Despite being allowed to stay open during the latest UK lockdown and restrictions, MOT and service centres were inundated with bookings before they came into force this November.
Data, from BookMyGarage.com, shows that Monday 2nd – Wednesday 4th November were record-breaking days for MOT and service bookings.
Car dealer showrooms had to close their doors come the lockdown on the 5th, but workshops and test centres can continue offering their services during the four-week period.
BookMyGarage.com noted that as soon as the Prime Minister announced new lockdown restrictions on Saturday 31st October, there was a flurry of motorists reaching out to garages to book MOT and services for their vehicles. It recorded its most MOT and service bookings ever on Monday, a figure which was matched on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage.com, explained: “Consumer behaviour has fluctuated constantly throughout the pandemic, but it’s clear that motorists still want to get their cars serviced and MOTd as normal despite the November lockdown.”
When the first UK lockdown occurred, vehicles were granted a six-month exemption from March to August. Once that exemption ended, all cars, motorcycles or vans due an MOT test from August 1 were required to get a test certificate.
According to a YouGov poll, more than half of drivers (56%), who had an MOT due between March 30 and July 31, 2020, used the six-month extension to delay the test beyond the expiry date on their existing certificate.
A Fleet News poll conducted in October revealed that 41% of fleets were experiencing issues booking service, maintenance, and repair (SMR) work or MOTs, despite dealerships re-opening in June.
This is most likely due to a backlog of customers after closure of dealers to all but essential workers and the six-month MOT extension during the first lockdown. Some fleet operators reported long wait times.