Government’s ‘Secret’ Online Tool could save motorists thousands…

Almost half of all car buyers are completely unaware of a completely free of charge service that could save them hundreds of pounds in repairs when they buy a used car.

Researchers from car buying website www.carbuyer.co.uk learned that 47% of drivers were unaware of the government’s free-to-use MoT history checking service (https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/), which indicates how a car has been maintained and can help identify possibly serious faults on a potential used car purchase.

The free tool allows buyers to follow a used car’s MoT history to validate mileages, identify potential minor faults, spot a lemon or even haggle the price down.

Researchers also discovered over a quarter of motorists have no idea when the MoT on their car expires.

Carbuyer editor Stuart Milne said: “We carried out a survey of motorists aged 18 to 80 and were astonished to learn that 27% of them haven’t got a clue when their current MoT runs out – indeed, some of them could even be driving around without a valid test, with clear safety and legal implications.

Since you can check the MoT status and history of your car, or one you are interested in buying in seconds on your smartphone for free, there should be no excuse to be uninformed”

MoT advisory notices were introduced in 2005 as a means of telling drivers about work needed on their vehicle, which met the test requirements on the day but may need attention in the future. The most common advisories are for wear to tyres and brake friction materials, but they can also apply to more serious concerns such as the onset of body corrosion or suspension problems, which can mean the car isn’t likely to pass a future test without serious amounts of work.

The MoT check website was launched in 2012, along with the requirement to display previously recorded mileages on the test certificate. However, there is still no mandatory MoT reminder service, as there is with road tax – although the MoT check website has an optional email alert feature.

“Our advice to anyone buying a used car would be to make the MoT check website their first port of call,” added Milne. “It can give you so much information about a car’s previous faults, and also help you steer clear of a used car that may well be hiding a very expensive fault, yet it seems that nearly half of us are prepared to buy a car without even checking its MoT history.”

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