Change to MOT should call time on clockers

Fraud is a problem all motorhome insurance providers have to deal with on a daily basis, and anything that helps motorists and insurers to win the battle against fraudsters and thieves is welcomed. The introduction of the new MOT certificate next month promises to make “clocking” a vehicle much more difficult and will give prospective buyers more confidence in purchasing a pre-owned motorhome or campervan.

Clocking a vehicle has proved to be a lucrative business for dodgy motor dealers for many years. In the past all a dealer had to do was wind back the mechanical odometer and hey presto! A vehicle had done 10,000 miles less and was therefore sold at a higher value. The introduction of digital display odometers was meant to do away with the practice but it wasn’t long before computer thieves found a way round the system and software is widely available for unsavoury characters to con customers, and they do.

The change to the MOT on November 18th will help combat this problem. From that day VT20s (the certificate issued after a successful MOT) must not only record the relevant vehicle’s current mileage but those from the previous three tests. Immediately this will help consumers go back and check mileage details, any dramatic alterations should be conspicuous to even a non professional eye.

Any motorhome insurance expert will advise buyers to make as many checks as they possibly can before making a purchase as big as that required to take ownership of a mobile home, and there are certainly other checks to consider. First of all take a good look at the vehicle. Does it look like a vehicle that has only done 20,000 miles or do scuffs on the paint work and interior suggest it has far more wear and tear then you would expect. Secondly take a test drive and if you have any knowledge of a similar vehicle then you may well pick up straight away whether the vehicle handles as well as it should.

If you are still happy to buy then cross reference MOT mileages with the service history and invoices that come with the vehicle. And don’t be shy; contact garages that have seen the car, and ask about it. If there is no paper trail then maybe an alarm bell should start ringing. At this stage it may well be worth paying for a professional vehicle check before you part with the cash and if you are still satisfied then go ahead and just hope for the best!

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