The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is raising concerns with Government regarding the impact of extending MOTs for six months.
Whilst supporting the Government’s measures to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the IGA does not agree with the Department of Transport's (DfT) decision to grant drivers a six-month exemption from MOT testing.
The IGA is proposing to Government that they start with an initial six-week MOT extension period, which could be reviewed on a weekly basis, rather than the proposed six months. This will be communicated to the Government today.
Stuart James, chief executive at the IGA, said: “We really need the government to take this on board. We understand that measures need to be put in place to fight the virus, and support these measures, however we do not agree with the six months extension of MOTs. We urge the government to show a degree of flexibility, as the repercussions for the independent sector will be severe.
“Better guidance also needs to be given to the public regarding the extension to ensure that vehicles remain roadworthy.”
The IGA believes that deferring MOTs by six months will have a ‘detrimental impact on the independent sector’ that carries out 80% of the UK’s 30 million MOT tests each year, according to the IGA.
The IGA says that the Government needs to consider that many MOT operations, being small businesses, will have their cashflow impacted once the coronavirus outbreak is over. It predicts that next year will bring about a significant reduction of tests in March, April and May and the crisis may extend for years ahead with some businesses in this sector only conducting MOT tests.
The current MOT failure rate is 31% and the IGA believes that this figure represents nearly 10 million vehicles that do not meet the basic roadworthiness level of compliance. The IGA believes that ‘any length of MOT extension will increase the number of vehicles that are unroadworthy, even given reduced usage, so the Government needs to take this into consideration’.
From March 30, all cars, motorcycles and vans that require a MOT test will be exempt from needing a test to enable essential travel to work where it cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.
Advice on keeping a vehicle in a good condition can be found here.