Fixter, an online car maintenance service provider, has published survey results which show that essential businesses, such as independent garages, are valued more than before the crisis. Specifically, 89 per cent of customers who rely on their cars now think that it is more important than ever to keep it in a good condition.
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.
The Motor Ombudsman has upgraded its online Knowledge Base with the introduction of a new category on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It has been designed to help consumers answer frequently asked queries on car ownership, vehicle maintenance and dispute resolution, following the latest government measures which have recently been implemented in the UK.
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.
TechMan is advising its customers that it will be continuing to provide services and support for its garage management system whilst these unprecedented restrictions are in place. Individual garages are evaluating their own position and capabilities during this time in order to understand the best next steps for their businesses and how they can operate whilst adhering to the new social distancing instructions advised by government.
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation has gained clarification from government that businesses in the automotive aftermarket supplying garages, namely motor factors and suppliers, can remain open during the Covid-19 lockdown. Garages are exempt from the enforced closure of retailers, but motor factors can stay open in order to supply workshops who continue to support logistics providers, local councils, blue light services and key workers.
Even emergency vehicles need breakdown assistance, servicing and tyres, and this is one main reason why the government has authorised garages and fast-fits to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. ATS Euromaster confirms that most of its service centres remain open following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, however they ask customers for understanding should prearranged jobs be postponed in order to prioritise emergency fleet work.
Kwik Fit says it is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, and at present its centres are open for business as usual “where possible”. It adds that the company’s “overriding priority” is the health and well-bring of its staff and customers.
Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined strict stay-at-home measures for the whole of the UK. These effectively amount to a country-wide lockdown and will be enforced by the police. As a result, gatherings outside of households are effectively banned and shops have to close. However, reading the small print reveals that automotive garages are within the limited number of retailers that will be allowed to remain open. And therefore tyre centres will be allowed to keep going as well. Motorists looking for information on garages in the Covid-19 lockdown can find more on Tyrepress’s sister site, WhatTyre.
Top Technician has returned for 2020, and round one is now open online. The garage sector competition has been running since 2002, with thousands of people testing their skills in a fun, competitive environment. For the winners, the competition has life-changing potential, according to the organiser, as it puts them on a national stage. Opportunities often follow.
The advent of e-mobility is often accompanied by uncertainty for workshops. How much maintenance does an electric motor need? What sort of repair volume can be expected? Which are the common models and voltage levels? And how can workshops obtain the information needed to ensure safe, efficient, and fast maintenance and repairs? This is where Mahle Aftermarket comes in, as a 360° solutions provider with OEM expertise.
Bosch is set to acquire Unipart Group’s (UG) Automotive Aftermarket workshop programmes in the UK. These programmes include the Unipart Car Care Centres (UCCC), a network of independently run garages, the KiS online garage management software, which helps to organise all daily workshop activities, and the Unipartner Consumer App. It is planned for all existing customer contracts to be transferred to Bosch. According to Bosch, “It has been agreed that the purchase price will not be disclosed”.