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MOT concerns for Fleets ease as expected surge fails to materialise

MOT concerns for Fleets ease as expected surge fails to materialise

Fleet owners’ concerns over MOT availability have been eased as the expected surge in demand has failed to materialise.

With many motorists deferring their MOTs, the fear was that demand could spike as we headed into the autumn.

That’s because most MOTs are conducted in March and October each year, due to how vehicles are manufactured and purchased, and because restrictions relating to the pandemic have eased in recent months.

But despite those fears, there wasn’t a significant increase in MOTs being conducted in September.

So, what happened?

Experts have analysed information that shows that 52,000 MOTs were carried out in September 2021 – which is only 2,000 more than the 49,000 that were conducted in September 2019 (the last pre-COVID year-on-year comparable month).

The Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) reported over the summer that more than 500,000 additional tests would be needed as we headed into autumn…

But it now appears that may not materialise at all.

In fact, data has shown that fleet, commercial vehicle, and company car owners, have continued to put safety first throughout the pandemic by booking MOTs as usual.

Admittedly, there was a dip in the number of MOTs being booked in Spring 2020 when the pandemic first hit in the UK, but what then happened was a significant rise in bookings in September and October 2020 – which appears to have compensated for the initial drop-off.

But is there still a reason for concern?

The likelihood is that the excess demand forecast by the DVSA in the summer may still materialise…

But it’s far more likely that the demand will be from private motorists – so rather than fleet owners needing to worry about the safety of their vehicle due to an extended period without an MOT, it’s private owners that need to be aware of any increase in demand.

It’s not the only reason that MOTs have been at the forefront of our minds, though…

Digital MOTs and driving licences

The DVLA is planning to create an app specifically for driving licences that will be ready to launch in 2024.

If everything runs smoothly, the plan will be to scrap full physical licences entirely and move to digital-only.

The changes could see physical licences scrapped altogether in favour of digital versions, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps indicating that the government is planning to move away from physical licences.

It’s not just licences that are set for changes, though. Shapps also stated that paper test certificates could be done away with, while MOTs need to be brought “into the modern age”.

The UK would be following the lead of South Korea, Mexico and Iceland, which have all adopted digital licences in recent years.

MOTs and driving tests are still conducted using elements of physical paperwork, with the Transport Secretary aiming to change that over the next few years.

Has your fleet operated in a ‘normal’ manner for MOTs in the last year? Have you seen an increase in demand? And are you aware of the changes announced for driving licences and MOTs? Let us know at info@drivingmonitor.com