A surge in demand for MOTs and servicing could force vehicles off the road if fleets do not plan their vehicle maintenance, warns ATS Euromaster.
UK motorists were granted a six-month extension to MOTs which were due between March 30 and July 31, 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, data collected by ATS Euromaster showed a significant rise in MOT activity from May onwards but peaking in mid-September through to mid-November as drivers rushed to get MOTs completed following the covid MOT extension.
In 2021, demand in May was already substantially higher than 2020, and on current trend is likely to peak higher than 2020 as the previous year's MOT work cycles through the 12-month system, but with the addition of new cars entering the MOT requirement after three years of ownership.
The additional demand for MOTs is also coinciding with increased levels of servicing requirements from van fleets which have been operational throughout the pandemic, along with fleet vehicles coming back into full time service as the economy cranks back up to speed.
To cope with the expected surge in maintenance work, ATS Euromaster is adding new lanes to 17-key locations as well as upgrading test lanes in eight of their centres to make them more efficient. Additionally, the centres will have more trained technicians, sufficient stock and will be open longer.
Mark Holland, head of operations, said: “With more than five million additional tests expected to take place by the end of the year, it is vital to get MOTs and other repairs booked in, otherwise drivers risk a hefty fine as well as risk driver safety and insurance invalidation.
“Failing to plan effectively for necessary vehicle maintenance could also result in lost revenue as vehicle off road issues impact business opportunities.
“As lockdown restrictions have eased, we have been ramping up the business to meet the expected demand.”
ATS Euromaster has already seen an increase in drivers arriving at its centres with lapsed MOT certificates, with drivers facing fines up to £1,000 and invalidating insurance policies as a result.
Holland continued: “We advise anyone who can bring their vehicle in for an MOT earlier, otherwise increased demand will affect availability and could impact vehicle uptime.”
The warning from ATS Euromaster comes as analysis of MOT data from 2018 to 2020 from Continental Tyres found that September 2021 will see 23% more MOTs booked than usual, with even higher increases predicted for later in the year, with around 42% more test bookings anticipated in November 2021, and 51% more expected in December 2021.