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 BookMyGarage.com 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 BookMyGarage.com revealed MOT test numbers collapsed by 79% in April and 61% in May.
BookMyGarage.com 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 BookMyGarage.com, 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.”
BookMyGarage.com 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 BookMyGarage.com 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|