MOT failure increase ‘is to be expected’ as cars are ‘sitting on driveways’

Martin Lewis reveals how to get a 'really cheap' MOT test

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Experts warned cars left idle at home will need extra repair work in the year ahead due to reliability concerns. Experts at BookMyGarage said consumers are now “booking additional services” ahead of the end of lockdown to ensure their cars are safe to use over the summer.

Karen Rotberg, Co-founder of said drivers were looking for “peace of mind” as restrictions begin to ease.

She 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.

“Our data backs that up and it’s good news for those in the franchised sector which are now adapting to secure sector two and three work to rival the fast-fit network.”

New data from BookMyGarage revealed demand for combined MOT and service procedures increased by almost 50 percent last month as MOT only bookings fell.

The analysis found MOT only bookings MOT and service booking were up 48 percent in February when compared to the same month in 2020.

Ms Rotberg’s comments come just days after The Motor Ombudsman also claimed MOT failure rates would rise.

A poll conducted by the group found 58 percent of car garages and repair businesses believe there will be a larger number of MOIT failures this year than in 2020.

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The poll found this was based on the assumption consumers may have been more hesitant to take their car for maintenance and repairs in the pandemic.

Bill Fennell, Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman said garages were set for “challenging periods” over the next year,

He said: “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.

“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 added: “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.”

Recent data from BookMyGarage showed MOT emissions failures have also increased in recent years.

Almost 1.3million vehicles failed their emissions tests in 2019-20 compared to just 745,000 back in 2017-2018 before tougher emissions rules were introduced.

Jessica Potts, Head of Marketing at BookMyGarage said the emissions changes have impacted mainly diesel cars with fail rates more than tripling.

Just 123,000 diesel cars failed emissions tests between 2017 and 2018 wuth over 420,000 failing las year. 

She said: “The regulations have mostly impacted diesel cars, causing more than triple the number to fail, compared to petrol car failures which have only increased by a third.”

Cars can now fail a test if there is any damage or sign of tampering to the Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF).

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