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  • 16 March 2021

    Plug the MOT Gap


    After months where demand for MOTs has been higher than usual – with more than a million carried into 2021 that were deferred in 2020 – industry leaders have warned that the end is in sight.


    Figures from the DVSA show that only 2.1 million MOTs were carried out in April and May 2020, compared with 7.1 million over the same period in 2019. That means around five million cars will have been tested later in the year instead – a change to their schedule that’s likely to stay in place for the rest of their lifetimes.


    With these changes to the traditional demand curve in mind, the risk is that garages will be relatively quiet in the coming months. But according to Anthony McAteer, Trading Director at LKQ Euro Car Parts, garages have an important role to play in helping the drivers get back on the road safely, and can bring additional business through the doors in the process.


    Anthony said: “Garages must find ways of replacing the revenue they’ve come to expect from MOTs at this time of year, which means capitalising on the gradual easing of the UK’s lockdown restrictions . We expect to see more and more cars back on the road as our children return to school, and as the economy begins to reopen – and staycations are on the horizon for many.


    “But with huge numbers of vehicles sitting idle for large parts of the past year, it’s likely that many will have developed faults, whether they’re due for an MOT or not – which is why safety tests are vital. We’re advising garages to work through their databases and contact customers to offer simple health checks. These can include everything from basic fixes such as fluid top-ups, tyre pressure adjustments and light checks, through to diagnosing larger problems such as flat batteries or corroded brakes.


    “Garages that tap into free-to-use marketing tools like social media can raise awareness of the kind of problems people may experience when they get back on the road after a long break. If they know what to look for, many drivers will be able to spot potential areas of concern – but they won’t necessarily have the knowledge or confidence to fix them, meaning they’ll turn to their trusted local technician for support.


    “We know that many people’s incomes will have taken a hit over the past year as a result of the three national lockdowns, meaning they may find it difficult to cover the cost of repairs to their vehicles. But we can’t put a price on safety. LKQ Euro Car Parts offers garages access to short-term finance solutions for their customers via Payment Assist, which gives drivers the option to spread the cost of a one-of bill or purchase over four equal instalments, with no fees attached. This helps to relieve any financial burden their customers may be under, and ensures garages can still get the job done.


    “We remain committed to supporting our workshop customers through this turbulent time – helping them to find new ways to generate business in the short-term, and to adapt when demand for MOTs picks up again later in the year. For now, ensuring that those drivers returning to the roads can do so safely, must be our main focus.”

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