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IGA welcomes Government decision not to repeat COVID-19 MOT extensions

Independent Garage Association (IGA) chief executive, Stuart James

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has welcomed Government’s decision not to offer motorists another MOT extension and allow aftersales operations to remain open during ‘Lockdown 2’.

Aftersales operations across the UK were left facing the logistical challenge of delivering millions of MOTs backed-up as a result of the decision to halt testing during the March to June lockdown period earlier in the year.

The MOT extension introduced by the Department for Transport (DfT) created a spike in the number of vehicles whose MOT will expire in H2, effectively doubling the number of tests required in September, October and November, with a total of 11.28 million vehicles requiring an MOT over the period.

While franchised car retailers across the UK have increased their aftersales resource in order to meet demand, IGA chief executive, Stuart James, expressed relief that the sector’s independent businesses would now be able to continue their efforts to get the tests done.

“We fully support the government’s decision to allow garages to remain open as normal, and not to enforce another MOT extension,” said James.

“Garages are still busy catching up with the backlog of MOTs that the extension caused earlier this year. A second extension would only cause confusion among consumers and put law-abiding vehicle owners at risk of significant fines by leaving cars unchecked.

“We thank the government for their clarity on this matter ahead of the new national restrictions from November 5.”

According to The Motor Ombudsman more than half of car owners (56%), who had an MOT test due between March 30 and July 31, 2020, chose to use the six-month extension to delay their car’s test beyond the expiry date on their existing certificate.

Back in August AM reported that car dealers across the UK should consider extending the operating hours of their workshops to handle the anticipated demand for MOTs, following the end of the six-month coronavirus extension period.

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