It’s no secret that the government is looking to go ahead with changes to the MOT system – this is for a number of reasons but will actually bring us in line with a number of other countries on the continent (whether they have our wet and cold climate is another issue altogether mind).
Reg Rix, managing director of Netcars.com, outlines the impact that the proposed Government changes to MOT testing may have on motor dealers:
“Some independent dealers may see this as a money-saving opportunity. A longer period between tests means less outlay on updating the MOT certificates of current stock and more cash in their pocket.
Yet attracting buyers may not be as straight forward as before. Even though dealers may have religiously looked after their stock, consumers might show extra caution if an MOT hasn’t been conducted close to the selling period of the vehicle. In normal circumstances, a vehicle with at least three to six months MOT left on it is a strong pull for a buyer. However, should the law change take place, it means that car dealers could sell a vehicle that hasn’t been professionally looked at for over 18 months, which may put some prospective buyers off.
Some dealers may actually get a new MOT completed, even though they are not required to by law and will be financially no better off, just to provide added value in their selling pitch and peace of mind to the buyer.
Also, MOT testing has historically been a stable source of income for franchise dealers through their MOT and service centres and a key tool for attracting new customers. While their car is in the workshop being tested, customers tend to browse the showroom and provide the dealers with an opportunity to sell.
If the law is passed, dealers that currently have an MOT and Service centre will have to push existing sales opportunities and add-ons even harder – such as increasing the number of extended warranties they sell or increasing F&I penetration to bring in extra revenue. Equally, they could just raise the price of an MOT.
A reduction in the frequency of MOTs will also see a higher a number of unsafe vehicles on the road. In the year 2009/10, 37.25%* of all class 4 vehicles (cars, light vans etc) failed MOT tests, while 46.3%* of class 7 vehicles (long wheel-based vans etc) also failed to pass.”
Mr Rix makes some extremely valid points, not least the road safety aspect. I’m not convinced that we’ve seen enough of a reason to change the system, though I certainly do appreciate that cars are far more safe now than they have ever been. That doesn’t mean however that they don’t go wrong and things like larger speed bumps, complex eletrics systems and harsh winters can all have an impact on whether a car will pass or fail an MOT test.