Test sta­tion blues

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Dealer’s Diary -

The MOT test sta­tion I use is re­lent­lessly up­beat. All they do is test cars, bikes and light com­mer­cials. But the other Satur­day, they were mis­er­able and off home early – vir­tu­ally un­heard of.

They’ve lost a lot of cus­tom lately, partly due to a lo­cal price war and partly due to cus­tomers not both­er­ing to re­pair their fail­ures.

They’re not both­ered about the price war – their com­peti­tors can’t af­ford a new gas anal­yser for the Euro 6 emis­sions test­ing rolling out in May. It’s an ex­pen­sive up­grade for my test sta­tion, but their ri­val will need to buy anew. As a re­sult, many testers will fall by the way­side. Also, the prom­ise of cheap tests makes no busi­ness sense. Many cus­tomers don’t come back if a car has failed, as it’s cheaper (in theory) to take a PCP on a new car.

It’s these cur­rent man­u­fac­turer in­cen­tives that are hav­ing the big­gest ef­fect. Even through the scrap­page scheme of­fered dur­ing the last re­ces­sion,

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