Is your car’s MOT due in September or October? Drivers urged to book as soon as possible as Covid extension means 1.3m extra tests these months
- DVSA says 9.58m vehicle owners used the 2020 six-month MOT exemption
- It was introduced last March when garages were forced to close due to Covid
- Ombudsman warns exemption altered when garages see peaks in MOT demand
- It expects an extra 1.3m tests required in Sept to Oct compared to pre-pandemic
Motorists with vehicles due an MOT in the next two months are being urged to book tests as soon as possible with demand for garage services expected to soar.
The Motor Ombudsman says it has seen a spike in usage of its online Garage Finder tool after the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency revealed that 1.3million extra MOTs were due in September and October than the same months of 2019.
The spike is a result of last year’s six-month MOT extension put in place at the beginning of the pandemic, with car owners pushing their tests back when garages were forced to close at the end of March 2020.
MOT warning: The Motor Ombudsman says an extra 1.3 vehicles will require an annual assessment in the months of September and October than compared to before the pandemic
DVSA has estimated that there will be a 22 per cent increase in MOTs in September and October than before the pandemic as a knock-on effect of the six-month test exemption introduced between 30 March and 31 July 2020.
With the agency’s records showing that 9.58million drivers chose to take advantage of last year’s extension, this has subsequently altered the peaks and troughs in testing volumes that would normally be witnessed across a calendar year – and it’s the ninth and tenth month were the biggest rise in MOT demand will be seen.
The Motor Ombudsman says its own Garage Finder tool – which lists thousands of independent garages, body repair centres and franchise dealer workshops across the UK – has seen a 60 per cent increase in demand in the first half of the year.
The spike in demand is a result of last year’s six-month MOT extension put in place at the beginning of the pandemic, with car owners pushing their tests back when garages were forced to close at the end of March 2020
And it says more drivers are turning to the service this month as an increased number of vehicle owners flock to MOT stations.
Bill Fennell, managing director of the Motor Ombudsman, said: ‘After a small uptick in the number of MOTs forecast to expire during August, there is a notable acceleration in the volume of MOT certificates due to come to an end in September and October.
‘This means that it’s going to be an extremely busy period for MOT stations up and down the country during the next few weeks.’
The AA has already warned of a ‘Super September’ for motor garages as extended MOT assessments last year cause a spike in required tests in the ninth month on the calendar.
Head of roads policy, Jack Cousens, said that MOT centres are ‘already feeling the strain’ and urged ‘savvy drivers’ to ‘get ahead of the game’ and book a September appointment as soon as possible.
‘Usually people leave booking their MOT to the last possible moment. Drivers won’t have that luxury this time,’ he warned.
The 2020 MOT exemption has altered the peaks and troughs in testing volumes that would normally be witnessed across a calendar year – and it’s the ninth and tenth month were the biggest rise in MOT demand will be seen, experts say
Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 for using a vehicle without a valid MOT.
The test costs a maximum of £54.85 for an average car.
Vehicles must have an MOT on the third anniversary of their registration, and then every 12 months.
A number of parts such as lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes are checked to ensure they meet legal standards.
The Motor Ombudsman says its toll is the ideal starting point for motorists looking to book a test with a reputable trader in the next few weeks,
Mr Fennel added: ‘For drivers looking to book in their vehicle’s annual test, which can be done up to a month (minus a day) earlier than the deadline, there is no better starting point than our Garage Finder.
‘Using a business accredited to our Service and Repair Code gives consumers the all-important peace of mind that they are adhering to the comprehensive guidelines laid down by the Code, and have committed to the very highest standards of work and service.’
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