MOT test: Garages preparing for a ‘significant decline’ from March

DVSA explains 2018 MOT test changes

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This is likely to push MOT tests to later in the year, which could create a calmer summer followed by a busy winter in 2021. They warn garages have also experienced “lower volumes” of repair work over the pandemic as drivers made “fewer journeys”.

Stuart James, Chief Executive of the Independent Garage Association has warned there are “hard times ahead” for garages due to a lack of work.

He said: “There are hard times ahead for independent garages.

“A significant decline in MOT work is expected from April to June, where motorists took advantage of the MOT extension last year.

“Garages have also experienced lower volumes of servicing and repair work over the past year due to motorists making fewer journeys.

“Extending the furlough and business rate relief schemes will provide the financial assistance needed to help independent garages through this upcoming difficult period, so they can continue their essential work keeping vehicles in their local communities safe and roadworthy.”

A six-month MOT extension scheme was introduced in March last year to allow those who were due a test to continue using their cars through the first lockdown.

Drivers who made use of the extension were then due tests from September last year, which then passed their car for 12 months.

This means the number of tests due between March and September this year will be lower than previous years with more set to take place from the winter.

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Data from The Motor Ombudsman found 73 percent of vehicle service and repair businesses are expecting lower MOT volumes this year.

The data found MOT volumes in the two busiest months of March and September will be similar or fewer in number than the same period last year.

A total of 39 percent have forecast the number of MOTs will be about the same in 2021 as last year.

Meanwhile, 34 percent said they expected March and September to be quieter with just 27 percent expecting busier years.

For those expecting a reduced workload, 45 percent said they estimated the number of MOTs would decrease between 20 to 30 percent in March and September.

The DVSA has forecasted 3.49million MOTs are set to expire in March.

This would equate to only 152,000 more than the same month in a regular year.

This does show an increase but when spread across all MOT stations it reflects the opinion volumes will remain largely unchanged in 2021.

Bill Fennell, Director of The Motor Ombudsman said there was an “element of concern” demand will be lower in March and September.

He said: “The research offers an interesting insight from those businesses that are ‘on the ground’ conducting the MOT tests.

“It is encouraging to see that the majority estimate that MOT volumes will hold up during the peak months, but there is equally an element of concern that demand may also be lower than March and September last year.

“There will also undoubtedly be more challenging periods for businesses in between, such as in April and May, due to the knock-on effect of motorists using the Government’s six-month MOT extension introduced in response to the pandemic.”

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