RAC Cars News


Government launches online MoT & mileage checker for UK drivers

By raccars Published

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British car buyers can now check the MoT history and mileage of used cars via a new website launched by the Government.

Empowering buyers

Checking the history of a used car before making a purchase is a step which every buyer should consider to be essential in the purchasing process. The Government has now made it a little easier to work out whether a particular vehicle has a genuine MoT and mileage, with the launch of a new website.

The new site, named MOT-history.net, allows visitors to enter the registration number of any car in the UK, together with the name of the manufacturer, in order to find out everything there is to know about its past MoT testing records.

What makes the site all the more impressive is the depth of the detail provided for each MoT. This will allow potential buyers to look up any specific issues that were flagged by mechanics and ultimately find out whether or not the car achieved a pass or required a re-test.

MoT data breakdown

Failed MoTs are listed, together with those that were passed, but as any motorist knows there is far more to the testing process and while some vehicles may have been given the all-clear for use on the roads, testing centres typically issue advisories highlighting components which may need attention in the near future.

Accordingly, the new Government site will list any advisories accompanying previous test results, with the idea being that buyers will benefit from increased transparency in considering the purchase of a used car. If, for example, during the last MoT it was noted that the brake pads might be coming close to the end of their usable life, a buyer will know that this is a potential cost they will have to bear in the future.

Another important function of the site is an automated reminder system which lets users know when their current vehicle is due for its next MoT, meaning that it should be much harder to accidentally miss this crucial test. Without a valid MoT, the vehicle is neither legal nor insured for use on the roads and yet many of us will have inadvertently found ourselves in precisely this situation at some point.

Mileage matters

One important element of the site is that it provides access to mileage information for second hand cars, since this data is recorded at each MoT. This should make it easier for potential buyers to identify vehicles which have been subjected to clocking in an attempt to falsify their mileage and inflate re-sale values. As we have previously reported, there has been a recent resurgence in clocking thanks to the relative ease with which electronic mileage displays can be modified with the requisite equipment.

For the moment the MOT-history.net site is accessible to anyone in the UK, but the service is described as being in the beta testing phase, meaning that it is still being perfected and users may encounter some glitches.

Car buyers who want further data about potential purchases can utilise one of the DVLA’s online tools found at www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-information-from-dvla. Here it is possible to check the original date on which a car was registered; which tax band it falls into; and its emissions data.

Few would argue that the Government’s online services are perfect, but there is little doubt that making MoT information widely available to used car buyers across the UK is a positive move. However, there are a wide range of other considerations including outstanding finance and even vehicles for sale which are repaired insurance write-offs. These will only be highlighted by a comprehensive used car check.

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