Record numbers rush to book MOTs as England enters lockdown
Data from garage comparison site Book My Garage, showed record-breaking numbers of drivers booking tests last week following the announcement of a second lockdown.
The new restrictions on businesses and movement came into force on Thursday November 5 but garages have been given an exemption to allow them to remain open as an “essential service”.
That means drivers can still take their vehicle to be MOT’d, prompting a surge in bookings through the website. However garages have already seen a massive rise in demand for test appointments as they deal with the backlog caused by the MOT extension scheme introduced during the first lockdown.
Garages are still open for MOTs, servicing and repairs (Photo: Shutterstock)
That scheme granted an automatic six-month extension to MOTs that expired between the end of March and July 31. As a result, an extra five million vehicles are expected to be presented for an MOT between October and December, on top of the 6.5m already due their test in the last quarter of 2020.
The latest rush to secure a slot during England's second lockdown could put even more pressure on garages, which are trying to remain open for business while putting in measures to protect staff and customers.
While independent garages and dealership workshops are allowed to remain open, car dealers have been forced to close their showrooms and switch to online and phone sales and click-and-collect-style handovers.
Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage.com, commented: “Consumer behaviour has fluctuated constantly throughout the pandemic, but now it is evident that motorists are keen to get their cars serviced and MOT’d as normal.
“It really could be the moment when aftersales becomes the shining light for the main dealer network.”