IAAF is advising against the Northern Ireland Executive’s (NIE) potential introduction of biennial MOT testing (every two years) for private cars, light goods vehicles following the news that the NIE is consulting on the matter. The current testing frequency in Northern Ireland is 4-1-1 with the first vehicle test at four years of age and then a test every year after. The IAAF argues that the current test frequency is both safer and more cost effective for motorists.
5.5 million drivers took advantage of the government’s six-month MOT extension between April and July 2020. This caused a rush for MOT slots between September and January last year and the same is set to happen again as garages prepare for what some are calling “super September”. On top of all that, nearly 1 million new cars registered between September 2018 and January 2019 are set for their first MOT. As a result, some sources are predicting 16 per cent more MOTs in September 2021 than the year before and 29 per cent more in October. And, of course, more MOTs mean more tyre and fast-fit business. But this is just part of the story, there are also growing signs of pent-up tyre demand hidden in the details of the MOT data.
ATS Euromaster is warning that vehicle and supply shortages plus a surge in demand for MOTs and servicing could force vehicles off the road if motorists and fleets do not plan their vehicle maintenance.
As with the other sources, 2020 data collected by ATS Euromaster shows a significant rise in MOT activity from May onwards but peaking in mid-September through to mid-November as drivers rushed to get MOTs completed following the covid MOT extension.
Continental Tyres is predicting “huge rises” in demand for MOTs this autumn, as more than five million additional tests are due for annual renewal in the second half of 2021. This huge increase in demand comes as millions of tests postponed in 2020, due to Covid-19, come up for renewal from September 2021 onwards, putting pressure on workshops to meet this additional demand. As well as the short-term strain on the UK aftermarket, the creation of a new ‘MOT season’ from September to December is likely to have a more profound long-term impact on the market.
The latest MOT test data released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) shows that test volumes recovered strongly between April and June of this year, in stark contrast with the disruption caused by last year’s MOT extension. The DVSA data, obtained by BookMyGarage.com through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, shows 45 per cent more MOTs took place in the second quarter of 2021 than in the second quarter 2020. However, test numbers were still down 32 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
Stakeholders are being encouraged to have their say as part of a review of the Traffic Commissioner function launched by the Government on 11 Wednesday August. The consultation period closes at 11:45pm on 8 September 2021. The recommendations of the review are expected to be published next spring.
In addition to the latest news and analysis, July’s edition of Tyres & Accessories features the aftermarket, van tyres as well the agricultural/industrial/speciality tyre sector. The latter has proved to be amongst the most resilient sectors during the turbulence of the last year or so. The former two reflect changing market dynamics. In short, many things have changed in the automotive and tyre spaces. And the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated that change. But some things stay the same.
With tyre specialists doing as much mechanical work as ever, and with autocentres representing a growing proportion of the top 25 tyre retailers, understanding the so-called aftermarket side of the business is important. When you add in the pandemic-related disruption, which includes the effects of the government’s six-month MOT extension – something that has caused a mini-boom and bust in the garage space – getting to grips with the latest trends and products in the aftermarket sector at this particular time is something of a priority. That’s why in this section July’s edition of Tyres & Accessories surveys the latest data, trends and products to help you prepare for what’s next. Our aftermarket feature starts with an analysis of the full-year 2020 MOT data from a tyre demand perspective.
The tyre industry and UK government have produced a best practice guide for van operators and drivers. The guide, available on the British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association website, has been produced to help improve roadworthiness and reduce the risk of tyre-related incident. It is in part a response to the latest data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which shows defective tyres remain consistently the primary reason for roadside prohibitions. They account for between 15 and 22 per cent of these potentially instantaneous bans of the vehicle’s use. Other categories of prohibitions, such as Lamps and Reflectors account on average no more than 7 per cent or 8 per cent, with the majority averaging 4 per cent.
On 1 February 2021, new legislation banning tyres aged over 10 years on the front steered axles of lorries, buses and coaches along with all single wheels of minibuses (9-16 passengers seats) came into force. The ban also includes horseboxes over 3.5 tonnes.
More motorists are booking joint MOT and service procedures and MOT failures rates are expected to increase, according to service and repair shops. Indeed, demand for combined MOT and service procedures increased almost 50 per cent last month (48%), according to BookMyGarage.com. Meanwhile, MOT-only bookings were down in February compared with February 2020
2020 provided a turbulent 12 months for the humble MOT. At the start of the year, the centralised testing conducted on the island of Ireland was thrown into disarray after faulty vehicle lifts were found on both sides of the border. It also raised questions about the wisdom of centralised approach in comparison of the de-centralised model used across Great Britain. Of course, all this took place while Covid-19 was still a Far Eastern problem. And yet, before the first quarter was out, national lockdowns had resulted in the deployment a six-month extension of the MOT renewal date, which had the knock-on effect of causing an MOT boom in the last quarter of 2020. The last cars to make use of the extension had their testing date deferred to the end of January 2021, so that complex chapter in the history of the MOT is now over. It also means that we have a chance to learn what happened. At the same time, the latest full-year 2019/2020 DVSA vehicle testing data has now been released, so we can also learn more about how last year’s projections compared with the end results in the months preceding the pandemic and what this might mean in terms of tyre demand.
In December 2020, the DVSA shared details of the new secure way to log into the MOT testing system (MTS) via smartphone. Chris Price, Head of MOT policy, has further explained that, from mid-February 2021, testers will be able to log into MTS using an authentication app on your smartphone.
Less than two weeks before the new 10-year-old tyre ban takes effect and two weeks after DVSA updated its definition of the rules, the Department for Transport (DfT) has released new guidance on how to understand the legislation as well as a summary of the corresponding penalties.