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MOT changes will drive up repair bills, claim


People who buy cars from the small ads are likely to be hit with big bills if proposed changes to the current MOT testing schedule go ahead, a national used car retailer has predicted.

Private car buyers, says ACF Car Finance Limited, would stand a greater chance of inheriting costly mechanical faults which until now have been remedied by the car’s previous owner.

This, it believes, will be the consequence of delaying a car’s first MOT from year three to year four, and afterwards testing it only every two years instead of annually.

ACF Car Finance, which operates a network of car showrooms across the UK, says that reputable dealers will continue as they do at present to inspect cars thoroughly before sale.

Any mechanical faults or safety issues will be remedied at this stage - but buyers of cars from private sellers could find themselves landed with unexpected repair bills they can ill afford.

Such a prospect has been overlooked by MPs who are currently debating possible MOT changes, believes Mark Jones, Divisional Manager of Operations and Logistics at ACF Car Finance:

“Issues identified at the MOT are the responsibility of the car’s owner - but if no recent test has highlighted these and the car is sold, the problem is simply passed down the line,” said Mark.

"People who buy privately often do so because they believe they can save on showroom prices - but under this proposed new regime, such a decision could exact a severe financial penalty.

“The cost of a repair could be substantially higher than would have been the case had it been picked up earlier and put right by the previous owner,” he added.

Mark, who sends thousands of vehicles each year for MOT testing, says it’s a myth that modern cars are now much less likely to develop faults than in the 1960s when MOTs were introduced:

"ACF Car Finance has very strict buying policies and a team of experienced buyers, but we still MOT test every car before re-sale, including those less than three years old.

"It’s a fact that almost half require some degree of repair work, the majority of which is safety related.

"To put it simply, there is much more which can go wrong on modern cars, and the worsening condition of our roads, especially potholes, is also a major cause of vehicle damage.

"Lengthening the time between inspections of a car is going to mean that problems are overlooked, and then passed on by the private seller as an expensive legacy to the next owner.

“We are lobbying strongly for a drastic re-think of these proposals - but if they do go ahead, people should know that buying a car from the small ads could be a big mistake,” said Mark.

ACF Car Finance specialises in supplying vehicles to the growing number of people who find that even minor blemishes on their credit records are affecting their ability to borrow or get car credit.

More information about the company can be found at


More press information from PR consultant Jon Boston on 01768 895 225 or ACF Car Finance marketing manager Jane Whittle on 01244 625 683

Note to editors: ACF Car Finance Limited ( is Britain’s leading supplier of high-quality used cars to people whose credit status might otherwise prevent them from obtaining vehicle finance. ACF Car Finance has earned a strong reputation within the finance and motor industry for its standards of customer care, and the quality of the friendly, professional advice provided by members of its fully-trained team.

ACF Car Finance Limited. Registered in England number 4757280. Registered office address: International House, Kingsfield Court, Chester Business Park, Chester CH4 9RF.


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