Two trade bodies have issued warnings about the likely impact that the MOT extension will have on independent garages and parts distributors.
Both The IGA and the IAAF have written to the government to explain how they believe the extension will impact our trade.
In its letter, the IGA included a suggestion that proposing to government that they start with an initial six-week MOT extension period, which could then then be reviewed on a weekly basis, rather than a blanket six-month extension.
In a statement, the trade body said: ‘The government needs to consider that many MOT operations, being small businesses, will have their cashflow seriously impacted once this situation is over. Next year will bring about a significant reduction of tests in March, April and May and with some businesses in this sector only conducting MOT tests, in these instances, the crisis will extend for many years ahead’.
Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive states: “We really need the government to take this on board. We understand that measures need to be put in place to fight the virus, and support these measures, however we do not agree with the six months extension of MOTs. We urge the government to show a degree of flexibility, as the repercussions for the independent sector will be severe.”
“Better guidance also needs to be given to the public regarding the extension to ensure that vehicles remain roadworthy.”
Meanwhile, The IAAF has said the decision to extend MOTs causes “huge challenges” for the sector, arguing that the industry needs to ensure ‘vehicles continue to be kept safe in these challenging times’.
After receiving feedback from its membership of suppliers and distributors, the IAAF found that many motor factors fear that without MOT business, some garages will no longer be viable.
Another concern expressed by members is that the majority of consumers do not realise that they are expected to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy and if not, they could face large fines and penalty points. Failure to meet the Government’s “roadworthy” condition specification means that some vehicles will be driven in a dangerous condition, and in turn would allow the insurance companies to refuse to honour the insurance as they’d be able to demonstrate that the car or van was in an un-roadworthy condition.
Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “The extension is having a ‘catastrophic’ knock on effect on the parts supply chain who are struggling to keep open. Business is down at least 50 percent and some outlets have already closed. We absolutely need to keep essential logistics, blue light services and key workers on the move but these groups could struggle to find anyone open for either parts or repair.”