Opinion: MOT extension is seeing majority of garages shut shop

GW columnist Andy Parsons temporarily closes his garage following government's MOT announcement

Opinion: MOT extension is seeing majority of garages shut shop
Image: Bigstock.

After a busy week, it became pretty obvious that the next few weeks would be a challenge.

Andy Parsons of Shortfield garage in Surrey.

MOT’s had already slowed up following the six-month MOT extension and we’ve already been taking calls from customers wishing to postpone.

On Thursday and Friday the roads were significantly quieter.

Offices around us had closed and the sandwich shop at the station had shut its doors.

I met with my two fellow directors and then with all of our staff.

We’ve taken the painful decision to temporarily shut and to furlough everyone.

We finished all outstanding work and MOT’s on Saturday and rang all customers who had bookings.

They were all understanding and, with the exception of a couple, have all rebooked for three weeks’ time when we’re hoping we can return to work.

That said, who knows how long it’ll take to return back to normality.

Related: Hampshire independent explains how it’s dealing with coronavirus

For now, I’ve got three weeks (minimum furlough) at home.

The government basically told motorists that while they don’t need an MOT garages will stay open to keep their cars roadworthy.

It means we’re relying on nearly ten million drivers to voluntarily bring in their cars for work.

What seems to have been overlooked is that if they’re not prepared to bring them in for a test, they’re unlikely to bring them in for maintenance.

There is no plan that I’ve seen for when that six months is up yet.

Related: It’s a worrying time for garage owners with difficult decisions to be made

September is a new reg month, so we will already have more than enough MOT’s that month, plus add in six months of pent up demand.

I envisage a few months of extremely arduous work from September, but we won’t be rich because in March we’ll have six months without MOT’s again.

I really don’t want to bash the leaders of this country in these very troubled times, but you’d think that they would at least consult with our industry before releasing these policies.

It reminds me of the debacle scrappage scheme.

Related: Garage owners left to weigh up pros and cons of staying open

For now, more and more garages will have no choice but to shut the doors.

The forecast is set fair for the next few days and I’ll be taking the time to recharge my batteries because I’m sure when we do return to work we’ll be busy as ever.

Stay safe everybody.

Share your comments and experiences below.

Home Page Forums Opinion: MOT extension is seeing majority of garages shut shop

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #194142 Reply

    Totally agree that customers will not spend money on maintaining their vehicles if they don’t need a MOT. We were fully booked until this announcement happened and overnight everyone cancelled, even things like tyres and brakes were cancelled. We even had people cancel their motorbike maintenance!! That’s how crazy things are. We have now laid off 7 members of staff and are currently running on minimal work and staff. We have 10 empty ramps and no work in for next week – what’s the point of opening just in case you get a key worker needing a puncture!

    #194144 Reply
    Lewis Jones

    I think the 6 month delay of Mot’s is a single step towards a 4-2-2 system, that they have been pushing for over the last 10 years

    #194145 Reply

    I run a small garage in dereham and it’s killed my trade everyone has cancelled there work and I think the dvsa should pay my business the shortfall of lost revenue!

    #194151 Reply
    daniel clarkson

    Halifax Autocentre
    40 South Parade
    even though the government have extended the mot by 6 months those customers who have tried to tax there car are unable to do so and have had to bring them in for an mot ,again a rash decision not thought through

    #194147 Reply
    Tim Hubbard

    Very very worrying times for the world.mot saga should be revisited in 3 months.

    #194155 Reply
    Gary Douglas

    I’ve had to close my garage as well following the rediculous decision to extend the mot’s by 6mnth, who thought 6mnth was a good idea???, 2 or 3mnth would be bad enough for garages to recover from, I recon it will take almost 2 years for garages to recoup the lost revenue from this if some actually do recover.

    #194163 Reply
    Simon beament

    As a garage owner I have seen a huge reduction in bookings, we are still however managing to stay open albeit with reduced staffing.
    Whilst the extension is a negative for garage owners if drivers are staying home and avoiding social contact we have to do what we can to stop this terrible virous.

    Sooner we comply the sooner we can all get back to normality.

    #194171 Reply
    Alex Rates

    We are a small village garage just outside dereham and have seen most of our work go, except the elderly and vulnerable who still seem to be out and about as normal in deepest darkest norfolk…

    #194174 Reply
    Kathryn barnes

    We have also been affected by the mot extension but I have written to our MP’S both where we live and the constituency MP where our business is who both responded positively saying they would write to the minister for transport as they had not realised the implications and impact on our business can only suggest if more of us do this then the minister may listen

    #194299 Reply
    Gary Brown

    I’m wondering how insurance companies will react to the government allowing the cars they insure to be driven around without inspection? The cynic in me says claims may get a little complicated!

    #194563 Reply

    Take every penny that the Government offers you, your competitors will and you will be disadvantaged if you don’t.

    #194564 Reply

    We are continuing to operate with half the staff. Many have cancelled their MOTs, however when they phone us I do explain that their vehicle must still be in safe condition and not to leave the rebook until October as all garages will be too busy.
    We are all in for a tough ride!

    #194580 Reply

    Whilst we have furloughed all our staff, we made the careful decision to remain open and have been fairly busy. Most customers with MOT’s have brought them in anyway. Have been advising that whilst there is a six month extension, please do not leave for six months and to PLEASE check tyres as best as possible if not having the MOT done to not get a fine or points. Keeping our customers and selves safe at all time

    #194593 Reply
    peter stocker

    I run a small garage in Devon on the edge of a small town , work has dropped off for me also and I am doing a two day week just for emergency work and key workers ( mainly farmers ).
    After reading everyone going on about the six month extension I think people are missing the fact that their customers could of been furloughed and therefor cannot afford to have their cars MOT`d at the moment, most of my work comes from people who work.
    We are all in the same boat after all .

    #194594 Reply
    Joe Brookshaw

    Definitely not the beset idea made by a goverment

    #194813 Reply
    Hazel Hanley

    We’d had a really busy week until the MOT extension was announced and overnight every booking was cancelled. The first and only booking we have is 12th May. I’d actually spoken to our MP who is on the Transport Select Committee that morning and he didn’t mention it was happening. We closed on 3rd April and furloughed four staff.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)


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