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.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is urging the Government to remove the six-month MOT extension with immediate effect, following the Prime Minister’s announcement that further social distancing measures will be relaxed from 4 July.
Further to our reports earlier today, the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has shared details of the government’s ongoing consultation with aftermarket trade bodies relating to the cancellation of lockdown MOT relaxation rules.
To this end, the DVSA has sent out a consultation document which includes three options to allow vehicle owners a period of grace during which they can obtain an MOT prior to the cessation of exemptions. This would not affect vehicles already covered by an exemption.
Following the news that the DVSA will restart heavy vehicle testing from 4 July 2020, Tyres & Accessories understands that the government Department for Transport (DfT) is consulting on ending the rolling MOT extension initiated at the start of lockdown in March 2020. While DVSA published a statement on 19 June 2020 relating to restarting HGV tests, DfT has not yet answered T&A’s car MOT-related questions on the subject.
However, when we approached the National Tyre Distributors Association for a tyre industry perspective on the reports, the NTDA gave is full support to proposals to end the current temporary car MOT extension currently being given to the expiry dates of MOT tests as they become due. Specifically, the NTDA called for government to “restart with immediate effect” the normal MOT process.
Following the news that new European tyre labels come into force on 1 May 2021, the UK government embarked on an “Improving new vehicle safety and environmental compliance plus passenger vehicle digital radio requirement” consultation on 1 June 2020.
At the same time that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Independent Garage Association (IGA) and Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) published post-lockdown garage reopening advice, they also echoed earlier calls from the tyre aftermarket business to support MOT tests.
The UK Government exemption on MOTs for six months from 30 March 2020, may have come as welcome news to many motorists, but the NTDA has also raised serious concerns about its impact on future vehicle roadworthiness. The fact that the emphasis has been placed on motorists to ensure their vehicles are kept in a roadworthy condition, further raises concerns. In short, the NTDA believes this general exemption will create long-term problems.
Tread depth is essential to keep a vehicle in contact with the road in wet conditions and it remains a legal requirement, despite the introduction of a six-month exemption on MoT for Britain’s motorists. TyreSafe is reminding motorists that a tyre being driven below 1.6mm is illegal and if found by the police could result in a fine of up to £2,500 and three-points being added to a driver’s licence – per tyre.
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has said the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) decision to extend MOTs for a six-month period causes “huge challenges” for the sector, arguing that the industry needs to ensure vehicles continue to be kept safe in these challenging times.