What if a Tester or Centre Breaks the Law?
The DVSA will take legal action against any testers or centres that:
- Accept a bribe for issuing an MOT certificate.
- Fail vehicles ‘unnecessarily’ to generate custom.
- Give someone an MOT certificate for a vehicle that they have not tested themselves.
- Supply a pass certificate for a vehicle when they know it should have failed.
Important: Another section explains how to appeal an MOT test result if you believe it is wrong (e.g. you think the vehicle should have passed even though it failed).
Process for Reporting the Tester
The DVSA investigates around 2,000 fraud reports a year. Often, it results in them stopping testers from testing and garages from operating.
Hence, reporting MOT fraud helps to protect the public against vehicles that may be unsafe or are being driven in a dangerous condition.
You do not have to give your contact information (e.g. name and address) when you report an MOT tester or the vehicle testing centre to the intelligence unit at the DVSA.
But, you should try to give them as much information as possible about any fraudulent activity that took place, including:
- Who you think broke the law (e.g. a tester or a test centre) and what they did wrong.
- Where and when the incident happened.
- Details about any of the vehicles that were involved (e.g. the registration numbers (if known).
DVSA Intelligence Unit
Note: The main section contains more information and guidance about MOT rules and regulations in the United Kingdom.
How to Make an Anonymous Report
When reporting something anonymously (e.g. by writing a letter or telephoning the DVSA Intelligence Unit), they will not:
- Ask for your name or for any contact details.
- Trace your call.
- Request a statement from you or call you as a witness (e.g. in a court of law).
- Ask you to attend any court proceedings.
Note: It may be possible for the tester or testing centre to work out who actually sent in the report (e.g. by the information given).
If You Give Contact Details to the DVSA
You may decide not to remain anonymous and give some of your personal information to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
If so, they may contact you for extra information, and:
- Ask you to provide a written statement about the incident.
- Request that you act as a witness and make an appearance in a court of law.
The DVSA provides further guidance about their privacy notice and what happens with the details that they store and use.
What Happens after Making a Report?
The next step in the process is for the DVSA to review the information given to them and then decide what action to take. This often includes:
- Making a further investigation into the report.
- A request for extra details (e.g. if the report was not made anonymously).
- Collaborating with the police or other government departments and agencies.
As a rule, the seriousness of the offence will determine what happens to the tester or the centre. It can result in them being:
- Banned from carrying out any more MOTs.
- Given a prison sentence.
Getting Feedback on Criminal Investigations
You can ask the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency for feedback about a criminal prosecution. But, they cannot provide comments about a case until after:
- Investigations and criminal or other official proceedings have completely finished.
- They make a decision about an appeal (e.g. if the accused tester or centre appeals against the verdict).
How the DVSA Checks for MOT Fraud
Receiving reports from members of the public is only one of the ways that the DVSA tackles cases of MOT fraud.
For example, they also:
- Conduct vehicle inspections and mystery shopper exercises.
- Make site visits to ensure garages are operating within the law.
- Use covert surveillance (carried out by specialist teams).