Managing the MOT backlog

Posted by Alex Knight on 18-Aug-2020 08:41:15
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The government's six month MOT extension has resulted in good news for dealers with increased demand. Being prepared and preparing customers is the best course of action to continue to spread the workload over the next few months.

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Cars, motorcycles and light vans with MOTs due between 30 March and 31 July 2020 were given a six-month extension by the government to help keep motorists on the road during the coronavirus pandemic. But this does not apply to vehicles with an MOT due from 1 August.

Initial indications, however, are that as lockdown measures eased, motorists were keen to ensure their vehicles were in the best condition for the road.

The pent-up demand is good news for dealers, but being prepared and preparing customers is the best course of action to continue to spread the workload over the next few months.

The figures for June were 21% down compared to June 2019 when 3.31 million tests were carried out which shows there are still plenty of pending MOTs needing to be booked.

And latest DVSA data has shown that an extra 20,000 MOT tests have been conducted every day so far in August, with a likely peak in October or November according to Garage Wire.

The last thing a dealer wants is to turn custom away because motorists failed to book MOTs with enough time to spare. Communicating now and encouraging customers back into the workshop will not only boost aftersales coffers, but could prove to be one of the best customer care strategies for aftersales departments post lockdown.

Revealing significant numbers of motorists are choosing safety over short term savings, according to the figures from Motorway, which connects dealers looking for used car stock with private sellers, following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, is something dealers should be keen to highlight to encourage those who have yet to book back into the workshop before MOTs expire.

For some vehicles, motorists who wait until the six-month extension ends, anywhere from September to December, will mean almost 18 months would have elapsed between tests.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) issued a statement in a bid to persuade motorists with MOT due dates this autumn to book sooner rather than later to beat what it termed ‘the expected rush for tests’.

Whilst the number of MOTs carried out is encouraging, it doesn’t mean the DVSA’s warnings should not be heeded.

Vigilant motorists worried about workshop overbookings with MOTs due at this time can have the test undertaken up to a month minus a day before the due date and keep the same MOT date.

In the announcement, Chris Price, DVSA head of MOT policy, said: We know that MOT centres are likely to be very busy this autumn with double the usual demand. We are encouraging motorists to consider bringing their MOT forward to help beat the rush.”

As ever, communication, education and reassurance that covid-compliant measures are in place, will encourage those with MOTs due this autumn to book as soon as possible. In-house provisions include ensuring all testers are up-to-date on training whilst investment in capacity and training up additional testers is likely to pay off. For dealers using external MOT providers, keeping in touch with suppliers will help both parties better manage bookings.

Topics: dealerships, communication, online, digital, Aftersales, automotive, consumers, dealer, service, digitisation, MOT, workshop

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