety and finances of used car buyers, the slight possibility of a mileage mistake during the MOT test is seen as a risk worth taking.”

28 Million/year

Government statistics show that 28.2 million MOT tests are carried out every year, of which 26.6 million are for cars.

Check online

There is some concern that the MOT certificate printed by the tester can be forged or tampered with. However, the new scheme allows a driver to check the mileage history on VOSA’s MOT computerisation database. This underlines the importance of the MoT certificate as a guide to rather than an endorsement of a car’s roadworthiness, ownership or mileage validity.

Other information critical for buying a used car, such as write-off, theft and outstanding finance information, is available from online services such as AA Car Data Check

Mileage records - check carefully

MOT 'certificates' issued after 18 November 2012 will show the mileage recorded at up to three previous MOT tests as well as the current one.

If you own the car - check the mileage on the 'certificate' when you collect the car.  If the garage has made a mistake it can be corrected within seven days, but if missed, an error can affect the value of the car or make it more difficult to sell.

If you're buying a car - bear in mind that MOT 'certificates' can be forged.  Use the mileage record on the 'certificate' as a guide only and check the official record online.

Check the MOT status of a vehicle »


(28 November 2012)