A hot topic in the automotive industry right now is the shortage of MOT testers in the UK and how this might affect wait times for MOT tests in the coming months.
There are several reasons for the shortage, for example:
• more MOT testers are reaching retirement age
• there is a lack of new entrants to the profession
• the cost of training and certification continues to rise
• the lack of financial incentives for people to become MOT testers
• advancements in technology are increasing the complexity of vehicles
The first two points are backed up by data from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), which estimates that there are around 10,000 fewer MOT testers in the UK than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s estimated there are currently around 64,000 MOT testers in the UK. However, the DVSA estimates that the number of MOT tests needed each year is around 30 million, leaving a shortfall of around 16,000 testers.
Why does it matter?
The shortage of MOT testers is a serious problem, as it could put road safety at risk. MOT tests are essential to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy and meet safety standards, and without enough MOT testers, there’s a risk that vehicles that are not safe will be allowed on the road.
What can be done in the interim?
The first piece of advice may be obvious, but still worth saying: consider using a mobile MOT tester, if available.
As importantly, you need to keep your customers aware of the situation. So, while this challenging situation is being resolved, help your customers to stay ahead of the game as much as possible … and this will help you to manage a difficult situation, too!
The last thing you need is angry customers clogging up your phone lines. So use your lines of communication: website, emails, newsletters, social media platforms, etc., to keep customers informed.
For example, let them know to:
• book their MOT test as early as possible
• be prepared to wait a few weeks for an appointment.
It’s better to keep customers aware of the tester shortage situation and manage their expectations than ignore them and risk them becoming frustrated! Regular customers will respect you for doing so and remain loyal.
The government will want to do everything possible to help ensure that road safety is not compromised. The DVSA is working to address the shortage of MOT testers by increasing the number of training courses available, and there are industry ‘rumblings’ that steps are being taken to attract new people into the profession by making it easier for people to become MOT testers, and there could be financial incentives for training.
None of this is confirmed as yet, though, and the MOT tester shortage is a complex issue. Whatever measures are put in place, it’s likely to take some time before the shortage is resolved, and it’s one the entire industry agrees needs to be addressed.
If you need a chat on what you can do to ease your situation – like ensuring the testers you have completed their IMI Level 2 tester qualification and their annual training and assessment – don’t hesitate to contact us.