Motorcheck.ie has today issued a warning to used car buyers to be on the look-out for cars being sold with a fake NCT certificate. The alert comes after 850 certificates were stolen during a raid on the NCT test centre in Drogheda.
Today's Irish Independent and Irish Times reports that a raid took place on Saturday evening just before 5:30 as staff were getting ready to finish testing the final few vehicles of the day. Two men, wearing white boiler suites with the hoods up and children's Halloween masks entered the centre and having threatened staff with a knife and a baseball bat made their escape with 850 certificates and €250 in cash.
The article quotes a Garda source as saying that a blank certificate could be worth as much as €250 on the black market. Unscrupulous sellers will try to mislead potential buyers into believing that the car being offered for sale conforms to the minimum safety standards set out by the NCT when it may actually be completely unsafe and dangerous to take on the road.
Consumers availing of a car history check from Motorcheck.ie are reminded to verify the NCT certificate number being shown against the official records available from Motorcheck. This is done by clicking on the Update button on the top right of your report and entering the certificate number being shown by the seller (see images below). If it's genuine Motorcheck will confirm a match with the official record on file from the Department of Transport.
A fake certificate will show up as "No Match" in which case buyers are advised to contact their local Garda office or Motorcheck.ie directly.
How to Spot A Fake NCT Certificate
Anyone thinking of buying a second hand car can verify the authenticity of the NCT Certificate using a free update feature on the Motorcheck.ie website. The following images show you how you can use this unique service once you're purchased a history check or a full check from Motorcheck.ie.
Step 1 - Click on the update button
Step 2 - Enter the NCT certificate number
Step 3 - Find out if it's a fake
Whilst Gardai have said that “It is highly unlikely we will be able to trace them or cancel them,” prospective buyers can protect themselves using the method outlined by Motorcheck.ie above.