MOT exemption: 78% drop in tests being performed

Published:  24 April, 2020

The MOT exemption granted to motorists due to the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a 78% drop in the number of MOT tests being carried out across the UK, according to figures from the DVSA.

Since 30 March, around 636,000 MOT tests have been carried out. This represents a 78% drop compared with the same time last year.

A DVSA spokesperson said: “A temporary six-month exemption from MOT testing is in place to allow vital services to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine during the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’ve issued advice to garages about how to safely conduct MOTs, in line with PHE guidance. Around 60% of MOT stations have been continuing to carry out essential services during this time.”

At the same time, it has been estimated by studies from other organisations that around 60% of independent garages are shut, while a larger proportion among franchised dealer networks are closed. 

Does this mean the portion of the market that remains open has seen the same overall drop?

According to Digital Incubator, a marketing agency that works within the aftermarket, independent garages have stayed open have not seen a corresponding drop in demand for MOTs.

“Our clients are still generating a steady flow of MOT inquires,” explained Jamie Stoulger, Sales Director and Operations Manager at Digital Incubator.

“Maybe it's the government messaging. There might be a six-month extension, but the car still needs to be safe. People still know that their cars are due a MOT.”

According to Jamie, businesses that work with them that are still open have not seen such a sharp drop in MOTs: “There might be a small dip in some cases, but across the board, averages have not really dropped. They are probably around 10% to 15% down.”

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