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New COVID-19 restrictions spark record aftersales bookings

Aftersales departments allowed to remain open during the latest COVID-19 lockdown restrictions will continue to benefit from record MOT bookings, BookMyGarage.com has reported.

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.

And BookMyGarage said that the announcement of ‘Lockdown 2’ had prompted a surge in the volume of motorists booking their vehicle in for a test – highlighting a valuable potential revenue stream for franchised retailers.

  • Over the next few days AM is urging car retailers to respond to a Quick-fire AM COVID-19 'Lockdown 2' in England car retail survey to gain feedback on business’s response to the latest trading restrictions. Please take part by clicking here.

It claimed that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were “record-breaking days for MOT and service bookings” via its online platform.

Karen Rotberg, the co-founder of BookMyGarage.com, said: “Consumer behaviour has fluctuated constantly throughout the pandemic, but it’s clear that motorists still want to get their cars serviced and MOT’d as normal despite the November lockdown.

“While sales remain suppressed and showrooms are all but closed, dealers can grow the soon-to-be vital Segment 2 & 3 vehicle parc, improving market penetration versus the fast-fits.”

Earlier this week AM reported on the Independent Garage Association’s (IGA) welcoming of Government’s decision not to offer motorists another MOT extension and allow aftersales operations to remain open during ‘Lockdown 2’.

IGA chief executive, Stuart James, expressed relief that the sector’s independent businesses would now be able to continue their efforts to get H1 2020’s backlog of 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.”

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