Knowledge Base

Used Car buyer? Free MOT history check

Started by: cim
On: 20/09/2017 | 11:37
Replies: 9

by: cim
on: 20/09/2017 | 11:37 edited: 20/09/2017 | 15:49

Buying a second-hand car?


Before spending £20 on an HPI used car check, first check MOT history online - at zero cost


When buying a used car, it is a good idea to check full history before splashing out your hard-earned cash. Many people know than an HPI check will provide plenty of car history information such as outstanding finance, mileage discrepancies, insurance write-off check and MOT history. All good stuff to know and arguably well worth the £19.99 that it costs here: 


But... there are some situations where a simple scan of the MOT history of a vehicle before doing an HPI will be enough to raise initial alarm bells or at least provide some points to put to the seller – for example about a suspicious vehicle mileage record, or about necessary work done or not since the last MOT.


As many of us have no doubt experienced, it is quite possible to have an MOT PASS containing plenty of advisory Items – some may be easy to resolve, others could be an indication that the car is going to be less of a bargain than it may at first appear to be.


Here are a few example of the many advisories you could receive in a test report - and still potentially get a MOT PASS:


  • Oil leak
  • front exhaust in poor condition
  • both front tyres badly cracking
  • both front tyres low on inner edges
  • Nearside Front Anti-roll bar linkage has slight play in a ball joint
  • rear brake discs starting to rust and score
  • Nearside Brake pipe slightly corroded front to rear

The good news is that you can check the MOT history of UK vehicles for free at:


 - which could not be simpler to use. It looks like this :


check MOT history.pngScreen Shot of GOV.UK MOT History Checker

As you can see all you need is the registration number. The checker will show annual mileages at each MOT, reason(s) for any MOT FAILs in the vehicle's history - and of course all those advisories (the most recent ones will usually be the most relevant).


This might just save you twenty quid if things start to look bad straight away – or alternatively may provide some handy ammo to negotiate the price down - or an opportunity to ask for proof of any work done to fix any of listed advisories.


Checking MOT history is not a replacement for a full HPI check, but it may just save you wasting £20 on one.


Additional Handy Checks


Another way to access MOT history is to use an app such as Vehicle Smart (available for Android or for iOS) which typically offer similar information for free and also may offer additional premium checking services similar to the HPI check service listed above.


You can also check if there has been any safety recall on the vehicle which has not been fixed at - you will need to locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) .


Another handy checker here provides more basic information on the vehicle e.g. vehicle tax and MOT status.


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Message 1 of 10
by: cass905
on: 20/09/2017 | 13:21

This is a fab guide some of it I was aware of and some I wasn't this will be very beneficial to a few people 

thank you for the detailed information 

Message 2 of 10
by: cim
on: 20/09/2017 | 15:35

@toxiic - looks like a handy app thanks - it does appear to exist for both iOS and Android and appears to access much of the same info. I will add to the OP, cheers Smiley Happy

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Message 4 of 10
by: frenchielove
on: 20/09/2017 | 17:15

Great advice @cim thanks

Message 6 of 10
by: isabel1066
on: 20/09/2017 | 20:20
cheers @cim we have used this a lot over the years.
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Message 7 of 10
by: tids
on: 24/09/2017 | 16:36



That's a great post thanks for sharing 

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Message 9 of 10
by: davidevans0000
on: 24/09/2017 | 18:31
cheers @cim we have used this before in the past.
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Message 10 of 10