Discounting MOTs rarely generates extra revenue

72% of garages discount, according to MOT Angel

Published:  04 March, 2014

Discounted MOTs fail to generate additional revenue, and end up attracting the wrong type of customer, according to service directory MOT Angel (MOTA).

Analysis of the MOTA's index of 10,000 workshops reveals that 72% discount MOT prices from VOSA's £54.85 maximum. While the average price for an MOT is £45, it can drop to under half the maximum price at a small percentage (3%) of workshops.

Prices vary depending on the location of the workshop, how long it has been established and its ownership but, typically, discounts are offered because the owner believes it will generate extra service and repair work.

But seven in 10 MOTs are booked without an accompanying service and the majority of customers have their car serviced elsewhere anyway. In addition, customers of the cheapest discount prices are typically unable to afford any associated repairs and will also shop around elsewhere in order to get repairs carried out as cheaply as possible.

MOTA founder, Matthew Tumbridge, said: "Independent workshops account for 71% of the MOT market but, in reality, pricing does not play a significant part in that.

"Only a small number of garages drop the MOT price below £35, with most discounts being more of a gesture than a retail strategy and there is no major difference between main dealer and independent garage discounts. Based on our customer feedback, we conclude that winning MOT business is more about garage trust and convenience than price."

According to MOT Angel, garages in urban and suburban areas which have a higher potential of passing trade, discount more heavily. Those in rural areas discount less frequently.

The cheapest discount offers - especially online - bring in a larger percentage of customers, who are shopping around to save every penny they can. With typically older cars and less available income, they will often not be able to afford all the recommended repairs or will shop around for the cheapest options, which will include DIY repairs by friends or family.

Meanwhile, discount offers made available only online or to certain customers can also alienate existing or long-term customers.

Tumbridge said: "Franchised workshops should be able to command better trust and offer more convenience through courtesy cars and collection services. But openly discounting the MOT is likely to upset loyal customers and only bring in customers who can't afford the main dealer's usual labour rates."

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