Workshops adapting to a ‘new norm’ despite six-month MOT extension

A series of Auto Torque surveys has helped reveal the effects and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the UK’s automotive aftermarket.

More than 1,000 people responded to the surveys during April and May, with independent garages making up the largest business sector.

In the most recent survey, which was live between April 30 – May 5, 74 per cent of garages were either fully or partially open for business, up from 69 per cent from the previous survey held April 17 – 23.

Simon Moore, head of marketing at The Parts Alliance said: “Early responses showed a significant reduction in jobs coming into the workshop which was to be expected given the UK’s lockdown but it was when the six-month MOT exemption came into play that many garages were forced to close.

“We’re aware of well-established garages now fearing for their future as a direct result of this exemption.”

Pressure is continuing to mount over the six-month MOT exemption with both the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation and the Independent Garage Association writing to government with renewed concerns as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

“Despite all of this though, we can see that independent garage owners are already adapting to the ‘new normal’. Many that had closed are either open or about to reopen which is really encouraging to see,” Simon added.

In the latest survey, 64 per cent of respondents were optimistic about the future of their business, up from 58 per cent in the previous survey.

The Parts Alliance has made available a range of free online resources to help garage owners through the pandemic including business tips and advice, marketing files, training activities and more.


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