MOT demand remains unclear for peak months of March and September

Failure rates to be higher this year than in 2020 by 58 per cent of businesses predict

MOT demand remains unclear for peak months of March and September

A survey of vehicle service and repair businesses by The Motor Ombudsman has shown that the majority (73 per cent) of respondents are expecting MOT volumes in March and September to be similar or fewer in number than the same period last year.

Demand for the mandatory annual test is traditionally at its highest during these two months, mirroring the bi-annual plate changes for new cars.

According to the poll of just over 600 individuals working at independent garages, franchise dealers, manufacturer authorised repairers and garage retail chains, 39 per cent forecast that the number of MOTs that they will be carrying out in March and September 2021 will be about the same as in 2020, whilst 34 per cent thought that they will be quieter throughout these peak times, meaning just over a quarter (27 per cent) expect that they will be busier.

Related: E10 petrol to be introduced at pumps from September

For those expecting a reduced workload, 45 per cent said that they estimate that the number of MOTs that they will be conducting will decrease between 20 to 30 per cent in March and September, whilst 46 per cent of those looking at even higher demand stated that MOT volume could go up by as much as 20 to 30 per cent.

Data released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) forecast that 3.49 million MOTs are set to expire in March, equating to only 152,000 more than the same month in a ‘regular’ year.

While this is an increase, and when spread across all MOT stations, it reflects the opinion stated by 39 per cent of those polled that volumes will remain largely unchanged for the two typically busiest months for MOTs in 2021.

Whilst there was no clear consensus on the average mileage that businesses thought consumers would be completing since their last MOT in 2020, the most popular view of those surveyed by The Motor Ombudsman was that they estimate it to be in the range of three to five thousand.

Related: DVSA announces changes to disciplinary sanctions

This equates to a relatively steep drop in the distance travelled by motorists when compared to an annual average of 7,200 miles in 2019 for private vehicles, according to the Department for Transport’s National Traffic Survey.

Another projection revealed by the study was that more than half (58 per cent) of service and repair businesses think that there will be a larger number of MOT failures this year than in 2020.

This is on the assumption that consumers may have been more hesitant to take their car to a garage for routine maintenance and repairs since the start of the pandemic.

Bill Fennell, chief ombudsman and managing director of The Motor Ombudsman, said: “The research offers an interesting insight from those businesses that are ‘on the ground’ conducting the MOT tests.

Related: Daughter saves father’s garage business with single tweet

“It is encouraging to see that the majority estimate that MOT volumes will hold up during the peak months, but there is equally an element of concern that demand may also be lower than March and September last year.

“There will also undoubtedly be more challenging periods for businesses in between, such as in April and May, due to the knock-on effect of motorists using the government’s six-month MOT extension introduced in response to the pandemic.

“Even if consumers have done less mileage in the 12 months leading up to their MOT, and with more test failures on the horizon, as our study has shown, it remains crucial for vehicle owners to sign up for the free MOT reminders and get the test completed on time or earlier to avoid compromising their own safety, and that of others when on the road.”

Have your say!

0 1

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

Sign Up