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April and May to be challenging for aftersales, says BookMyGarage

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Garages and workshops should expect a decline in MOT test demand during April and May as a result of the MOT extension last year.

BookMyGarage.com says “relative normality” should return by June.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the DVSA by the MOT and service price comparison site found MOT test numbers collapsed by 79% last April and 61% in May.

The DVSA issued an automatic six-month extension to all MOTs as part of emergency measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 during the first lockdown.

Although it remained in place until the end of July, the data shows test numbers were down by a less severe 16% in June, just 4% in July, and by August had exceeded the same month in 2019 by 9%. 

MOT tests remain the doorway to service bookings for workshops, according to analysis by BookMyGarage. Its data shows that 70% of motorists book both together.

“The DVSA figures are crucial to mapping out what the next 12 months looks like for the aftersales sector as it shows us the new distribution of MOT expiry dates created by last year’s extension.” said Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage.com. 

“For garages, it’s not just about MOTs, it’s also the service and repair work that accompanies the majority of tests. 

“Overall, the news is more positive than originally feared. We recognise that April and May will be difficult months for the industry but importantly we know MOT numbers will have recovered by the summer. 

“It’s also worth remembering that 2021 will not be an exact reflection of 2020. MOT due dates are determined by factors beyond when the last MOT took place, such as when used cars get sold with a fresh MOT and by three year old cars which will be having their first MOT this year.”

At the end of 2020, BookMyGarage predicted a £300 million aftersales revenue decline for franchised car retailers over the next 12 months.



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