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Garages must prepare for spring MOT shortfall

Mechanic MOT test

Garages and workshops are being warned of a shortfall in MOT test demand this spring, as a result of the MOT extension in 2020.

According to BookMyGarage.com, there will be up to 2m fewer MOT tests in April and May when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The peak months for MOT tests this year will be September and October, when MOT numbers last year were 22% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

“There’s never been a better time to adapt fast by increasing market share and gaining conquest bookings – the months ahead will once again see historically low MOT numbers, yet garages can battle this shortfall by offering consumers the added transparency and convenience of a digital customer journey,” said Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage.com.

“April and May will be tough months because as well as fewer MOTs, there will be less servicing work. In fact, our research shows that nearly 70% of drivers aim to have their vehicle serviced when they get their MOT. Losing this opportunity instead of gaining ground lost to fast-fits or other rivals could deal a significant blow to any garage.”

Last April and May saw 3.1 million MOTs take place, and while this represented a recovery of 1.5 million MOTs on the same months in 2020, it still fell significantly short of the 5.4 million MOTs which took place in 2019.

The data shows how the long-established distribution of MOTs conducted throughout the year is, for now at least, a thing of the past. Traditionally, March and September would show modest spikes due to the new car registration release dates.

Rotberg added: “With a post-summer rush in sight before long, it is the time to scale up capacity ahead of the busy September to December period. While this year will be highly backloaded, garages can act and adapt now.”

The IMI recently highlighted fears of a shortage of MOT testers that could lead to longer waiting times for tests in April.

DVSA data, analysed by the IMI, showed that more than 40% the UK’s MOT testers needed to complete their annual assessment by March 31, or they would be suspended from testing.



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