Tag Archive | "MOT Extension"

BUSINESS GEARS UP FOR MOT EXTENSION END

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BUSINESS GEARS UP FOR MOT EXTENSION END


The six month extension for the MOT on light vehicles will end on August 1st.

This means that for vehicles with certificates that expire between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will still be extended by six months. This includes vehicles that are due their first MOT test.

MOTs due on or after 1 August 2020 will not be extended, and the vehicle owner must book an MOT as usual.

However, DVSA has stated that if a vehicle owner is self-isolating or being advised to shield, they do not need to take their vehicle for its MOT. Instead, they should ask if an MOT centre can collect and return their vehicle, or register their vehicle as off the road, as they will still need a valid MOT.

READ: TRADE BODIES WELCOME END TO MOT EXTENSION

The decision to end the extension has been welcomed by garages, insurance companies and road safety groups alike. Andy Randall Managing Director from Halfords Autocentres said: “October and the winter months, are going to be much busier than normal when motorists will be joining millions of others who have held off getting their MoT done. The MoT test remains the best way to ensure vehicles are safe to drive.”

READ: HALFORDS LAUNCH EARLY BOOKING MOT CAMPAIGN

Kelly Wilkins, Head of Service at Insure The Box commented: “We welcome the introduction of [MOT] testing; the onus of regularly checking a vehicle falls within the drivers remit, and as such, safety can be maintained by performing simple checks. However, the vast majority of drivers lack the expertise to identify significant issues and underlying problems a driver may encounter with their vehicle”.

 

 

 

 

 

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HALFORDS LAUNCH EARLY BOOKING MOT CAMPAIGN

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HALFORDS LAUNCH EARLY BOOKING MOT CAMPAIGN


Halfords Autocentres has predicted MOT bookings will peak at 85 percent over the average in October. The garage network has carried out analysis across the industry which suggests that an additional 1.7m drivers will try to book their MOT in October, on top of the normal demand of about two million vehicles. 

READ: TRADE BODIES WELCOME END TO MOT EXTENSION

Accordingly, the network has launched a campaign to get motorists to book their vehicles in early, regardless of whether they have time left on their MOT extension. The initiative will focus on concerns some motorists may have about their vehicles being roadworthy after a period of idleness. 

READ: HALFORDS INTRODUCE ZERO CONTACT MOBILE SERVICE

Andy Randall Managing Director from Halfords Autocentres said: “We’re urging drivers to beat the rush and book their vehicles in this summer. October and the winter months, are going to be much busier than normal when motorists will be joining millions of others who have held off getting their MOT done. Our research shows that almost half of motorists are worried about the roadworthiness of other cars on the road so those that get theirs done can be much more confident that their cars are properly roadworthy. The MOT test remains the best way to ensure vehicles are safe to drive.”

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DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK…


It was reported in late April that more than 60 percent of garages had shut their doors as it had become infeasible to operate given the sharp fall in customer demand, disrupted parts supply chain and staff shortages caused by the lockdown. 

Now, though, the lockdown is being eased and UK roads are slowly starting to get busier. Alex Lindley, Managing Director of Nottingham-based garage chain Lindley’s Autocentres, told us how he’s gearing up for the new ‘normal’: “There are a lot of strategic challenges now, including making sure that we increase supply as the demand increases – timing is critical to maintaining the health of the company.” It’s worth remembering that, even if a garage has all staff at hand and a fully operational workshop, there are obstacles to overcome in terms of consistently speedy parts deliveries and maintaining a steady workflow as drivers adjust to post-lockdown life. 

Supply chain

The sustained health of factors and suppliers is a critical component in the aftermarket’s bounce-back. One such business, Chesterfield’s Autosupplies Group, is working hard to return to normality. Managing Director David Clarke said that, although “business dropped considerably” when the lockdown came into force on 23 March, it “has continued to grow steadily”, with the firm recording the biggest increase in call volumes after Easter. Garages were allowed to stay open, having been deemed essential businesses, but the situation was murky for suppliers, as Clarke explained: “Many of our van drivers have been stopped by Police and I would like to thank the IAAF for their support in providing the industry with a letter that confirms we are allowed to remain open and trade.” On 5 May Autosupplies announced that its Chesterfield, Barnsley and Rotherham branches were fully open, and that “teams at all three businesses are well practised in social distancing measures and are adhering to government guidelines, which we kindly ask customers to respect.”

Social distancing could be the biggest inhibiting factor in the build-up to ‘business as usual’. Among many other measures, the Best Practice guide – jointly published by IGA, SMMT, IAAF, Scottish Motor Trade Association and Garage Equipment Association – suggests posters are put up around the workshop or warehouse to remind customers and staff to keep their distance, a one-way system is put in place and sanitisers are always available. Euro Car Parts’ Marketing Manager Colin Cottrell outlined the actions of the factor chain: “We’ve made protective equipment like gloves, antibacterial gels and wipes readily available to all and are regularly cleaning our vans, branches and retail spaces. We’ve also set up Perspex screens on our counters and will wear latex gloves to serve customers and while on delivery routes.” 

Touchy subject

The biggest change for many will be the transition to a ‘contactless’ business model, which Autocentres’ Lindley has found ‘relatively easy’ to adhere to “once the plan was in place”. “The key to its success is to communicate with the customer,” he explained. “You need to make it clear what they can expect and what you expect from them. We are calling the customers the day before, followed by an SMS and an email.” Garage bosses would do well to consider how best to minimise unnecessary contact with customers while maximising workshop space. 

MOT extension

Aside from the critical issue of how to actually run a business, the question that industry bodies are now asking the government is if it will now cancel the universal six-month MOT extension that came into effect on 30 March [the end of the extension has of course been announced since this article was written – Ed]

The IMI’s Steve Nash thinks that although “the motives for the initiative were sound at that time, there are serious risks in the extension remaining in place now”. Chief among these, he said, is that traffic levels are beginning to build as people return to work, and it’s possible that some vehicles will not be in a roadworthy condition. “That’s a huge safety risk, but of more commercial concern for our sector is that if all motorists wait up to six months from when their MOT expired to get their vehicle tested there is going to be a big backlog of tests in the autumn and winter [see Alex Lindley’s predictive chart below] which could significantly overwhelm the sector,” he said. 

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes concurred. “With government advice stating that workers should avoid public transport when returning to work, the use of private cars is likely to rise more sharply than it already has over recent weeks” he said. “A reconsideration of the six-month MOT extension needs to be made as soon as possible”. 

The Independent Garage Association and the IAAF have all voiced similar statements and written to DfT ministers. However, it is highly unlikely that a decision that has already been implemented will be changed now. 

Take the initiative

There are two schools of thought, however, and David Hoad, MOT Manager at Ashton-Under-Lyne’s Guide Bridge service centre, reckons a pragmatic approach could mitigate the effects of any custom lost to the extension. “The scheme has allowed key workers to stay mobile without worrying about the statutory requirement of having to have a current and valid MOT,” he said, noting that these individuals are the only ones who should have been driving under lockdown in any case. So, now that it’s here and shows no sign of being lifted, he advises garages to contact customers and explain to them you are now open and able to carry out the test. “Explain to them it is their responsibility to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy and that they can be prosecuted for not ensuring this, and the only way they can feel secure they have met this requirement is to bring the vehicle to you for inspection,” he advised, adding that it’s worth reminding customers that: “the extension is only there to give them the time to get the vehicle tested at the earliest opportunity.” 

Hoad’s views are backed up by ECP’s Cottrell, who observes that a proactive approach from garage managers could see customer rates quickly return to near-normal levels. He suggests that garages identify customers with overdue services or MOTs and offer them a booking slot of their choice, which, he says, “helps them to define their opening hours, understand the technician resource they’ll need and effectively manage their finances”. As an added incentive, he notes: “One garage owner we spoke to in the last couple of weeks reported a 43 percent uptake on the phone calls he made in a single day, and another converted 11 phone calls into bookings in one day.”

What’s most apparent, speaking to representatives from various sectors within the aftermarket, is that we’re firmly in the recovery stage now. There will be hardship ahead for all, with stringent distancing measures, weakened customer demand and an inevitable economic downturn to overcome, but the ball remains in the aftermarket’s court. Most, if not all, businesses can operate effectively with social distancing measures in place, and now that the roads are getting busier and garages are opening back up, there’s no reason to let the MOT extension stop the aftermarket from returning to rude health and keeping the nation’s vehicles safely on the road.  

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LIMITED MOT TESTING TO RESUME IN NORTHERN IRELAND

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LIMITED MOT TESTING TO RESUME IN NORTHERN IRELAND


Some MOT testing is to resume in Northern Ireland as the crisis-hit system tries to recover from the effects of lockdown, industrial disputes and widespread technical failure of vehicle ramps.

READ: 12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES

However, it will be sometime before the general public will be able to get their own vehicles certified as being safe. Initially, the test will be available only to taxis and busses due a first time test, vehicles not registered in Northern Ireland and vehicles where the MOT expired over a year ago (meaning the vehicle hasn’t been tested for at least two years). Balmoral and Newtownards test centres will not reopen as they are in use as virus testing facilities.

READ: LATEST: NORTHERN IRELAND MOT TEST CRISIS

Testing for all other categories remains suspended and motorists should get a Temporary Exemption Certificate, although DVA phone lines and counter service remain closed.

READ: MOT STRIKE ACTION LIKELY IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Prior to coronavirus, NI’s state-run test centres were already creaking, with reports of motorists booking four months or more in advance, only to have them cancelled at the last minute. 

 

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TRADE BODIES WELCOME END TO MOT EXTENSION

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TRADE BODIES WELCOME END TO MOT EXTENSION


The news that the MOT extension will end on August 1st has been welcomed by the main aftermarket trade bodies. 

Stuart James, Chief Executive of the Independent Garage Association (IGA) said: “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.

“This is a welcome retraction of a policy doubtless designed to provide relief to motorists. However, this additional month will allow at least one million unroadworthy cars to remain on the road for an additional six months, as well as the 1.6 million dangerous vehicles that have already had their MOT extended.

MOT EXTENSION TO END FROM AUGUST FIRST

“With road traffic increasing, people being encouraged to use their cars rather than public transport, and further lockdown measures easing on 4 July, we believe this additional month will leave a number of motorists with an accumulation of faults and repair costs when they are least able to afford them. Even though this scheme has only been in place for four months, it has been detrimental to the roadworthiness of many cars, taken away the bread and butter of the independent garage sector and left a great number of consumers confused.

“We will continue to work with Government departments and support independent garages to ensure that all safety measures are upheld, playing our part to prevent further coronavirus cases across the UK.”

READ: 12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES

The IAAF has also welcomed the news, Wendy Williamson, Chief Executive, said: “The entire automotive aftermarket needs this news and it will have a positive effect on many businesses. As people begin to head back to work, the number of cars on the road will inevitably rise, with more people set to avoid public transport and rely instead on personal mobility.”

The IAAF is now urging the industry to encourage drivers who have previously made the decision to extend their MOT to bring their vehicle in as soon as possible.

Williamson added: “We’ve already been hearing from members who have experienced concerning issues first-hand, whereby customers have been driving around in vehicles that are a threat to the safety of the driver and the general public.

“Most importantly, this move will reduce the number of motorists driving unroadworthy vehicles and will benefit the aftermarket as more cars are brought in for essential testing, service and repairs.”

 

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MOT EXTENSION TO END FROM AUGUST FIRST

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MOT EXTENSION TO END FROM AUGUST FIRST


Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020 as restrictions are slowly lifted, it has been announced by the DfT.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

MOT tests are important for road safety and ensure that vehicle parts, including tyres, seat belts, brakes, lights and exhausts, are in proper working order.

Drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a six-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

READ: GOVERNMENT CONSULTING ON END OF MOT EXTENSION

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

“Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

Only some garages remained open to conduct essential services during the coronavirus outbreak, but now over 90% are open across the country. Testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing.

READ: 12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES

While exemptions are still available for vehicle owners with an MOT due date before 1 August, it is vital that drivers still take their vehicle to be checked if they notice something is wrong in the same way that they usually would.

If drivers are vulnerable or self-isolating they should contact their local garage as many are offering pick-up and drop-off services, so drivers can get their car checked without having to visit a garage.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has also issued guidance to all MOT testers about safely conducting tests in line with the latest Government advice.

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GOVERNMENT CONSULTING ON END OF MOT EXTENSION

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GOVERNMENT CONSULTING ON END OF MOT EXTENSION


The government is consulting on plans to end the six-month MOT extension earlier than planned in line with easing lockdown restrictions.

According to the IAAF, the Government intends to amend the Motor Vehicles (Tests) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, which were brought in when lockdown began in late March, and exclude light vehicles from mandatory MOT testing.

An amendment would see change the end date of the MOT extension, which is currently set to expire on 29 March 2021. Drivers are given a six-month extension from the date their test was originally due.

An announcement will be made “as soon as possible”, said the trade body.

The DVSA’s consultation document outlines three options for ending the extension while allowing vehicle owners a grace period to obtain a valid test certificate:

  1. To return to mandatory MOT testing in two to four weeks from date of announcement (i.e. an announcement is made that extensions would not apply to any tests due two to four weeks after when that announcement is made);
  2. To return to mandatory MOT testing in four to six weeks from date of announcement;
  3. To return to mandatory MOT testing in six to eight weeks from date of announcement.

The IAAF quotes DVSA figures showing that, despite the extension, current test volumes are at more than 65% of normal levels, and more than 80% of test centres are “routinely undertaking some testing”.

The body adds that traffic levels are returning to normal, so “the longer these Regulations are in effect the greater the risks are to road safety”.

As of 15 June, retail outlets have been allowed to reopen with social distancing measures in place, and the hospitality sector is set to gradually begin operating again from 4 July. While garages have been allowed to operate throughout lockdown, the MOT extension was devised as a means of reducing unnecessary social contact, and to discourage people from leaving their homes.

IAAF members are encouraged to submit their views on the consultation with answers to the following questions:

  1. Do you have any views on the proposals to restart testing, positive or negative?
  2. Of the three periods mentioned above, which would be your preferred time for restart?
  3. Do you have any suggested amendments to the proposals?
  4. Do you have any concerns which you think have not been addressed?
  5. Do you have any other general comments?

Answers should be emailed to anns@iaaf.co.uk by 5pm today (25 June).

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IGA LAUNCHES COVID-19 COMPLIANCE SCHEME FOR GARAGES

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IGA LAUNCHES COVID-19 COMPLIANCE SCHEME FOR GARAGES


The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has launched a new ‘Covid-19 Compliance Scheme’ for garages to demonstrate to customers that their premises are safe.

The move comes as the government eases restrictions on movement and announces plans for non-essential retailers to re-open on 15 June. It is hoped that garages will be able to use it to reassure customers that every precaution is being taken in line with official safe working guidelines.

The IGA will also use the new scheme as the basis for its argument that workshops are safe spaces, and that the six-month MOT extension should be overturned.

The audits will be available from June at no cost to IGA member garages, and carried out by IGA personnel.

READ: IGA RAISE MOT EXTENSION CONCERNS WITH TRANSPORT MINISTER

IGA boss Stuart James said: “If members need guidance on how to minimise the possibility of spreading the virus to people on their premises, this audit will position them to be compliant within Government guidelines. Certification will be included, so garages can display this to customers and create a level of assurance that the environment is safe.

“The IGA is working extremely hard to provide evidence that independent garages have prepared their premises to be safe for customers, so that the MOT extension can be stopped. Our aim is to support the Government and meet their requirements to bring back the MOT, which will assist with the UK’s economic recovery.”

The trade body has been vocal about the potentially damaging impact of the MOT extension scheme, recently joining the SMMT and IAAF in writing to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to express its concerns, chief among which is that roads are getting busier as the lockdown lifts, and many vehicles could be in an unsafe condition.

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IGA RAISE MOT EXTENSION CONCERNS WITH TRANSPORT MINISTER

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IGA RAISE MOT EXTENSION CONCERNS WITH TRANSPORT MINISTER


The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is the latest trade association to have written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, urging him to end the six-month MOT extension put in place on 30 March 2020.

Other trade bodies including SMMT and IAAF have already taken a similar step to express their concern.

Stuart James

Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive states: “Now that the public are being encouraged to go back to work and avoid using public transport where possible, the time is right to stop the MOT extension.

READ: EXTENDED MOT WILL HAVE CATASTROPHIC EFFECT SAY TRADE BODIES

“With approximately one third of cars failing their initial MOT, millions of faults will be left un-rectified if the full six-month extension goes ahead. Small defects that would have been found in the MOT test will worsen, not only leading to an increase in the number of dangerous cars on the road, but an increase in future repair costs for vehicle owners too.

READ: 12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES

“Leaving vehicles unchecked also puts motorists at risk of prosecution for driving an unsafe vehicle when it has been exempted from MOT testing. For example, 580,000 vehicles will have illegal tyres today, which will rise by another 290,000 by the end of the MOT extension. These drivers face a fine of up to £2,500 for each tyre and three penalty points. This is a simple defect which could have been easily rectified if an inspection was carried out, but could now cost the driver dearly and put themselves and others at risk.

“Stopping the MOT extension without delay will ensure that many more cars are roadworthy, and another major step will be taken in helping the UK economy recover” James concluded. 

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12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES

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12 MONTH MOT EXTENSION ANNOUNCED AS NORTHERN IRELAND MOT CHAOS CONTINUES


Ministers in Northern Ireland have chosen to exempt all light vehicles from MOT for a full calendar year. 

Exemptions lasting for four months had been issued prior to the coronavirus pandemic due to problems with the number of working lifts and authorised testers available to conduct the tests.  The current crisis has lead to the system to shut down almost entirely.

Unlike England, Scotland and Wales where the MOT is administered by the DVSA and conducted at thousands of private authorised testing sites, the MOT in NI is only conducted through a small number of Government run sites. Prior to coronavirus it was not uncommon to have to wait months for an appointment, only for it to be cancelled. 

READ: LATEST: NORTHERN IRELAND MOT TEST CRISIS

The Stormont-based Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon told the Press Association newswire: “I have decided the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) will continue to issue temporary exemption certificates (TECs) to those vehicles, private cars, goods vehicles, trailers or motorcycles until their normal MOT date. This means a vehicle will get an exemption for one year which will bring it back into the system when there is capacity to test it”. 

READ: MOT STRIKE ACTION LIKELY IN NORTHERN IRELAND

As CAT understands the current situation, vehicles that have had an MOT expire at any point in the last 12 months will be eligible for the extension and therefore can be taxed. However, it will not be possible to test, and therefore tax a car that has not had an MOT for longer, for example a vehicle that has been in storage that the owner wishes to return to the road, until testing resumes. 

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