“It is crucial that franchised dealers’ workshops stay open to help the Government meet its goal of keeping freight transport on the roads operating, by ensuring that thousands of vans and smaller commercial vehicles will continue to able to be serviced and repaired”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK in a letter addressed to the Government.
NFDA has written to Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, to outline franchised dealers’ priorities during the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak in relation to workshops opening and MOT testing.
NFDA understands that the vehicle technicians who are being asked to continue to work at franchised dealers’ premises will fall under the definition of key workers, in line with the Government guidance which states that key workers in the transport sector “includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.”
Sue Robinson added, “Workshops are vital in ensuring that critical vehicles can continue to operate safely and efficiently during these extremely challenging times”.
Additionally, at a time when many vehicle owners are going to be ill, in quarantine or social distancing, NFDA does not think it is reasonable to require them to venture out to get their vehicles MOT-tested.
NFDA believes the temporary drop in income for those who carry out the test could be compensated by the many support schemes for businesses and workers that the Chancellor has already announced.
Robinson added, “Due to the current circumstances, we also call on the Government to introduce an immediate three-month moratorium on MOT testing which would reduce social contact”.
“NFDA would welcome the opportunity to further discuss the suggested measures with the Department for Transport”.
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.