Autotech Recruit have announced a tenfold uplift in the number of MOT tests carried out by its network of temporary vehicle technicians in June compared to May - signaling the automotive aftermarket is on the road to recovery.
However, almost 10,000 more MOTs were carried out by Autotech Recruit contractors within the same period in June 2019, providing a glimpse of the number of cars which have not been tested as a result of the exemption.
Now, with the government facing rising pressure to axe the extension, a high surge of cars coming through for MOTs could overload the aftermarket if they do not have sufficient labour resources.
Throughout the industry, MOTs plummeted by 70% during April and May compared to 2019.
Over 5 million cars currently remain untested and, with one in three cars failing their MOT on average, this could mean that 1.6 million are now unroadworthy.
With the three-month MOT exemption for heavy vehicles set to be lifted on July 4 and motor industry bosses calling for the six-month extension on cars to be abolished, the aftermarket could see a huge surge in customers demanding MOTs over a short space of time.
If under-resourced to deal with this uplift in MOT demand, garages and workshops across the country could lose out on a vital cash injection. Industry bosses also need to factor in a reduced workforce due to shielding and isolation if a member of staff, or their family, becomes ill with COVID 19.
An empty MOT ramp could result in a possible loss in profit of up to £3,000 per week. To maintain this potential income, spending just an additional £50 per day on a vetted temporary vehicle technician or MOT tester, on top of normal labour costs, to cover an empty ramp makes clear financial sense.
“The green shoots of the industry’s recovery are beginning to appear,” comments Simon King, MD of Autotech Recruit. “However, faced with a backlog of testing, and a potential decrease in staff due to Covid-19, garages need to have contingency plans in place to deal with MOT uplift and run at full capacity.”