March MOT madness: Making the most of it

With a shifted annual pattern and the Annual Training deadline for 2021/2022 just weeks away, garages should be making the MOT their top priority right now

Published:  29 April, 2022

MOTs should be firmly at the top of the agenda for garages this month, for two key reasons. Firstly, it’s the last normal month of MOT demand until later in the year, as a result of the extensions granted in the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic.
    
Secondly, the deadline for testers to complete their MOT Annual Assessment is just a few weeks away.
    
Here’s everything you need to know about making the most of the immediate opportunity, while ensuring you remain qualified and able to conduct MOT work from 1 April onwards.

Top tips
Use your data: Government research shows that 40% of MOT customers prefer to choose a garage they have used before, so work through your customer database to identify customers in need of an MOT.
    
Pick up the phone: Contact your customers by phone rather than blanket email or text. One garage owner reported a 43% uptake on bookings in a single day after switching to making phone calls to his customers.
    
Get social: Use your social media pages to let your customers know you are open, and to spark the reminder that their MOT could be due. Some might have forgotten that they have not been using their vehicles as frequently. Social media is also a great channel to mention the Covid safety measures you have in place, to help put customers’ minds at ease about booking with you.
    
Be searchable: Make sure you are listed on relevant online directories and local lists, so when potential new customers are searching for a garage, you are in the mix.
    
Think ahead: Use the opportunity to get ahead for next year and set up reminders for customers on their MOT deadlines. This way, you can ensure they come back to you next time.
    
Bolster your team: If you have created the demand, but do not have the resource to manage it because team members are off sick or on holiday, there is no need to turn work away. Use our dedicated recruitment partner, AutoTech Recruit, to bring in experienced temporary technicians at a low cost.

Prioritising the MOT tester Annual Assessment
Disruption to the MOT demand curve, not to mention disruption more broadly, with changing COVID-19 restrictions and staff absences,  means many testers have overlooked their compulsory MOT training.
    
The DVSA recently reported that nearly 50,000 testers were yet to complete their assessment this year. While it’s understandable that some might have been focusing on other things, failing to get assessed in time could have serious consequences, both for workshop income, and for road safety.
    
MOTs are a critical and reliable source of revenue for garages. Private modes of transport, i.e. passenger cars,  are the preferred choice for many at the moment, and given changes to the e-commerce landscape brought about by COVID-19, it has never been more important to keep delivery and other essential vehicles on the move.
    
The purpose of the MOT is to aid safety and drive quality, and each year, testing standards undergo vital changes to ensure it does exactly that. If testers are not up to date with what’s required, they might overlook key details that could put their both their customers and other drivers at risk.
    
This is doubly important when considering the impact of lockdown on vehicles, many of which might be in a poorer condition than typically expected, having sat idle at times in the last year.  Components such as brakes, for example, can begin to corrode when there is not sufficient motion to prevent rust from building up. Similarly, tyres can begin to lose their efficacy when lying unused.
    
To ensure testers are prepared and able to pass their assessment first time, we offer IMI-approved MOT training. Technicians can complete both their full annual CPD and routine refresher courses via our LKQ Academy. We also run classroom-based and online training programmes to cater for different learning preferences and styles.
    
Ultimately, by providing training, equipment and business support, not to mention having the largest range, fleet and branch network in the business, it is our ambition to ensure that independent garages are run successfully and profitably, and that every job is completed to the highest standard.

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