15 Jun 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

MOT demand drives 82% increase in Motor Ombudsman Garage Finder searches

The Motor Ombudsman’s Garage Finder recorded an 82% rise in searches in the third quarter of 2020 when compared to the preceding three-month period, with MOT demand being a major driver of interest.

Between 1 July and 30 September, the online tool was called on by users to locate a UK-based car retailer or repairer that is accredited to the Ombudsman’s Service and Repair and Vehicle Sales Codes of Practice a combined total of 66,187 times, compared with 36,290 in the previous three-month period. It also represented a slight increase on the 65,198 seen between January and March.

The near doubling of user searches mirrors increased consumer demand for MOTs following the lockdown period where many garages temporarily closed their doors, and 56% of motorists postponed the annual test using the government’s six-month exemption, according to a recent Motor Ombudsman poll.

Motorists have also been encouraged to get their car tested before the end of the exemption in order to ease the pressure on MOT stations, which resulted in a significant rise in throughput compared to what is ordinarily seen in a typical year. According to the latest figures from the DVSA) 310,000 more MOTs and retests were carried out in August this year compared to the same period in 2019, whilst a total of 3.7 million MOTs took place this September, which is around half a million higher than the 3.25 million monthly average seen during the 2019 – 2020 financial year.

Commenting on the findings, Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, said:  “With many MOTs still outstanding across the country, combined with the demand for regular routine maintenance, our Garage Finder will also continue to prove particularly beneficial to help find an alternative Motor Ombudsman-accredited business in their local area, should the consumer’s regular garage be fully booked. With daily searches already averaging in excess of 700 in October, user traffic is showing no signs of slowing as we enter the last quarter of 2020.”

For more information, visit www.TheMotorOmbudsman.org/garage-finder