The SMMT has launched a new campaign to help cut down on MOT failures, but has only joined up with main dealers.

The campaign, titled “Minute Or Two” lists basic checks motorists can do themselves prior to taking their car in for an MOT. The SMMT has joined up with the National Franchise Dealer Association, promoting that the campaign is backed by 5,545 manufacturer main dealers.

NFDA Director Sue Robinson said: “The ‘Minute Or Two’ checks are easy and simple to perform and will save motorists time and aggravation when taking their vehicle for its annual MOT test. If consumers have any concerns about the state of their vehicle in the run-up to its MOT, they can call a manufacturer main dealer, whose fully trained technicians will be able to provide advice on carrying out the checks for all makes and models.”

The scheme utilises the Motor Codes garage finder tool, but it has been modified to only show main dealers and manufacturer authorised repairers in the search results. Stuart James of the IGA is understandably frustrated: “It’s good for consumers that the dealers are learning from the independent sector that the personal touch might send the more business. This is something independents have been doing forever. Perhaps this will mislead the customer to think there is a different level of MOT test that only dealers can carry out, and that’s just untrue.”

While the “Minute Or Two” scheme is doubtless good at promoting awareness of DIY checks it has angered some areas of the aftermarket, which feel left out by the SMMT. The IAAF has issued a statement, saying: “a campaign by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) and the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) looks to help franchised workshops capture and retain more aftersales work.”

Chief Executive Brian Spratt added: “There is an understandable irritation on the part of Vehicle Assembler (VAs) and their dealers that members of the public find the independent option so much more attractive. Independent garages are generally more convenient for customers to use, technically capable and often the more economical offer in the market.

“Independent garages should remind motorists that they have the right to choose where they take their cars for servicing, even during the warranty period. As long as the service meets the VA’s servicing schedule and appropriate quality parts and materials, like oil, are used, then the warranty is not invalidated.”

The IAAF will soon be launching its Right2Choose Campaign to promote awareness of the aftermarket to consumers. The IAAF says the success of Right2Choose hinges on independent garages passing the message on to their customers.

The SMMT declined to comment further.

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  1. I think the thing that has been overlooked here is that the SMMT are using Motor Codes as part of this campaign. Given that from their figures, IMT’s make up 20% of those signed up to Motor Codes, it seems odd to exclude them. However if the SMMT are looking to make a two tier Motor Codes, it sort of makes sense. Either way they are effectively sticking two fingers up at the 1,400 paid up members of Motor Codes just because they are independent garages not main dealers.