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The Motor Ombudsman warns of busy times ahead for garages

The Motor Ombudsman is expecting a significant increase in searches by consumers on its online Garage Finder tool during the coming weeks, as millions of motorists look to secure a booking at an MOT station for their vehicle’s annual test. 

According to the latest figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), nearly seven million MOTs are due to expire across England, Scotland and Wales during September and October, which is around 1.3 million more, or a 22% overall rise, compared to what would ordinarily be seen during these two months in a typical year.

A busier end to the year for the mandatory tests for vehicles that are aged three years and over, is a knock-on effect of the six-month MOT exemption introduced between 30th March and 31st July 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With 9.58 million drivers choosing to take advantage of this opportunity to postpone the annual assessment, the organisation highlights that this has subsequently altered the peaks and troughs in testing volumes that would normally be witnessed across a calendar year.

During the first six months of the 2021, more than 160,000 searches were conducted on the Garage Finder, a 60% increase versus the same period last year. It is also one of the most frequented pages on The Motor Ombudsman website, thereby highlighting the Garage Finder’s status as a “go-to” resource for drivers when looking for a vehicle repairer or retailer.

“After a small uptick in the number of MOTs forecast to expire during August, there is a notable acceleration in the volume of MOT certificates due to come to an end in September and October,” said Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of the Motor Ombudsman. “This means that it’s going to be an extremely busy period for MOT stations up and down the country during the next few weeks.”

MonthTotal typical volume of MOTs expiring per month (2019)Total MOTs forecast to expire per month in 2021Difference (forecast v typical)
August2,238,1892,347,757109,568 (+ 5%)
September3,088,0753,607,357519,282 (+ 17%)
October2,592,1253,345,097752,972 (+ 29%)
OVERALL TOTAL(SEP / OCT) 5,680,2006,952,4541,272,254 (+ 22%)
Source: DVSA

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