Preparing for a surge in MOT demand

Break Fitting

MOT testing is set to resume, and there will be a backlog with extended MOTs set to expire in October. How do you get ready for this?

When the government offered an automatic six-month extension to MOTs in April, it was not known how long lockdown would continue and when garages would resume testing.

Now, with MOT testing due to start in August again, there could be a backlog of vehicles awaiting service and repair. In fact, with 1 in 3 cars failing their MOT on average, there could be up to 1.6 million vehicles on the road that would officially be classed as ‘unroadworthy.’

This is a dangerous situation – and one where service and repair garages, and MOT stations, can play a part in ensuring the safety of everybody across the country.

During times when there were many fewer vehicles on the road, this wasn’t as much of a concern. Now drivers are back behind the wheel, there could be a catalogue of issues about to unravel…

How can the service and repair industry manage this?

The good news – it could start to be busy…

For many garage owners, the lack of business has been crippling.

Now, though, garages are set to see vehicles returning in big numbers.

With an estimated 90% of garages open again, that still leaves 10% that aren’t. That means not only will you have existing customers returning for their MOTs, but many new customers who won’t be able to go to their normal garage.

So, how do you prepare for the increased demand?

Our simple 5 step checklist to prepare for MOT demand


  1. Sort out your calendar. If you rely on automated software to send out MOT reminders to customers, make sure it’s up to date. You’ll then have customers whose vehicle is due for renewal at the same time as those who have been put back 6 months. Make sure there is time in your calendar to deal with the extra tests due from October onwards.
  2. Contact existing customers in advance of their MOT renewal date. If they have been granted an extension to October (or later), get them into your garage now for any service or repair work needed. This should ensure they go through their MOT with the necessary work already completed or flag any potential issues before they develop. That way, the MOT test should be more straightforward, and vehicle safety before the MOT is due is paramount. It also means customers won’t be waiting with their vehicle off the road if it fails its MOT and you’ve got lots of work with other vehicles at the same time.
  3. Make sure people know you are open NOW. Seems obvious. But while you may have informed existing customers, there’s no harm in spreading the word throughout your local community – whether it’s through your website, social media, local newspapers or radio. Attracting new business as people get back to work puts you on the front foot, and can help you gain existing loyal customers moving forward.
  4. Ask customers to recommend a friend. Many businesses are built upon recommendations. During these unusual circumstances, ask your customers to refer friends or family members to your garage for essential service and repairs, as well as MOTs when they are due. You could offer customers a small incentive for doing this, or simply rely on the good nature of people who realise you are making up for lost time and showing you are there for your community.
  5. Order stocks and supplies while you can. Though motor factors have done a great job through this crisis, the increased demand that’s likely in the weeks ahead means ensuring you have common parts in stock now can save delays further down the line – especially where there could be supply chain issues ordering parts from overseas.

It’s all common sense, but ensuring you are ready for more vehicles coming your way – including stock and staffing levels are right – can really help you stay ahead of the game.

How we can help

Bollington provide a full range of services to assist your business - not just insurance.

This includes ensuring a Covid-secure environment in your workplace, and providing employee assistance programmes to help with issues affecting staff during - and after - the current crisis.

If you'd like to find out more, just speak to your Bollington account manager, or call 0161 929 1851 to speak to our motor trade account managed team.