The Department for Transport announced that the six-month MOT exemption for cars, vans and motorcycles will end on 1 August.

All drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

Drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a six-month exemption from testing.

Testing capacity has already reached 70 per cent of normal levels and is steadily increasing, according to the DfT.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe.

“That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

“Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

Chris Price, Head of MOT policy at DVSA, said: “MOT testing was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic as a temporary measure to enable vital services to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine.

“In line with the government’s easing of the lockdown measures, the 6-month MOT exemption for cars, vans and motorcycles will end on 1 August.

“Most MOT garages are open, and we encourage drivers to book a test now to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy.

“Our priority is to help people keep their vehicle safe to drive and having an up to date MOT is key to this.”

The DVSA has issued guidance to all MOT testers about safely conducting tests in line with the latest government advice.

MOTs due before 1 August

While exemptions are still available for vehicle owners with an MOT due date before 1 August, it is vital that drivers still take their vehicle to be checked if they notice something is wrong in the same way that they usually would.

If drivers are vulnerable or self-isolating they should contact their local garage as many are offering pick-up and drop-off services, so drivers can get their car checked without having to visit a garage.

More to come…

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The Parts Alliance updates social distancing posters for “1m plus”

The Parts Alliance has updated the free social distancing posters available to customers.

Following the announcement this week that social distancing will reduce to “1m plus” – meaning a recommended minimum distance of 1m – The Parts Alliance has reacted quickly to update the support material available to garages.

The revised social distancing posters clearly show the 1m distancing requirement and are available to download free from the ‘Support Zone’ of the website.

“We welcome this news from the government,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “We know customers are being responsible and cautious but this change provides more flexibility, and the potential to operate closer to full capacity again.”

The Parts Alliance say 2 metre social distancing versions remain available too for garages wishing to maintain their current systems to ensure staff and customers are kept as safe as is practically possible.

“We’ve been developing the resources available to garages,” said Simon. “They can also find free marketing material for battery testing and air conditioning servicing to maximise the opportunities presented by warm weather and people returning to use their cars more.”

The ever expanding Parts Alliance Support Zone contains a wealth of free COVID-19 related resources including posters, social banners and signs

The Parts Alliance suggests garages regularly check the Support Zone section of their website for the latest resources.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

MOTs for lorries, buses and trailers to return in July

Testing for heavy vehicles is to restart from 4 July 2020 but still no word on six-month MOT for cars

Testing for heavy vehicles is to restart from 4 July 2020, the DVSA confirmed.

Heavy vehicles due to be tested in June and July will still get an exemption.

In August, vehicles that have already received an exemption will need to be tested but other vehicles due for a test in August will get a three-month exemption.

The agency is working with authorised testing facilities to resume heavy testing from July 4 and will be increasing the availability of testers over the coming months, in line with social distancing and the latest government guidance.

ADR inspections will also be available from 4 July.

However, testing at some DVSA sites in Scotland won’t be starting immediately.

Heavy vehicle MOT exemptions

Month MOT was originally dueDate it must pass an MOT byTotal exemption
March 202030 September 2020Two 3-month exemptions
April 202031 October 2020Two 3-month exemptions
May 202031 August 2020One 3-month exemption
June 202030 September 2020One 3-month exemption
July 202031 October 2020One 3-month exemption
August 202030 November 2020One 3-month exemption

In a statement released on Friday (19 June), the DVSA said: “We have issued a three-month exemption for vehicles due to be tested in June and will issue further exemptions for July tests.

“This will help us manage demand as we resume testing.

“The exemptions will be applied automatically.

“In August, vehicles which have already received an exemption will need a test.

“All other vehicles due for a test in August will receive a three-month exemption.

“When those exemptions expire, vehicles will need to be brought in for test.”

The six-month MOT exemption for cars, motorcycles and light vans is to remain in place, despite fierce calls for its end.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently said the six-month MOT extension would not be lifted until tests can be “conducted safely” with the “lowest possible risk” to the health of motorists and staff.

Director of the Independent Garage Association (IGA), Stuart James has since said “good progress” was being made in its case to end the exemption during an interview on the Garage Wire Podcast.

The IGA has launched a COVID-19 compliance scheme to provide evidence that independent garages have prepared their premises to be safe for customers.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Watch: REPXPERTs deliver ‘back on track’ packs to garages

Popular packs include social distancing stickers, PPE and posters

Schaeffler has released a new video highlighting the efforts of its REPXPERTS as they deliver ‘back on track’ packs to garages across the UK and Ireland.

The company had well over 2,000 requests for its ‘back on track’ workshop essentials packs, which include a floor sticker and tape to mark out the reception and workshop area, personal PPE, some prominent A2 posters and mirror hanging air fresheners, within just a few days.

For further information about REPXPERT, click here.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Number of MOTs down by more than five million since start of lockdown

New data increases pressure on Transport Secretary to end six-month MOT exemption

More than five million fewer MOTs were carried out during the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown period, a Freedom of Information request to the DVSA has revealed.

During April and May of this year 2,153,768 MOTs were carried out, down from 7,166,566 carried out in the same period in 2019.

The data, which was obtained by used car stocking source, Motorway shows that just 746,157 tests were conducted during the height of the lockdown in April with 1,407,611 carried out in May.

In May, Birmingham saw the highest number of MOTs with almost 40,000 motorists taking their vehicles in for a test, and almost twice as many MOTs (34,469) were carried out by garages in the Sheffield postcode area last month compared to April (18,170).

The DVSA last week announced that testing for heavy vehicles is to restart from 4 July 2020.

The six-month MOT exemption for cars, motorcycles and light vans is to remain in place, despite fierce calls for its end.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently said the six-month MOT extension would not be lifted until tests can be “conducted safely” with the “lowest possible risk” to the health of motorists and staff.

Director of the Independent Garage Association (IGA), Stuart James has since said “good progress” was being made in its case to end the exemption during an interview on the Garage Wire Podcast.

The IGA has launched a COVID-19 compliance scheme to provide evidence that independent garages have prepared their premises to be safe for customers.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Drivers worried about condition of other cars amid MOT exemption but few think their own has problems

Findings indicate false sense of security for many motorists

More than four out of ten motorists (45 per cent) are concerned about the condition of other vehicles on the road because of the six-month MOT extension, a new survey suggests.

However just two per cent of the 2,000 drivers polled in the Halfords survey feel there might be an issue with their own vehicle despite a 30 per cent MOT failure rate.

Industry experts have said the survey findings indicate a worrying false sense of security for many motorists.

Andy Randall, managing director of Halfords Autocentres said: “As non-essential retailers now open and people are easing back into work, we are definitely seeing an increase in the number of people getting their cars prepared for more use.

“We know that leaving cars unused causes safety issues and the increase in services carried out by our technicians shows that customers know it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that, in 2018, 39 people were killed and 378 seriously injured on Britain’s roads in crashes where a vehicle defect was a contributory factor.

Halfords reported a 14 per cent increase in the number of drivers having their cars serviced at its garages this week compared with the same period in 2019.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

TEXA launches AXONE NEMO 2 diagnostics device

Latest generation bring improved performance and IDC5 software

TEXA has released the latest evolution of popular tablet, the AXONE NEMO 2.

A TEXA spokesperson said: “The new version guarantees greater performances and confirms itself as the real top of the range in its category.

“Among its distinctive features: calculation power, communication speed and multi-environment software.”

Ever more quick and powerful, AXONE NEMO 2 guarantees complete and precise operations on vehicles.

The latest generation is available for the car, truck, off-highway, bike and marine environments.

AXONE NEMO 2 has a 12″ capacitive screen, with a 2160×1440 resolution, protected by Gorilla Glass perfectly visible even in the brightest sunlight.

Inside, the Windows 10 Enterprise operating system is powered by an Intel Pentium Quad Core N5000 processor with 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 250 GB PCie SSD storage.

Connectivity is guaranteed by an advanced dual channel Wi-Fi system and a Bluetooth 4.2 module.

Another distinctive feature is the presence of two cameras, one two-mega pixel camera in the front and one 13-mega pixel rear camera complete with flash/flashlight and autofocus, useful to create detailed customer reports or send technical photos to the assistance centre.

The spokesperson added: “Thanks to its powerful hardware and dedicated IDC5 software, AXONE NEMO 2 is amazingly fast, capable of further strengthening its already excellent performances, which featured the previous generation of TEXA tools.

“Given the increasing presence of electronics in vehicles, its great calculation speed represents an even more important aid for technicians.”

For further information, click here.

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OSRAM bulb gets Auto Express win

Night Breaker Laser celebrated for its ‘wide hot spot beam’ and ‘sharp cut off’

OSRAM has outshone competition, with its Night Breaker Laser Next Generation winning the best ‘Headlamp Bulb’ in the Auto Express Product Awards 2020.

According to the judges, the Night Breaker far outperformed its rivals, with the product surpassing the competition in a FOM test.

It also delivered the longest beam at 123 metres, as well as scoring high in the brightest-spot test.

The headlight bulbs’ innovative laser ablation technology and the highly engineered filament enable the bulbs to shine up to 150 per cent brighter

They also provide up to a 150-metre long beam and 20 per cent whiter light compared to the minimum legal standard.

Terri Clark, marketing manager at OSRAM, said: “We’re constantly developing our range to maximise safety and visibility to ensure drivers can spot hazards quickly.

“Night Breaker Laser bulbs are especially designed for this purpose and it’s great to receive recognition from Auto Express based on the bulb’s performance and quality.”

To find out more about the award-winning Night Breaker Laser range, click here.

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GS Yuasa to power ground-breaking smart energy system for Portsmouth Port

Project to provide power for electric vehicle charging and localised grid support

Battery manufacturer, GS Yuasa, is to supply dual chemical battery technology to a cutting-edge Port Energy Systems Optimisation (PESO) project in Portsmouth.

The project will include a dual chemical (lead acid and lithium-ion) hybrid energy storage system at its heart and contribute to plans set out by Portsmouth City Council in what is being praised as the ‘city’s greenest ever budget.’

A big problem for rapid charging of electric vehicles (EVs) is the limited power available to a lot of commercial premises.

This will often be in the 30-50kW range for a medium sized shop or car showroom.

The battery capacity of standard EVs range from 50kWh to 90kWh, so fast charging can overwhelm sites causing the grids to crash.

GS Yuasa’s state of the art containerised solution avoids the need for expensive excavations and relabelling from the grid, reducing the project cost and environmental impact considerably.

The new GS Yuasa dual chemical energy storage system will come in the form of a weatherproof shelter that will be able to supply 100kW of power.

It will use Lithium-ion technology as well as standard lead acid Yuasa ENL battery technology.

These batteries are manufactured at GS Yuasa’s Ebbw Vale factory in Wales where final assembly and integration of the entire system takes place.

The system will allow electric vehicles to be fast charged during the day from electricity supplied overnight at a lower tariff.

PESO is a two-year project co-funded by Innovate UK.

There are three main areas of innovation to the pilot, the first is the construction of the dual chemical battery system, designed by GS Yuasa experts to meet specific port requirements.

The second is advanced management software which will optimise onsite energy generation.

The third area will be the development of smart port grid infrastructure.

All three areas will significantly play a part in the port’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Mark Greer, general sales manager at GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd said: “Our containerised dual-chemical battery system has been designed to create an environmentally conscious energy storage solution.

“As the need to move towards greener energy products increases, we’re delighted to introduce a viable and easily-integrable solution.

“We are committed to providing the latest and best battery technology for all types of applications.

“GS Yuasa batteries are used in deep sea submarines, the International Space Station and a wide range of everything in between.”

GS Yuasa also offer a fully lithium energy storage system for maximum capacity and capability.

It will allow a higher number of EV’s to be charged at a faster and more cost-effective rate, making it the most powerful solution currently on the market.

To find out more about GS Yuasa and Yuasa batteries, click here.

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Concerns for classic cars ahead of switch to E10 petrol

Owners of cars registered up to 2002 advised not to use E10 without modification

Filling stations across the UK will switch from E5 to E10 petrol in 2021 but experts are warning that the new fuel could cause significant damage to classic vehicles and some modern cars produced up to 2011.

Petrol currently sold in the UK contains up to five per cent bioethanol but from 2021 E10 will become the new standard with up to ten per cent bioethanol in the blend.

It’s hoped the move will reduce emissions by as much as 750,000 tonnes per year – equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road.

Problems for older cars

While many cars will run on E5 without significant problems, doubling the amount of ethanol in the fuel can cause issues in older cars.

Ethanol absorbs water from the atmosphere and can cause condensation in fuel tanks, fuel lines and carburettors and cause corrosion in brass, copper, lead, tin and zinc components.

As ethanol is also a solvent it can eat through rubber, plastic and fibreglass, so hoses and seals are likely to perish more quickly because of the higher concentration of ethanol in E10.

In addition, ethanol isn’t as energy dense as petrol which means that the fuel-air mix could be leaner and may increase fuel consumption (in comparison to E5).

The RAC estimates that up to 600,000 cars on the road are not compatible with the new fuel, and it’s not just classics that are affected.

Anyone owning a car made before 2002 is advised not to use E10 – and it can affect cars made up until 2011, according to experts.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) says that there will be an advertising campaign six months before the launch of E10 to advise drivers of the difference between the fuels, and a new website that will allow drivers to check the compatibility of their car with E10 petrol.

Phil Monger, technical director of the PRA said: “Vehicles that are very old will have materials that will not be compatible with E5 either.

“E10 will only hasten the day when it causes you some difficulty with those materials.”

Super unleaded is set to remain at the E5 standard for five more years after the introduction of E10, according to the PRA.

Produced from crops such as sugar beet bioethanol isn’t a fossil fuel and is renewable.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.