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MOT test delays

 Published 24th September 2021
Driver Guides  General Guides 

Back in 2018 you decided to lease yourself a brand-new car. You got your servicing plan in place, tax and insurance were sorted, you've sailed through the last three years of trouble-free driving and now it's time to hand the car back and choose your next lease car .

Unless you took out a four-year lease, in which case you have a different decision to make. You've got to arrange your car's very first MOT.

The Motor Ombudsman is expecting a significant increase in searches 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, nearly seven million MOTs are due to expire across England, Scotland and Wales during September and October. That 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.

The cause of the increase is simple.

Between 30 March and 310 July 2020, the government introduced a six-month exemption to allow people to keep moving when there were no garages open for testing. That was absolutely the right decision, but the 9.5 million drivers who took advantage of the exemption have subsequently altered the peaks and troughs in testing volumes that would normally be witnessed across the year. A busier end to this year is a knock-on effect of last year's pause in testing.

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of the Motor Ombudsman, said:

“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. 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.”

The increase for August is only 5%, which works out an extra 109,000 MOT tests for the month. Spread across the whole country that is relatively easy to manage. Unfortunately, September's increase shoots up by 17% and October will be up a whopping 29%. In real numbers that means an extra half a million MOTs in September and more than 750,000 more in October. That means our MOT test centres are going to have to check around 3.5 million cars each month.

That's going to make it quite difficult to find a slot to get your car tested. So, if you took out a four-year lease back in 2018 you're going to need to get your car an MOT now. You can book up to a month (minus a day) earlier than the deadline so the sooner you get on it the better.

And if you need a little help finding a test slot, the Garage Finder is accessible via the blue button situated at the top of every page of The Motor Ombudsman's website . It lists thousands of independent garages, body repair centres and franchise dealer workshops across the UK, that are following the Ombudsman's Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair. The tool allows motorists to search for their nearest accredited business by location and make of car, amongst other criteria, submit booking enquiries, and read the latest ratings and reviews left by other consumers on the profiles that are listed on the portal..

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