• Combined MOT and service work could support workshops as extension comes to an end, says Gavin Ruddick, brand ambassador of SecretService, powered by BookMyGarage.com
  • Millions of “hibernating” vehicles potentially due service work as they lay idle during pandemic, with traffic levels still 45% below pre lockdown levels*
  • Spring and summer staycation car journeys could herald opportunity to increase workshop revenues
  • Real and lasting gains to be achieved through growth in market share in segments 2 & 3
  • January saw a 50% rise in MOT bookings as motorists rushed to get tests done before the extension expired
  • SecretService is filling AM200 retailers’ diaries with 75% conquest bookings and 75% of all bookings from segment 2&3

Workshops are being urged to maximise market share as the six-month boom resulting from the MOT extension fades.

While no more vehicles were officially eligible for the extension from 1st February, there is likely to be some spill over for some weeks, according to Gavin Ruddick of SecretService, powered by BookMyGarage.com.

The uplift could be also sustained as vehicles come out of “hibernation”, as traffic levels are still 45% below pre lockdown levels*.

Workshops are being encouraged to capitalise on the need for service work resulting from fewer, and shorter, journeys, with over 50% of MOT bookings in January also requesting maintenance work.

However, “While vehicles that are in need of service work as they emerge from ‘hibernation’ and the MOT extension overflow will support revenues through to March, they will need to secure market share to ensure performance is strong into the second quarter of 2021,” said SecretServce ambassador, Gavin Ruddick.

“With a roadmap out of the current lockdown in place, spring and summer staycation car journeys could also represent an opportunity to increase workshop revenues in quarter two and beyond.”

The DVSA issued a six-month MOT extension to all vehicles due a test between 30th March and 31st July last year as part of measures designed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the first lockdown.

BookMyGarage.com has helped more than four million motorists obtain instant comparison prices for MOT, service and repair procedures through its network of over 9,000 franchise and independent UK garages.

With the sector hopeful that the lockdown may ease in quarter two, servicing inspections that are now showing overdue from last year may also present an opportunity, especially for those who are considering spring and summer staycations.

“So far this year, we have seen a continued surge in MOT work, which in turn attracts service bookings and other items such as free vehicle health checks, boosting final invoice values. However, this might only last while any remaining owners scramble to get their cars an MOT as the extension expires.

“This is why it is so important to secure additional market share in segments 2&3 (vehicles aged 4 to 9) which will underpin performance for H1. Action needs to be taken in February to access these motorists as consumers are telling us that traditional franchise programmes are often-one-dimensional,” said Ruddick.

Enabling the franchise sector to gain market share and maintain the surge in January, SecretService is helping to fill retailers’ diaries with 75% conquest bookings, while 75% of all bookings are for segment 2 & 3 vehicles – the key growth area over the next two years due to a 40 per cent decline in Segment 1 of the UK vehicle parc.