Hofmann Megaplan Blog
Traditionally (pre-covid), March & September are the busiest months for MOT testing. April is usually quiet and we don’t see that changing this year.
The MOT extension which was introduced last year when the first lockdown was announced, meant that many vehicle owners postponed their MOT test and they will be waiting the full 12 months before needing another. However, for garage owners across the UK in need of additional revenue to support their business, any April lull will be unwelcome.
It isn’t all bad news though; vehicle owners are being encouraged to forward-think and book their MOT tests in good time, meaning the lull may not be as bad as first anticipated.
So, how can your garage make the most of a quieter period?
Our steps to MOT servicing success in 2021...
Here at Hofmann Megaplan, we have been keeping a close eye on the peaks & troughs throughout the entire pandemic, and we have come up with some suggestions to make the most out of a potentially quiet month in April...
Personal Development & Training
Step one involves getting your team up to speed with the latest MOT CPD and annual assessments, together with training any non-testing staff to help them get up to speed. Ensuring your entire team are up to scratch can make all the difference when the busier months inevitably return later in the year.
There really is no excuse – now that remote learning is at the forefront of training and development in every industry, there are no obstacles in terms of travel to and from training sites; your employees can develop their skills from the comfort of their own home.
MOT Equipment Maintenance & Improvements
Another area for improvement is the efficiency of your MOT equipment. Making sure that your MOT bay receives the proper maintenance and love it deserves, can help to ensure the longevity and reliability of equipment in the long run.
While your essential kit is potentially under-used throughout April, it may be the best opportunity you will have in 2021 for a thorough inspection and maintenance programme. Alternatively, if you feel now is the time to upgrade your MOT bay completely, call our specialist division on 01480 8-9-10-11 to ensure you get the right advice, equipment and support for your MOT services.
Garage Business Planning
When covid struck the UK last March, many garage owners had to draw up a forecast for their business throughout lockdown 1.0 and the remainder of 2020.
A year later we are still dealing with restrictions, so April is the perfect time to review and develop your business plans and forecasts to incorporate long term goals for your garage and services. Having a realistic approach to what you can achieve in 2021 can help to keep you and your team focused on providing an excellent garage repair and maintenance service for your customers.
Development takes place in every industry. It is inevitable. And for business owners, it is highly welcomed to enhance the prowess of their services – the automotive garage sector is no different.
The past few decades have seen some of the most advanced technology come to the forefront of the automotive industry; the introduction of electric/hybrid vehicles, the use of ADAS systems within a vehicle to make driving even easier for road users, the development of garage software to complete routine services...we could go on.
But these developments combined with the increasing need to service brand new technology, poses many questions and issues for garage owners and garage equipment providers.
It is easy to see how the garage services sector needs to keep up with the constantly evolving face of technology available to customers – and so far, we have met their requirements:
So, what can you do to make the transition easier?
Take action to become digital!
Obviously, there will be some scepticism about the impact of digital aids within a garage environment. However, without taking the necessary steps to help the move into the digital age, many garages will find themselves being left behind by their more adventurous competitors.
Here is our advice:
Making sure your employees are aware of emerging technology and then fully trained to cope with using such tools, will not only help your garage become more knowledgeable about the garage services sector, but also will help them hit the ground running when you decide to invest in digital garage equipment.
Choosing the right training supplier can be difficult – many garage equipment providers now offer training with the purchase of any equipment. Our ADAS specialists offer a chance to run through how to use your ADAS system effectively, before you start working on customer vehicles.
Welcome new digital tools with open arms
We understand the difficulty of changing the way your garage operations run and therefore, altering your mindset to welcoming emerging digital aids.
This is the key to succeeding in an age where everything is turning digital though. Opening your eyes to investing in the future, will not only increase the efficiency of your services now but set you up for success in the future.
Trust us – your customers will appreciate it!
Over the duration of the lockdown months, the focus of the MOT sector has been set on the six-month extension announced by the DVSA - due to this, other areas of the MOT world (including MOT connected equipment) have taken a backseat.
Since the end of the lockdown, the DVSA’s “Beat the Rush” campaign has taken centre stage – often with mixed reviews.
The success of the rollout of Connected Roller Brake Testers back in October 2019 and Connected Decelerometers in February this year, is still unknown. However, a lot of garages have been experiencing some difficulties in working the connectivity, which has boiled down to a lack of knowledge by MOT equipment installers.
The biggest connected MOT issue...
All new roller brake testers and decelerometers installed into any garage must be connected to the MOT testing service.
It has been brought to the DVSA’s attention that issues with locating the “key” to connect equipment has been one of the biggest nuances for garage owners, after the install has been completed.
Official DVSA guidance for obtaining a key...
A DVSA spokesperson said: “When the engineer is on-site and ready to install your equipment you need to request a key and give it to them.
“The key will not work at another testing station and only works on one piece of equipment.”
To obtain a software code, users should sign into the MOT testing service and go to the ‘vehicle testing station’ page where they can ‘request a key’ under ‘change and connect equipment’.
Make sure you choose the MOT equipment experts
Ensuring you work with the experts is a must to getting it right first time.
Here at Hofmann Megaplan, our fully qualified engineers have been installing brand new MOT bays throughout the whole of lockdown. Many garage owners have seen the opportunity that has risen over the past couple of months and made sure their equipment is up to scratch to cope with any increase in demand.
Is it about time you did the same?
It is the people of Hofmann Megaplan that make us the best. An easy example of this? Our experts across in the MOT division that specialises in garage preparation, MOT equipment installs and getting business up & running to MOT. It is so much more than just an install.
Why are we considered one of the best in the industry?
The beginning of 2019 saw the integration of our separate ATL MOT site into our renowned main website, in a decisive shift to combine all our services together to showcase the service that has made us famous.
It is safe to say, that journey has got our MOT division booming with new business, throughout the summer and continuing into the tail end of 2019. No one says it better on how we go the extra mile than our valued customers.
A masterstroke that put us ahead of the curve.
Since October, we have been running our new ATL MOT 5 Year Peace of Mind Offer – earning you a potential saving upwards of £3,750 + VAT in calibration fees over the 5-year period.
Available on all orders until the end of the year, this offer covers all MOT bays for sale – which would also see you gain 2 years warranty as standard on your order!
What to expect from 2020.
With the new announcements of connected MOT equipment, we are set to have another busy year in 2020 – equipping even more garages with new equipment.
If we are busy, that means you should be too!
Massive changes are hitting ATL MOT garage services at the moment around connected equipment & it can be tricky to keep on top of what the DVSA now expects of you.
To give you a running start in 2020 & peace of mind with your MOT endeavours, we want to share some of the most important updates that you should really be aware of.
MOT Connected Equipment is on the move!
Over the past 12 months, plans have been in place to roll out new connected MOT equipment standards – in the hopes of making the MOT procedure intuitive, integrated & fraud-proof.
Since October 2019, the DVSA (working alongside the GEA) has completed the successful rollout of connected Brake Testers and announced the introduction of connected Decelerometers from February 1st of this year.
Trails are also being held on emissions testers and headlight testers, with the ambition of them being put into circulation by the end of 2020.
Updated VT01 Form
The well-known MOT application form VT01, has recently been through a facelift too.
Introduced on November 1st 2019, the VT01 application to apply, run or change an MOT station now requests a few extra details as part of the application.
PLEASE NOTE: Any submissions made on the old version of the form, will delay your process.
You can download the new application form here.
Or you could work with Hofmann Megaplan!
We can take care of the entire application process for you as part of our comprehensive MOT Bay install service. Applications, planning, groundworks, calibrations & servicing. If you are searching for someone to install a new MOT bay or looking to upgrade your current MOT bay package, make sure you give us a call.
This is more than a purchase. You are investing in a relationship with us. In return, we’ll ensure you never have a headache from your MOT Bay!
The MOT process as we know it is beginning its biggest change in decades!
Connected brake testers are now a mandatory requirement for all new bays. While garage owners can continue to use their current MOT equipment, any changes or updates must include the ability to connect to the DVSA through your garage's internet.
Brake testers are the first MOT equipment to become connected, with the rest of the bay to follow.
So, what is the reason for this technological change in a process that has run for nearly half a century?
Overlooked & Inaccurate Data
Garage owners want to consistently push for more revenue – after all, isn't that why businesses are created in the first place.
The pressure on MOT testers to perform tests quickly is a constant, as it can mean more customers, but this can overwhelm the assessor so the need for accurate and efficient testing is always a priority!
Details like mileage or even the vehicle registration number can be mis-read (or fraudulently entered) when completing manually.
These simple human errors will be no more in a world of MOT connected equipment.
Fraudulent MOT Activity
As mentioned before, this is sadly a thing!
Fraud has become an all to regular part of the MOT testing conversation, with some facilities using it to increase test numbers, or even allocate a MOT to a vehicle not yet in the country.
Safety is at the forefront of the DVSA's mind,therefore action is needed to eradicate MOT fraud completely.
Most MOT centres continue to follow the rules and regulations, providing valid testing certificates.There are always those who try to cheat the system though.
Not only is this a crime, but the risk of unsafe vehicles being on the road continues to put other drivers and pedestrians lives in danger.
Advantages to the modern garage - everyone must be on-board with Connectivity!
The biggest challenge could be changing the mindset of garage owners and mechanics alike to embrace this new technology change with open arms.
Many will continue to run on their current equipment, but could you be missing out on unexplored benefits from upgrading, as well as equipment offers and trade-in opportunities.
In fact, changing to MOT connected equipment can make your life as an MOT tester much easier in the long term. These new automated processes not only decrease human error at each stage but will also accelerate jobs, making the test more efficient.
More efficient testing = More MOT's completed = More revenue
When should I get MOT Connected Equipment?
As it stands, only brake testers have been deemed as mandatory to connect meaning if you replace or update your current equipment, the new rules from the DVSA apply and you need to have the ability to connect your new brake tester.
Release dates for the next piece of connected equipment are yet to be confirmed though and our team are engaged with the DVSA and GEA in working to ensure we are ready at every change and keeping our customers informed.
Don't be left in the dark about MOT Connected equipment!
You've heard us say before that purchasing the right MOT equipment isn't easy and that it can take time to find the right supplier, from first visit to initial MOT inspection.
Not only that, we live in times where the budget required to make such an investment can be hard to justify. The price of a job is quite low in comparison to the price of equipment needed.
It can take time for garage equipment to pay its way, by it will do so and in tremendous fashion!
Here at Hofmann Megaplan, our many years of specialist experience and after-sales service in the MOT sector have taught us numerous lessons, especially when it comes to supplying our renowned MOT Bay Packages.
Check out our advice on purchasing the MOT Equipment that's right for you:
Heed our expert advice or suffer the consequences...
The new rules on MOT equipment, put forward by the DVSA, are starting to change the game for MOT equipment suppliers and garage owners alike. Extra precautions must be taken to ensure your MOT testing bay adheres to these connectivity rules.
Follow our three steps to MOT greatness:
The centre piece to your MOT operations! A reliable and robust MOT Lift cannot be understated.
Making sure the lift can firstly fit into your garage without a hitch and meeting all regulations, you must be mindful of the difference between a standard 4 post lift and a MOT lift. If there is a lack of space or security features for your operators you're going to be stuck before you start.
Connected Testing Equipment
The new rules brought in by the DVSA have caused a bit of a stir across the MOT sector.However, the possibilities available if the correct equipment is purchased can increase your garages productivity. Offering a seamless flow of automatic data from your testing equipment, these connected tools can supply quick and easy reporting for both you and your customer.
Service - before, during, after
Although not strictly a piece of MOT equipment, the importance of correct planning, application, installation and equipment maintenance is just as valuable as the product itself. Most MOT equipment suppliers will offer some sort of maintenance package – some with warranty, some with parts & labour, some with both.
It is important you read the small print on these plans, as you could be getting less than you originally thought!
MOT connectivity dates to remember!
The introduction of the DVSA's new rules mean new or replacement equipment you buy must be connected.
Not sure if this applies to your equipment? Call us today for an update consultation to ensure you're only upgrading when its needed.
This applies to:
- roller brake testers (from 1 October 2019)
- decelerometers (date to be confirmed)
- diesel smoke meters (date to be confirmed)
- exhaust gas analysers (date to be confirmed)
- headlamp beam testers (date to be confirmed)