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Car owners continue to delay service and repair work due to coronavirus

Mechanic MOT test

Nearly two-thirds of car owners admit they are delaying car servicing and repair work due to coronavirus concerns, according to research by Bumper.

Bumper, the new name for Auto Service Finance, polled the views of 2,635 car owners in February to see whether decisions on having their vehicles maintained had been impacted by the pandemic.

The research found 63% of car owners had delayed services and repairs because of Covid restrictions, even though 86% admitted to being aware that garages and dealer workshops were permitted to operate.

“Our research highlights a worrying trend with most car owners admitting to being concerned about taking their vehicles into garages and dealerships as a result of Covid restrictions,” said James Jackson, Bumper’s CEO and co-founder.

“This raises safety concerns as service schedules are being stretched and repair work is being put off. Dealers and garages need to allay customer fears by reassuring them that COVID-19 secure guidelines are in place with timed appointments, contactless handovers, vehicle sanitation and social distancing,” he added.

Bumper’s research identified that customers would favour the option of remote payment, rather than paying a service advisor in person, with 53% preferring to pay for work remotely by phone, laptop or computer.

Jackson said: “As we work through the current lockdown it’s increasingly apparent that customers want reassurance from dealerships and garages. Encouraging them to pay remotely is an easy win, especially as most businesses are already set up to take payments over the phone, suggesting that communicating this option needs to be more widely promoted.”

Recent research by Kwik Fit found that the number of cars on UK roads that have missed their MOT test expiry by more than three weeks has tripled during the last six months.

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