Garages have been urged not to discount MOT tests as customers stay at home. The advice, intended to minimise loss of income during the coronavirus crisis, comes from the Independent Garage Association.
Car repair and MOT centres are deemed essential services and permitted to stay open during the Covid-19 lockdown. However, two factors have caused business to nosedive in recent weeks.
Firstly, the huge decline in driving. Mapping app Waze reports a 70 percent drop in miles driven as UK motorists heed government advice to remain indoors.
Secondly, all MOTs for cars, light vans and motorcycles due from Monday 30 March 2020 have been granted a six-month extension due to the pandemic.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recommends charging £54.85 for an MOT test. However, many garages offer a reduced fee (typically between £19 and £35) to attract customers.
Stuart James, chief executive of the Independent Garage Association (IGA) said: “Independent garages have faced a sudden, drastic decline in business due to the DVSA’s MOT extension and government instructions to stay at home.
“Provision of the MOT service is critical to the safety of UK road users, but many garages feel the need to discount MOTs to remain competitive, leaving them struggling to cover their hourly business costs. The industry cannot afford to continue providing MOT tests as a loss-making service going forward.
“As we start to see the lockdown easing, the time is right for garages to stand united by charging the DVSA’s recommended price of £54.85 for an MOT test.
“This will help independent garages to remain open, recoup recent losses, and allow them to carry out their vital roles keeping the UK’s vehicles running safely.”
Help your car pass its MOT with these 11 simple checks before the test.