Peter Vosper, chairman of the Vospers Group, writes for the Torbay Weekly
As a result of the lockdown, the Government allowed any MOTs due between March 30 and July 31 to have an extension and there is now a concern those who delay until September, October and November will find a lack of availability at their MOT station.
There were no extensions allowed from August 1 so you should check with your local dealer to ensure this work can be carried out to keep you on the road.
Motability customers granted an extension should also check with their local dealer and get their postponed service completed.
Demand at franchised dealers has been very high in all areas since lockdown ended and catch up has added to regular demand.
Some dealers have also been unable to return all their employees to work as they may be vulnerable or involved in shielding loved ones.
Although some employees are able to work from home, this does not include technicians who need their ramps, tools and parts to carry out their jobs.
To add to the workload, used car sales have exceeded pre-lockdown levels and, in July, new car sales were up 11 per cent overall.
Retail sales, which take up a higher proportion of total sales in Devon and Cornwall, were up 19 per cent as catch up continued with leases coming to an end and attractive offers returning to the market.
Both these success stories have led to concerns about the availability of new car stock for the new plate in September and the effect on the resultant flow of part exchanges providing stock for the used car market, which is also traditionally very buoyant in September.
Most manufacturers close down for the summer holidays, which can add to the stock problem, so if you have a specific car and specification you require it would be best to reserve your new car as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
As mentioned before dealers are looking for good, well maintained used cars so you may be surprised by the value of yours.
Fortunately, it appears the Devon holiday trade is getting a welcome boost from the rise in coronavirus infections in the hotspots of Europe and the potential risk of having to self-isolate on return to the UK.
Many local hotels, B&Bs, caravan parks and campsites are reporting little availability and although there have been a few thunderstorms this week, the warm weather has been welcome, particularly for families with young children desperate to run off their energy.
Hopefully, this will in some way compensate for the lack of income during lockdown and will be supplemented by a strong September and October to take businesses through any downturn in the winter.
We still need to be safe, particularly with many visitors, so wear your masks and keep at least two metres apart – none of us wants to catch this virus or cause someone else to.
Wishing you all safe and happy motoring until next week.