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£54m MOT repair bill awaiting van drivers, warns Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

With the average bill to repair a failed MOT test standing at £143, UK’s van drivers face an estimated repair bill of £54 million, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has warned.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles urges 1.2 million van drivers who missed their MOT during lockdown to get safety checks as exemption ends
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles urges 1.2 million van drivers who missed their MOT during lockdown to get safety checks as exemption ends

An estimated 1.2 million vans had their MOTs postponed during the COVID-19 lockdown exemption, which lifts on 1 August, according to an investigation by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The brand is urging drivers to get vans checked and repaired safely and professionally.

Analysis of historical MOT tests suggests that a third of vans are likely to fail their MOT, leaving nearly 400,000 vans on the road that are officially legal but likely to require critical maintenance for issues such as lighting defects, suspension flaws and brake faults.

While exemption rules lift on 1 August, requiring drivers to now adhere to their existing MOT dates, those who were due an MOT at the start of lockdown in April don’t have to book a test, and pay for subsequent repairs, until October. This means several months with vans on the road with potential defects.

David Hanna, head of aftersales at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “While the MOT exemption was necessary to help van drivers work during lockdown, our investigation has highlighted how many vehicles could now be on the road in unsafe condition. As part of our ‘Working With You’ promise, we include MOT test fees in servicing plans and offer 0% finance on vehicle servicing and repairs to help drivers deal with unexpected bills.

“We’d urge drivers to get a vehicle condition check at their Van Centre and also take advantage of the fact you can book an MOT test a month before expiry and still preserve the anniversary of the expiry date. This will ensure the majority of vans are up to standard as soon as possible.”

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Written by Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.

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