DVSA action to help manage MOT demand ‘not enough’, test stations say

Garages reporting early increase in testing demand and call on DVSA to do more

The DVSA’s recently unveiled ‘beat the rush’ campaign has come up against criticism from testing stations for not going far enough to help manage testing demand.

The campaign calls on garages to encourage their customers to bring their MOT test forward ahead of the increase in testing demand this autumn.

A “free toolkit” for test stations includes draft messages for social media, email and text communications and graphics for use on garage websites and social posts.

However, a number of garage owners have expressed concern about the way in which the DVSA is managing the problem following the reintroduction of mandatory testing on 1 August.

Commenting on the DVSA’s Matters of Testing Blog, David Simpson said: “This should have been put out as soon as government announced [the] change to [the] extension scheme.

“Obviously the national media/tv/press would be the obvious choice to get the message to the widest possible audience.”

Martin said: “You (DVSA) need to ask VTS at the sharp end when and what would be the appropriate action to get the MOT scheme back on track seeing as they are the ones that have done all your troubleshooting and proof reading of the MOT scheme so far.”

The number of tests is expected to overtake pre-exemption demand this month and is forecast to continue rising before reaching a peak around October/November when the volume of tests is expected to be 200 per cent above normal levels.

The data suggests testing won’t return to normal levels until around February 2021 before a significant drop in demand come March, marking one year since the six-month MOT exemption was announced.

Commenting on the GW Facebook page, Dewi Jones wrote: “We are already flat out on mot couldn’t encourage more if we wanted to.”

Meanwhile, the DVSA is also facing criticism over its communications.

Richard said: “I had to try and contact technical on the phone.

“I gave up and had to make the right/wrong decision myself.

“I cant afford the time to wait on the line for 45 mins to get an answer.

“As testers there should be a way we can by by-pass the COVID message and all the pushing of numbers on the phone to get an answer.

“How about introducing a live chat via the MOT system?”

Many stations suggest that now’s the time for the DVSA to increase the test fee and set a fixed price.

Dougal said: “Does this new DVSA ‘working together’ attitude extend to updating the test fee to reflect 10 years of inflation?”

Alistair Mayne said: “Unfortunately it doesn’t matter what DVSA do to the MOT testing fee, until it’s made mandatory no-one will be able to charge the correct full price as we have too many other testing stations close to us heavily discounting the price.”

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