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.
Today (Monday 11 January 2021), the DVSA updated its MOT guidance to clarify that “MOT centres can stay open in all areas of Great Britain, including during the national lockdown in England, the temporary lockdown in Scotland, and all of Wales in alert level 4 (lockdown)”. The same guidance always specifies that motorists are still required to get an MOT and there is no MOT exemption this time. As a result, garages across the UK should ensure that customers know that tyre fitting, vehicle repair and MOT services are permitted during the latest lockdown restrictions. At the same time, motorists need to know that there is no MOT exemption.
Following the news that the law relating to old tyres has changed, the DVSA has updated its guidance documents. DVSA, the body that oversees the nation’s MOT roadworthiness tests, re-asserted that tyres aged over 10 years on the front axles of lorries, buses, coaches and all single wheels of minibuses (9 to 16 passenger seats) are banned from 1 February 2021.
The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (BTMA) is launching a comprehensive update of its guide to tyre management for heavy commercial vehicles. According to the association, the newly-revised edition is the fruit of close collaboration between experts from tyre manufacturers and the DVSA. It also includes valuable contributions from the vehicle operator associations.
The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association has welcomed new legislation to enforce the tyre labelling regulation from 1 January using civil sanctions. The Department for Transport (DfT) appointed the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Compliance Unit as enforcement authority earlier in 2020, replacing the National Measurement Office. To date, the DfT has conducted 68 “mystery shopper” visits, finding 78 per cent of tyre retailers were not compliant with the requirement to provide the labelling information.
It isn’t news to say that the tyre and autocentre sector is becoming an increasingly technological business. However, two recent trends confirm the need for garages to be properly equipped – increasing electric vehicle take-up and, in the short term, booming MOT demand.
This article, including a chart to support the analysis, appears in full in the November edition of Tyres & Accessories magazine. Not yet a subscriber? You can change that here.
On 7 August the government shared some results from its recent type approval consultation. That four-week consultation period came to an end on 26 June 2020 and sought views from across the automotive industry relating to what statutory instrument should supersede European type approval Regulation (EU) 2018/858, which covers new vehicle safety. The result? Low performing car tyres and van tyres will be illegal from 1 May 2021. The government type approval consultation supports 30-month grace period for running down such stocks. And OBD ports will remain open for independent garages to access repair and maintenance information.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is encouraging motorists to get their delayed MOT test done this summer ahead of a surge in demand in the Autumn. The projections, based on due dates and vehicle MOT expiry dates, show that demand for MOTs will be at around 3.4 million in September, 4.8 million in October and November and 4.2 million in December. This demand is predicted to be around double the normal volumes (approx. 2.5 million per month). However, August demand is predicted to be just over 2 million MOTs, which is fewer than usual.
The government’s decision to end the six-month MOT extension on 1 August has been welcomed by the Independent Garage Association and the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA). Stuart James, IGA chief executive comments: We thank the Government for listening to our views. The news will give clarity to garages and allow them to plan for the busy period ahead.
Mandatory MOT tests for car, motorcycle and van owners in England, Scotland and Wales are being reintroduced from 1 August 2020.
Vehicle owners with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a 6-month exemption Roads Minister Baroness Vere has announced today (Monday 29th June). Crucially, people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. The news follows reports last week that the government has been consulting trade and industry about ending the MOT extension.