Experts warn car MOT failures will be higher this year

Experts have warned that cars that have been sitting on driveways during the pandemic will likely need extra repair work in the year ahead.

New research from the Motor Ombudsman has found that 58% of garages and car repair business think MOT failure rates will be higher this year.

This was because drivers were overall hesitant to take their cars for a service, or purchase additional upgrades, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many cars won’t have been used for months, or not been used as regularly, due to the lockdown, which is likely to cause further issues.

Bill Fennell, managing director of The Motor Ombudsman warned that garages might suffer “challenging periods” in the year ahead, as a result of MOT backlogs.

It was possible to get an MOT in all the lockdown tiers at the end of 2020, providing all safety measures were taken.

But undoubtedly many will have swerved getting a service, and just got the mandatory MOT check.

Mr Fennell added: “The research offers an interesting insight from those businesses that are ‘on the ground’ conducting the MOT tests.

“It is encouraging to see that the majority estimate that MOT volumes will hold up during the peak months, but there is equally an element of concern that demand may also be lower than March and September last year.

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“There will also undoubtedly be more challenging periods for businesses in between, such as in April and May, due to the knock-on effect of motorists using the government’s six-month MOT extension introduced in response to the pandemic.”

Mr Fennell continued: “Even if consumers have done less mileage in the 12 months leading up to their MOT, and with more test failures on the horizon, as our study has shown.

“It remains crucial for vehicle owners to sign up for the free MOT reminders and get the test completed on time or earlier to avoid compromising their own safety, and that of others when on the road.”

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has urged motorists to check their vehicles thoroughly as lockdown restrictions star to ease.

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Many may not have used their cars for several months, meaning they could “face some common problems”.

You can check if you have these common problems before your MOT test and rectify them, which will help the likelihood of passing.

The DVSA has said to check lights, tyres and screen wash, which are the most common issues reported at MOT tests.

They have asked road users to stay SAFE, by remembering to:

  • Service their car if necessary
  • Air in tyres,
  • Fill up screen wash
  • Examine lights and tread dept

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Experts at BookMyGarage said consumers are now also “booking additional services” ahead of the end of lockdown to make sure their cars are safe to drive in summer.

Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage.com, said: “An increase in MOT failures and resulting repair work is to be expected given how much longer cars have been sitting idle on driveways in the last year.

“This could mean consumers are booking additional services to give extra peace of mind as people start looking ahead to lockdown ending.”

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