News of a six-month MOT extension for cars, motorcycles and light vans from 30 March 2020 has sparked mixed reaction from GW readers.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is urging government to start with an initial six-week MOT extension period, which could then then reviewed on a weekly basis.
It warns that the current six-month extension will have a detrimental impact on the independent sector, which carries out over 80 per cent of the UK’s 30 million yearly MOT tests.
Stuart James, IGA chief executive said: “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.”
“A very worrying time”
The IGA’s concerns mirror those of many GW readers, including Alison who has now furloughed her staff.
Writing on the GW forum, she said: “It is a very worrying time.
“We also just missed out on the £10,000 grant.
“Our rateable value is £13,000 and the cut-off is 12,000 so no extra help apart from getting into debt.
“This is a hard enough trade to be in at the best of times.”
Also commenting, Bob says he’s now getting MOT cancellations following the six-month extension announcement.
He commented: “We stayed open on reduced staff to help our customers, particularly the elderly and key workers.
“Within minutes of the announcement of a six month extension to MOT tests we were getting calls to cancel booked tests.
“It’s just going to cause a massive log jam from October onwards.”
Similarly, Peter Miles said: “For six months nobody will be getting their car tested with god knows how many faults present or developing.
“And yet, as the rules stand we have to keep testing regularly or lose our authorisation to test.
“We have to conduct quality control exercises on tests which aren’t happening and are still compelled to conduct any requested test within a reasonable time.”
“An MOT is an unnecessary risk”
However, given the current coronavirus situation, not everyone is against the six-month MOT extension.
Writing on Facebook last week, Mark Snelgrove said: “I’ve already had two infected customers in this week who have left isolation because their cars needed MOTing.
“When I challenged them they couldn’t see what my issue was.
“We have now decided to close for two weeks as of Friday because people are willing to put others at risk.”
Matt Booth also welcomed the news.
He said: “I’m really pleased about the decision, it allows our vulnerable customers to continue getting their shopping or to hospital appointments etc.
“Any coming for an MOT is an unnecessary risk.”
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