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14th Apr 2020 by Travis Mitchell
On Wednesday of last week, the DVLA moved the goalposts yet again. This time, they removed their advanced blanketing of vehicles eligible for a 6 month extension. We believe this is the most sensible action. They are now taking things one day at a time.
If you are NOT trading, please inform MOT Manager now via LiveChat.
6 MONTH EXTENSION
Many MOT garages and customers both believed that a 6 month extension is being applied to ALL vehicles over the next 6 months. This is NOT the case and never has been the case.
If you or your customer checks a vehicle today - and the MOT expiry date is a few weeks away - you will notice that the MOT expiry date still shows the original date. No 6 month extension applies. So why is this?
To understand this, you need to understand the mechanism the DVSA is using to apply extensions to vehicles.
The DVSA are taking into account the current state of alarm at any given moment. Therefore while a state of alarm is in effect, every day they update all vehicles with an MOT due within approximately 48 hours and apply the 6 month extension to them.
However, if the state of alarm is lifted, it is extremely likely they will stop applying extensions. The MOT expiry date will then remain the same.
For those customers who choose to wait, checking for an extension at the last minute may mean they have as little as 48 hours to get an MOT carried out or risk driving illegally.
Therefore, MOT Manager are currently sending reminders as normal since the blanket extension was lifted. Unless instructed otherwise, the reminder is take the form of the following example:
|"The MOT on ABC123 is due on 01-04-2020. As yet the DVLA have not yet granted an expiry extension to your vehicles so we recommend you book to avoid being without a valid MOT or call us for advice. Please call ABC MOT on 01234567890"|
However, we have taken several support calls from garages this morning since making the change.
They tell us that customers have called them saying they have been told "they do not have a 6 month extension" in their SMS reminder.
Firstly, please remind your customers, the message does not say they do not have an extension. The message states that "the DVSA have not yet granted an extension". Which is factually correct.
The job of MOT Manager is to send out timely and accurate MOT reminders and to get your phone to ring, help you turn these reminders into paid jobs and ensure vehicles remain legal and roadworthy.
With a large percentage of drivers believing that they have a 6 month extension automatically, it is important that MOT Manager educates them that an extension is not guaranteed. This is going to mean that you are going to receive calls from confused customers.
Therefore, we hope that when a customer calls you, you can educate the customer about how the extensions actually work and how it applies to their vehicle.
If a customer wants to wait until 48 hours before their expiry to see if they are given an extension, it is a risky approach.
If the state of alarm is lifted then it is highly unlikely they will get an extension and they will begin to panic and attempt to get an MOT urgently. This will apply to tens of thousands of other people at the same moment. This will make booking in extremely difficult and may mean they are without an MOT for some period of time until the MOT stations catch up with the backlog of last minute bookings.
The second - and logical approach - is that you recommend that the customer simply books in for MOT as normal before the current MOT expires. Not only will this mean the MOT is carried out to suit the schedule of the customer but most importantly ensures their vehicle remains roadworthy.
Remember, the most important talking point is that a 6 month month extension means they will be driving a vehicle for 18 months without a proper MOT check.
ON A FINAL NOTE
MOT Manager is committed to our garages - and to keeping your customers legally on the road. Once restrictions are lifted, due to the mass of confusion, we will re-check the MOT expiry of tens of thousands of vehicles on our system between 1st March 2020 and 31st December 2020 to obtain an ABSOLUTELY ACCURATE MOT expiry date.
Of these vehicles, where we find any which have an MOT due - or where the MOT expired due to customer ignorance - we will send an SMS to the customer to book their MOT.
Provided you are using MOT Manager properly and have been adding vehicles to the reminder system regularly - or use the virtual diary - you can be assured that MOT Manager will look after sending accurate MOT reminders for your customers no matter what changes are made by the DVSA.
Remember, if your garage is closing for any period, please get in touch as soon as possible via LiveChat at MOT Manager.