Fleet News

Surge in MOTs despite test centres staying open

Mechanic working on underside of car

MOT and service centres were inundated with bookings before new coronavirus lockdown restrictions came into force, despite being allowed to remain open.

Car dealer showrooms must close their doors, but workshops and test centres can continue offering their services during the four-week period.

The data, from BookMyGarage.com, shows that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were record-breaking days for MOT and service bookings.

It says that when new lockdown measures were announced on Saturday, it sparked an immediate rush from motorists, recording its most MOT and service bookings ever on Monday, a figure which was matched on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage.com, explained: “Consumer behaviour has fluctuated constantly throughout the pandemic, but it’s clear that motorists still want to get their cars serviced and MOT’d as normal despite the November lockdown.”

Vehicles were granted the six-month exemption from the MOT test in March, when the first lockdown was introduced to slow the spread of coronavirus.

That exemption ended in August, with all cars, motorcycles or vans due an MOT test from August 1 now required to get a test certificate.

More than half of drivers (56%), who had an MOT due between March 30 and July 31, 2020, used the six-month extension to delay the test beyond the expiry date on their existing certificate, according to a YouGov poll.

Last month, Fleet News poll revealed that 41% of fleets were experiencing issues booking service, maintenance and repair (SMR) work or MOTs, despite dealerships re-opening in June.

The closure of dealers to all but essential workers and the six-month MOT extension during the first lockdown caused a backlog, resulting in some fleet operators facing long wait times.

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