Franchised car dealers should prepare for a rise in demand for MOTs as a record number of cars are due for their first test this year.
More than 2.6 million cars will require their first MOT in the next 12 months, putting increased pressure on workshops.
Coachworks Consulting is warning dealers that a lack of preparation could lead to lost business as customers are forced to visit fast-fit operators and independent garages.
“An unprecedented swell of MOTs will hit workshops from March and franchised dealers have a one-off opportunity to retain customers they sold a record number of cars to three years ago,” said Karl Davis, managing director of Coachworks Consulting.
“Dealers need to be contacting customers as early as possible about their first MoT and not just wait for the due date. If they fail to do this then customers will go to fast-fits and independent garages and if they have a good experience they won’t come back.”
Coachworks estimates the influx equates to an opportunity for franchised workshops to conduct an average of 50 extra MOTs per site per month over the next 12 months.
“This huge volume of first MOTs should be welcomed as a business opportunity which franchised dealers can control. That means free vehicle health checks should be offered on every car and customer visits should be used as opportunities to open conversations about trade-ins,” said Davis.
The first MOTs from the bumper year are due in March with Coachworks highlighting that 518,707 new cars were registered in March 2016.
“With over half a million cars due MOTs in March alone, dealers need to be managing their workflow efficiently. The plate-change month is already a busy time for workshops, so they should be offering MOTs due in March from the beginning of February,” Davis added.