Following the MOT extension during the first COVID-19 lockdown, it was widely anticipated that tests in April to August this year would all but dry up.
With this in mind, the DVSA launched its SAFE campaign back in March. Following its ‘Beat the Rush’ promotion last year, the government body is urging garages to promote safety checks – especially as lockdowns ease and drivers return to the roads.
The campaign, which calls for motorists to check their own vehicles, also promotes the value of garage safety checks, and offers a free toolkit to businesses to help them get involved.
With safety paramount, while also helping MOT centres to fill the expected gaps, aftermarket businesses are urging garages and drivers to get involved.
First Line recognises that vehicles that are not used regularly can develop issues, some of which may relate to safety-critical components such as brakes, tyres, and lights. These are often not identified until the vehicle is in for its next MOT or service.
The company has pledged its full support to the campaign and is urging motor factors and repairers to download a selection of marketing materials, aimed to aid the communication of basic checks, taking vehicles for a health check, or to encourage a service or MOT before driving again more regularly.
“There is a real concern about the safety and roadworthiness of vehicles on our roads, especially following a period of inactivity and MOT extension,” commented Jon Roughley, global marketing director at First Line Ltd.
“Now that things are slowly opening up again, we will start to see an increase of traffic as more and more people jump back into their cars. It’s important that the automotive aftermarket adopts the same resilience as it did in 2020, in effectively reminding customers about the importance of ensuring their vehicle is safe and roadworthy.”
Eurorepar Car Service is urging motorists to be vigilant when it comes to the safety of their vehicle before taking to the roads for regular journeys once again.
“The DVSA’s SAFE campaign is helping to give motorists a nudge to get their vehicle professionally checked before they start driving more regularly,” comments Nick Taylor, head of Network & Business Development.
“Members of the Eurorepar Car Service network can give customers in their local area peace of mind by offering the highest quality servicing and vehicle health checks. In addition, for those drivers who want to get back to their original pre-exemption MOT date, you can contact your local centre to book an early MOT.”
New research from Direct Line has highlighted that approximately 3.8 million motorists are driving without an MOT. This is not only a legal requirement, but an MOT is essential to ensure a vehicle is roadworthy and to maximise safety for the driver and other road users.
Kwik Fit, also highlighted that many drivers getting back to using their car more regularly may be doing so illegally. Figures from the DVSA show that following the issue of MOT extensions during the first lockdown, one in five (19.5%) of those vehicles have yet to be retested. Even the very last cars to receive an extension have now passed their extended expiry date, yet some 1.86 million of these vehicles still haven’t had a new MOT.