Just a minute on MoTs

  02 April 2013

Took my car in for its MoT test this week and it failed – so I can genuinely claim to be one of those motorists going through a ‘distress purchase’ right now. It wasn’t something simple that I could have picked up myself, but it did make me think again about the industry’s newly launched ‘Minute Or Two’ campaign.

In case you missed it, this is a new joint initiative from the SMMT and the NFDA to encourage motorists to carry out 10 quick-and-easy visual checks before taking their car in for the annual test.

Apart from reducing the number of MoT test failures, the idea is that franchised dealerships will be primed to help vehicle owners carry out the visual inspection before the test and fix any faults. There’s a standard industry checklist so that technicians are ready and able to help customers who might be unsure about carrying out the checks themselves.

On all sorts of levels, this is a great idea and one that needs to be wholeheartedly embraced by the industry.

It so happens that I use a local independent for my aftersales (before you start: the nearest franchised workshop is 20 miles away). But, one of the reasons is that I know they do a quick visual check before they send the cars for testing. Bulbs get changed, tyres checked and fluids topped up – sometimes at no charge.

A recent survey carried out by SMMT revealed that over a third of motorists were unaware that the majority of franchised workshops even offered manufacturer-guaranteed MoT testing. And it remains a part of the business where the franchised sector is weak.

Perhaps your dealership does something similar, alongside the traditional free winter and summer safety checks; but I wonder if the typical older car owner would think of turning to a franchised workshop for a free anything. Sadly, it’s not the image we portray.

This campaign offers a great opportunity to do something about that – and recover some of those customers back into your business.

Rupert Saunders

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