Millions of motorists are expected to book tests in September – dubbed ‘Super September’ – as vehicles that were due for MOTs between March 30 and July 31 2020 were able to defer by six months due to the pandemic. Consequently, large numbers of cars, motorcycles and light vans required evaluation after this grace period, resulting in huge demand for testing at the time. This original backlog of vehicles is now expected back in workshops a year later for their next MOT, leading to another huge wave of tests for workshop owners and operators.
Yet according to Roy Prosser, Product Manager at Continental sister brand Crypton, only garages that conduct a full audit of their MOT testing equipment ahead of this boom will feel its full benefits. By contrast, not ensuring necessary tools such as emissions testers are in optimum working condition could increase the chance of breakdowns and disruption, resulting in the loss of much-needed revenue.
“We all know the old saying of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, and this definitely applies to testing equipment at the moment,” explains Roy. “Much like other sectors, the pandemic hit garages and workshops hard and recovery is still underway, so this expected peak in demand is vital to the long-term stability of many businesses.
“Consequently, we would advise all facility owners and operators that now is the time to calibrate your equipment and carry out essential maintenance, and nowhere is this more apparent than with emission testers. As an industry, we would always recommend that motorists check their vehicle’s condition and take preventative measures if necessary, and the same advice applies to garages and workshops with their equipment. Not doing so could put entire MOT bays out of action at the worst possible time, making garages less competitive as a result.”
According to Roy, age and colder weather are the most common factors behind emission tester breakdowns, so replacing any impaired tools ahead of darker nights drawing in and plummeting temperatures is vital. With new equipment now required by law to be connected to the Government’s cloud-based MOT Testing Service (MTS), garages and workshops opting for new models can also carry out tests quickly and more efficiently.
“Because new equipment such as our own emissions analyser is linked to the MTS, possibility of human error through manual entry is eliminated, resulting in faster, more accurate checks and data,” Roy concludes. “With demand for vehicle tests expected to skyrocket, even a small time saving per test could have a big impact if replicated over the coming months, especially if these analysers also use vehicle communication interface units. However, if action is not taken to repair or replace ageing equipment now, garages may not be able to take full advantage of the coming spike, and may even lose invaluable business.”