MOT Mayhem!

“…massive spike in MOT Tests to arrive August-November…”

It’s now common knowledge that MOT Testing ‘normal service’ will be resumed on 1st August, and any MOT certificates expiring after that date will not get a six-month extension. From what we’ve heard though, when it comes to September, always the most busy month of the year for MOTs, there will not only be the usual huge increase in MOT numbers, but over the August to November period there will also be a backlog of over six million extra MOT inspections to be carried out as well – an extra 20 percent of the annual total of all MOTs. How will Testing Stations cope?

The accompanying graph shows the anticipated number of MOT Tests which will need to be carried out in the months from August to November, made up of the normal seasonal surge caused by the annual new vehicle registrations, plus the carry-over from April’s six-million ‘deferred’ MOTs, six months down the line, compared to last year’s ‘normal’ MOT demand.

These two graphs above from the DVSA clearly illustrate the problem which will be faced by Testing Stations between August and November this year. The usual annual increase in MOT Testing volume during September/October/November will be further amplified by those motorists who took advantage of the six-month extension to their MOT certificates, who will now require a Test as their extension period expires.

As can be seen from the upper graph, MOT Testing volume would double during November, unless a large number of motorists opt to have their MOT completed before the expiry date. It is highly likely that the long waiting list could mean some motorists will be unable to get a Test before their certificate expires.

Will this be like the situation last year in Northern Ireland (NI) when the Government’s Testing Stations (they are not private businesses as in mainland UK), found that most of their vehicle lifts were defective and NI motorists were unable to get their MOTs renewed. In spite of this the NI police still issued penalties for motorists who were forced to drive without valid MOT certificates.

In the circumstances we advise Testing stations to contact their regular customers and make them aware of the situation which is developing – a massive surge in urgent bookings and the likelihood of severe delays in renewing their MOT.

We would also advise motorists to get their MOTs done early, or they could end up being unable to obtain an MOT Test before their existing certificate expires, and either not be able to lawfully use their vehicle on the roads, or run the risk of severe penalties if the police decide to enforce the letter of the law.

Response from DVSA

9th July 2020

A DVSA spokesperson said:

The MOT exemption was introduced to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and allowed people to use their vehicles for essential travel if they could not arrange for a test at a garage.

Due to the MOT exemption, it is likely that there will be a greater demand for MOTs to be carried out in the autumn, but garages are capable of coping with the volume. We encourage motorists to come for an MOT early – even if they have an exemption – to avoid busier periods and to ensure their vehicle is safe.

There is likely to be a higher demand for MOTs in autumn 2020 due to the MOT exemption being applied but garages are capable of coping with the volume. Motorists are advised to check their MOT garage to check availability in good time.

Over 90 percent of MOT garages are regularly conducting MOTs and many motorists are opting to get an MOT done for their vehicles irrespective of the MOT extension. DVSA is encouraging this so vehicles are kept safe to drive.

Those drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive the six-month exemption from Testing and any drivers who have previously been granted the exemption will not have that curtailed.

There are 23,264 MOT garages currently in operation with around 63,500 Testers.

There is likely to be a higher demand for MOTs in autumn 2020 due to the MOT exemption being applied but garages are capable of coping with the volume.

Motorists are advised to check their MOT garage to check availability in good time.

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