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Half of garages working at reduced rates

According to a new survey, more than 50% of automotive garages in the UK are running at half their normal capacity.

The survey of garages was conducted by Impression Communications to assess the current state of the marketplace as restrictions to halt the spread of the coronavirus ease.

A total of 56% of garages are operating with a reduced workforce with the remainder of staff on the government’s furlough scheme. In relation to government support, 87% of all garage respondents have received financial help.

The survey asked what social distancing measures had been put in place and 85% are carrying out vehicle sanitisation, while 73% of garages are offering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff and customers.

Areas of work were also explored by the survey, with repairs being the largest part of the business, followed by servicing and then MOTs.

Around 30% of garages were also buying more parts online and seeing motorists do the same, with some garages pointing to a breakdown in communication with their parts suppliers.

On the subject of sales visits, 53% of garages were not accepting in-person attendance and 31% of garages were only happy to do so with an appointment in place. 

Finally, when asked if they would be confident with dealing with the increased level of MOTs when the extension ends, 72% of garages said yes. 

“The survey shows a more gradual return to normality for the automotive aftermarket and also highlights just how tough it has been for garages throughout the UK,” commented Mark Field, Director of Impression. “Garages have also been very effective in putting in place social distancing measures to protect both employees and customers. With confidence growing, the sector is more than able to cope with an increase in MOT demand when the extension ends.”

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