We’re all aware within our industry that the number of MOTs booked has taken a severe downturn since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. But the Freedom of Information Act means the DVSA has been required to declare the exact figures.
They currently stand at an astonishing five million lower than would be expected for this period. To clarify, this year, in May and April, 2,153,768 MOTs were performed. Compared to the 7,166,566 carried out in the same period in 2019.
BUT as we also know, the law requires drivers to have a current, valid MOT certificate for their vehicle. The Government’s decision to impose an exemption period was a temporary fix to minimise the spread of this terrible pandemic.
So soon, the 1 August to be exact, those five million vehicle owners will be fighting (although we hope not literally!) to book their slot in your diaries.
This is going to put immense pressure on garages and MOT Stations; Managers, Testers and even parts manufacturers and suppliers.
Are you ready?
There will be lots of measures you can put in place to ensure you’re running at the optimum speed to get through the expected influx of MOT work without putting too much undue pressure on you, your team and your business.
You will no doubt have thought of many already. For example:
- Taking on additional staff –even if that’s for some of the non MOT tasks, so your qualified testers are free to focus
- Getting as many desk-based jobs out of the way the month/weeks before the exemption is lifted
- Using your 90 minutes each day to clear the decks of things that might be playing on your mind or distracting you from the pressure this exemption lift is likely to bring. If you didn’t read our previous article Why 90 minutes a day can save you time later, you can see it
- Start to encourage previous customers to book in ahead of the exemption lift
- Ensuring your team are up to date on their training NOW *
- Get help with managing your compliance to leave you free to work on vehicles
Don’t ever assume your old customers will still choose you
Of course, you mustn’t assume it’s your garage customers will choose when they’re told they must book an MOT. You need to make sure you’re getting your name ‘out there’ as a business that’s ready to take on extra work, are easy to deal with, whose prices are competitive, whose customer service is exemplary and whose team are highly trained, competent and friendly.
There will be days you don’t feel like all the above is true – or even matters. But trust us. It does.
This could even be an opportunity to steal some business from a competitor who perhaps isn’t doing all they can to make things easy and stress-free for their customers!
Get your team booked on necessary training courses as soon as possible
Professional training is essential for many areas of the work carried out in a garage. And some courses, as you know, are compulsory.
Several months into furlough or periods of reduced hours and business it’s likely training has been put on hold or been off the agenda entirely. But did you know even furloughed staff are permitted to take part in training that’s essential for their work? And to accommodate you we are open, already hosting training courses and taking new bookings daily. So don’t miss out!
We can’t say this enough. Don’t be tempted to wait as that will only add more pressure to yourself and your team, and ultimately your business.
The date has been set…
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously stated that the current six-month MOT extension wouldn’t be lifted until tests can be “conducted safely” with the “lowest possible risk” to the health of motorists and staff. We mentioned at the start that the date is now set for 1 August 2020.
Industry experts are predicting demand for MOTs will peak in October/November when it’s expected the volume of tests requested will be 200% above normal levels.
We urge you not to get caught out. Use the coming weeks wisely to prepare for every eventuality, and make the coming months as stress-free as possible.
Courses we recommend booking are:
IMI LEVEL 2 MOT TESTER TRAINING
IMI LEVEL 3 AWARD IN MOT TEST CENTRE MANAGEMENT
ANNUAL MOT TESTER TRAINING AND ASSESSMENT (mentioned explicitly in the advice from DVSA)
And for those of you who feel you would benefit from a little extra support, remember too that we can provide our expertise via our AEC support and site reviews.
To secure places on any of these courses, call Karena now on
0800 1777 344 or 07734859604