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Venson warns MOT extension could cause chaos for fleets

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Venson Automotive Solutions has urged fleet managers to encourage company car drivers to ensure their vehicles are ‘road ready’ as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The advice from Venson follows its latest survey of UK motorists which revealed that one in five did not know when their MOT was due and 69% were unclear about when the Government’s six-month MOT exemption came into play.

The survey also found that one in four drivers have deferred a service or repair until after the lockdown is lifted and 28% have failed to carry out any basic vehicle health checks since March 23.

Alison Bell, marketing director at Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “Even with the current six-month MOT exemption in place, drivers are still responsible for keeping their vehicle in a roadworthy condition – drivers can still be prosecuted if at the wheel of an unsafe vehicle.

“Businesses have a duty of care to ensure their employees who drive on company business are safe and should therefore be encouraging regular safety checks. By carrying out basic maintenance checks, drivers will not only help to reduce the time their vehicle is off the road but importantly, eliminate unnecessary cost for themselves and/or their employer.

"A vehicle kept in a safe, driveable condition, limits their personal inconvenience if it has to be repaired and lessens the burden on roadside assistance providers.”

The survey also found that respondents of the Venson survey have carried out some vital health checks on their vehicle; 51% have checked the tyre pressure, 49% have run the engine regularly to keep the battery charged and 42% have checked the oil level.

Other maintenance that drivers have carried out include moving the car to test the brakes (41%), measuring tyre tread depth (39%) and ensuring headlights and brake lights are all fully-functioning (34%).

Bell said: “When lockdown is eased, businesses will be keen to begin to make up for lost time, so the last thing they need are drivers to be out of action due to a flat tyre, flat battery, or worse.

“It’s great to see that half of the respondents have checked their tyre pressure and run the engine to keep the battery charged. This is a simple bit of maintenance which is often neglected but could save hundreds of pounds if the vehicle must be off the road for repairs.

"We recommend vehicles are booked in for MOTs well in advance of their new due date in order to help avoid bottlenecks building after lockdown. Those responsible for fleet vehicles should also ensure that service routines are maintained to avoid invalidating warranties and generating unnecessary maintenance costs for their business.”

Venson vehicle safety checklist

Battery care - start the engine once a week and allow it to run for about 15 minutes. This will re-charge the battery and help keep the engine in good condition

Oil - check oil levels and for any leaks

Check windscreen wipers and screen wash

Coolant – is the level correct?

Damage – is there any damage to bodywork that might affect roadworthiness? If you’re not sure ask for advice

Dashboard - check for warning lights when the engine is running

Rubber - are the tyres safe, correctly inflated and legal? Do you have a working spare or alternative solution in the vehicle?

Windscreen and mirrors – do you have clear all-round vision and is the glass damage free?

For the latest from the Government on MOTs, click here.

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