Garage survey reveals effects of six-month MOT exemption

A survey of independent garages has revealed the effects of last year’s six-month MOT exemption.

Some seventy-four per cent of garages saw business decrease in April 2021, according to the survey by Impression Communications.

It also revealed that 48 per cent of garages had accessed the job retention scheme (furlough) in April, and 51 per cent of respondents were unaware of how the government’s super deduction capital allowance could work for their business.

Looking ahead, 51 per cent of garages were “optimistic” about the future and 60 per cent of garages expected staff levels within their garage to stay the same over the next six months.

Related: Petition calls for industry support and action plan to correct ongoing effects of last year’s six-month MOT exemption

On the subject of apprentices and the skills shortage, only 37 per cent of garages currently employed apprentices.

Finally, the survey asked about electric vehicles and attitudes towards the vehicle type.

Twenty-five per cent of garages were currently trained on how to service and repair electric vehicles and a further 53 per cent of garages were interested in embracing training on EVs.

Mark Field, Impression director, said: “Without question the automotive aftermarket supply chain has performed admirably throughout the pandemic, but the effects of the MOT extension have had widespread and far-reaching consequences.

Related: One in five car owners never check engine oil, research finds

“Positively and with support, independent garages are ready and willing to train and develop their business capabilities in order to embrace future opportunities in vehicle repair and maintenance, digitalisation and effective communication with motorists.”

The research aimed to look at the consequences of the MOT extension, first announced at the height of the pandemic in 2020, and the subsequent effects on business.

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