Garages’ MOT discounts likely to be ditched due to backlog of tests

Linda J. Dodson

Drivers requiring an MOT test may have to pay more as garages scrap discounts due to a backlog of unchecked vehicles, according to the AA, an insurer.

Last week, the Government announced the six-month extension granted to all drivers whose MOTs expired after March 30 will now end on August 1 – two months earlier than originally planned.

Concerns were raised that hundreds of thousands of unsafe cars could flood back onto the roads as the lockdown is eased. Motorway.co.uk, a comparison website, found that as many as one million unroadworthy cars could still have a valid MOT.

With a sudden rush to book tests, the cost of an MOT may rise to the maximum charge of £54.85 as garages remove their discounts as demand rises.

Edmund King of the AA, said the easing of lockdown will release months of pent-up requirement to get cars tested, meaning garages offering MOTs will be very busy and therefore no longer need to offer incentives to attract customers.

“After the four months of extended MOTs there will be greater demand and that may lead to a reduction in discounting. We would encourage drivers to book an MOT as soon as possible, even if the extension still applies,” he added.

Garages often offer discounts to attract new customers. While this means a lower margin for the work, it improves their chances of testing vehicles that require further, more costly work.

Discounting on MOT tests has divided drivers. On the one hand, it saves money, crucial now given the financial implications that coronavirus has had on people.

However, others are concerned that the cheaper garages may be more enthusiastic in finding faults, even though this shouldn’t happen as the tests are uniform.

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