Car retailers could better exploit a “concerning” trend which has seen over 11 million motorists driving illegally with a lapsed MOT certificate by highlighting the potential risks and penalties.
As the year’s busiest month for MOT test gets underway research conducted by Opinium among 2,002 UK adults, between February 7 and 10, has revealed that around one-in-ten vehicle owners (1.12million) admit to being repeat offenders, having allowed the viral roadworthiness test deadline six or more times.
Comissioned by fast fit aftersales operator, Kwik Fit, the study found that 24% of those (over 1.4 million drivers) claimed that the main reason for the lapse was an inability to afford the maintenance work it would need to gain a pass.
However, driving without a valid MOT certificate carries a fine of up to £1,000, while using a car deemed to be in dangerous condition could have drivers paying out up to £2,500, being hit with 3 penalty points or even a driving ban.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “It is concerning to see that people are knowingly or unwittingly driving a vehicle which could pose a danger to them or other road users.
“Allowing a vehicle’s MOT to expire is not only potentially dangerous, there is also the chance of a significant financial penalty and in some cases, it could cost someone their licence.”
Car retailers could highlight the risk motorists are taking by not properly maintaining their vehicle in their marketing efforts in a bid to attract greater throughput for their workshops.
Franchised retailers’ accurate customer data will prove a vital component in exploiting the opportunity, however, as operators bid to compete with the likes of Kwik Fit.
Marketing Delivery has previously highlighted the issue, and the opportunity it presents, stating that franchised car retailers’ workshops captured 31.4% of UK vehicles’ MOTs during the first half of 2019.
Simple forgetfulness is the most common reason given by drivers for allowing a MOT to lapse (42%), Kwik Fit found, suggesting that remainders should help motorists to better maintain their vehicles.
Not having a note of the expiry date (21%) and their garage not reminding them (16%), were other common reasons.
While the research for Kwik Fit found that while around a quarter of drivers (24%) used their car without a valid MOT for three days or less, the average length of time drivers have driven illegally is more than two months (66.2 days).
Griggs revealed that Kwik Fit now has its own ‘MOT reminder service’ as it bids to secure aftersales trade. He said: “We understand that people have busy lives and MOT dates can slip off the calendar or a ‘to do’ list.
“To assist with this we have a reminder service people can sign up to, confirming a vehicle’s MOT due date.
“We would encourage drivers who don’t have a note of their expiry date to check it and get it marked in the calendar with plenty of time, to avoid any issues.
“March is a peak month for MOTs and so drivers should book as far in advance as possible to ensure they don’t end up driving illegally.”
- While motorists stand accused of missing their vehicles MOT deadlines, thousands of MOT testers face suspension if they do not complete their own training and assessment by the DVSA's March 31 deadline.
More than 50% of MOT testers have now completed their annual training and assessment but DVSA, but last year, 1,882 were suspended for failing to do so and the DVSA is urging action to avoid a similar situation in 2020.
DVSA product manager, Simon Smith, said: “Annual training and assessment is a vital part of continuous improvement to maintain high quality MOTs. Last year more testers than ever completed their training and assessment on time.
“But to avoid the last-minute rush, testers should record their training and assessment results well before 31 March. We’re really pleased with the improvement from last year and I’d like to thank all those testers who did so.”