Latest research from Fleet Assist suggests that problems facing MOT bookings during the first lockdown have not been experienced in the second.
Out of the 5,000 strong Fleet Assist network, 99.7% of garages said they remained fully open and operational just eighteen days into the second UK lockdown, with only 16 garages (0.3%) closed.
Compare this to the 46% of garages that remained open during the first lockdown, and the resounding 54% closed, this is an incredible result and truly displays that learnings from the first restrictions have been not only considered, but actioned.
The UK MOT network suffered massively from countless backlogs earlier in the year with just 3,220 sites open, according to Fleet Assist data. Yet at this stage of 2020 there is already a vast improvement with a total of 6,214 sites operating business as usual for vehicles class 4, 5 and 7.
Chris Crow, Head of Network at Fleet Assist commented that “the servicing and MOT landscape in the UK looks very different now than it did in the first lockdown. All garages have learnt from their experiences first time round and have strict procedures in place that have enabled them to stay open for business. This is good news for the economy and for the company car and van driver. This has also helped reduce the backlog of servicing and MOTs from earlier in the year.”
Whilst 2020 saw Brits continuously urged to work from home and avoid all non-essential travel, out of all the challenges garages found themselves facing in a second lockdown, the main one which paved the way for an improved response was how to keep essential workers on the roads whilst ensuring all vehicles were roadworthy and safe.
“We really learned a lot from the first lockdown, and this time round we were fully prepared,” said a spokesperson from LeasePlan UK. “We had already put all the necessary processes in place to ensure our customers stay mobile throughout”.
Just a few months earlier in mid-August, Chief ombudsman and managing director of The Motor Ombudsman, Bill Fennell, urged drivers and fleet managers to get their vehicles booked in “as soon as possible,” meaning they would have a better chance of securing a booking and also help alleviate a large build-up of outstanding tests that could leave MOT stations unable to cope at a later date.
Thankfully, this is exactly what seems to be happening – MOTs are being booked with plenty of time, vehicles are made safe and approved ready for road use, and garages are managing demand in an excellent manner.