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MOT backlog latest as sites remain open during lockdown

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Problems experienced with MOT and servicing during the first lockdown have not be repeated a second time around, new research from Fleet Assist suggests.

Eighteen days into the latest lockdown, 4,963 (99.7%) garages said they were fully open and just 16 garages (0.3%) were closed out of Fleet Assist’s 5,000-strong network.

That compares with 2,189 (46%) of garages that were open and 2,511 (54%) that were closed at the same time during the first lockdown out of a total of 4,700 sites.

Fleet Assist says the UK MOT network which suffered from many backlogs earlier in the year is also in good shape with 4,341 Class 4, 503 Class 5 and 1,370 Class 7 sites already open for business – a total of 6,214.

That compares with 3,220 sites that were open for business at the beginning of May (2,101 Class 4, 308 Class 5 and 811 Class 7 sites).

“The servicing and MOT landscape in the UK looks very different now than it did in the first lockdown,” said Chris Crow, Fleet Assist’s head of network.  

“All garages have learnt from their experiences first time round and have strict procedures in place that have enabled them to stay open for business. This is good news for the economy and for the company car and van driver.

“This has also helped reduce the backlog of servicing and MOTs from earlier in the year.”

The Fleet Assist research comes after leasing companies said lessons learned from the first lockdown prepared them well to maintain services to fleets second time around. 

LeasePlan UK told Fleet News that one of the main challenges it faced in March was keeping essential workers on the roads while ensuring that all vehicles were roadworthy and safe, all against a backdrop of widespread closures and backlogs across the manufacturing and maintenance sectors.

“We really learned a lot from the first lockdown, and this time round we were fully prepared and had already put all the necessary processes in place to ensure our customers stay mobile throughout,” said a spokesperson.

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