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MOT bookings rose 160% year-on-year in 'positive' April

MOT test being carried out

MOT bookings rose 160% year-on-year last month as the aftermarket sector performed "ahead of expectations" in a lockdown-hit Q1.

The latest data from showed that April performed better for garages compared to the same period last year when the DVSA issued an automatic six-month MOT extension due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the data, the impact of the extension was mostly felt by garages in April and May, when a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the DVSA by revealed MOT test numbers collapsed by 79% in April and 61% in May. said the data suggests a ‘better than expected’ recovery has been made this year, with overall bookings (including MOTs, servicing and repairs) up 130% in April.

The positive aftersales performance came as GiPA urged a "positive outlook" from the aftermarket after a strong Q1 showing.

Karen Rotberg, co-founder of, said: “April was a real concern for garages, with four-in-five MOTs no longer due to take place because of the extension.

"With 70% of our customers booking their service at the same time as their MOT, this also caused a big drop in accompanying service and repair work.

“While we’re still on the road to recovery, April was a big improvement, and brings a more positive outlook for May and June when MOT test numbers were also notably impacted.”

More than two-thirds of UK motorists are likely to make an aftersales appointment with a dealer that reminds them when work is due, according to a study by Marketing Delivery.

Automotive aftermarket intelligence company GiPA reported that despite a year-on-year decrease for the UK aftermarket due to the pandemic, it performed ‘beyond expectations’.

GiPA’s Q1 results of its quarterly aftermarket activity report, Aftermarket Pulse, showed that 2021 performed 5.3% above GiPA’s expectations. GiPA's 2021 forecast is down 9.7% vs 2019.

If the market behaviour carries on for the remainder of the year with the same Q1 momentum, GiPA UK consider a more optimistic year end for 2021 with only a -5% decrease when compared to 2019.

Measuring Q2 will be critical to either confirm the market trend of a speeding good recovery, or if recovery will be slower than planned.

Quentin Le Hetet, general manager at GiPA UK, said: “While Q1-2021 performed below last year and even more when compared to 2019, this is a positive outcome. Currently the market needs this positive outlook.

“With that being said, we should not ignore that Q2 will be challenging with the DSVA forecasting 53% decrease in volume of MOT test to be done compared to a typical year.” said its SecretService offering has gained momentum, with a host of new dealer groups having signed up to the service over the last 12 months.

This has resulted in over a fifth of all bookings in April being made through SecretService, compared to just 2.7% in April 2020.

Number of monhtly Class 4 MOT tests conducted bewteen February 2019 and January 2021

2019/20 No. of Tests 2020/2021 No. of Tests % change
February-19 2,350,282 Feb-20 2,446,441 4%
March-19 3,147,145 March-20


April-19 2,683,000 April-20 560,861 -79%
May-19 2,752,830 May-20 1,080,628 -61%
June-19 2,541,431 June-20 2,133,861 -16%
July-19 2,556,029 July-20 2,441,623 -4%
August-19 2,409,148 August-20 2,634,001 9%
September-19 2,842,031 September-20 3,473,126 22%
October-19 2,635,218 October-20 3,600,479 37%
November-19 2,222,991 November-20 3,152,088 42%


December-20 2,491,993 50%


January-21 2,856,305 15%


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