Motorists have been warned that a large quantity of stolen NCT Certificates are in circulation.
The warning comes from, vehicle history expert Cartell.ie, which understands that an armed holdup at an NCT centre in Drogheda in October 2013 resulted in the theft of 850 official certificates. These certificates, one of which has been seen by Cartell.ie entirely resemble authentic certificates.
Jeff Aherne, Director, Cartell.ie, says: “It has been confirmed to Cartell.ie that this certificate was one of the 850 certificates stolen in a raid in 2013. Understandably, these certificates will look completely authentic, as they were stolen at source, but the numbers on the certificates are not in official circulation. The consumer is encouraged to verify the numbers on the NCT Certificate with the official records to authenticate the certificate. Verification of the official NCT number with official records held by the Government is one of the many services provided by Cartell.”
These stolen certificates may be displayed in the window of vehicles offered for sale in the market. It is also possible that unscrupulous individuals are offering these stolen certificates for sale and buyers may not be aware that purchase and display of these certificates constitutes an offence.
Using a motor vehicle without a valid NCT Test Certificate is an offence contrary to Section 18 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 as amended by Road Traffic Act 2006, section 18. Conviction for this offence carries five penalty points and Courts may impose a fine of up to €2,000 and/or up to three months’ imprisonment.
Buyers of vehicles in the used market are advised to exercise caution and to verify the NCT certificate number as part of the buying process. This can be done through Cartell or other vehicle history checking companies as part of the services supplied.
Cartell Director Jeff Aherne says: “If you are offered a stolen NCT certificate, you should not accept it, or display it on any vehicle, as it is an offence to use a motor vehicle without a valid NCT test certificate. As a buyer of a used vehicle you should be smart – verify all your documents as part of the buying process and that includes verifying the NCT Certificate number.”