The Government has recently put forward a number of proposals to help with the cost of living crisis, with the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggesting that MOTs should be required every 2nd year rather than annually. At present, an MOT is required every year for vehicles more than 3 years old and has to be undertaken by one of the 23,647 licensed operators.

Government figures confirm that in 2021 there were just under 32 million MOT’s undertaken in Great Britain, including motorcycles and commercial vehicles. A number of bodies such as the AA and the IGA have already raised concerns about potential issues with higher longer-term repair bills and potential road safety. However, assuming the rise in bills was a short-term rather than permanent measure, then it’s unlikely to have a major impact on the majority of occupiers. This will impact workshop profitability and we could see some operators having to consider their options, however, the additional cost of vehicle repair bills could offset this.

With significant upwards pressure on industrial and workshop rent, we could foresee some operators considering their options especially if they are close to a lease end. Demand for industrial units fit for other uses such as home delivery distributions has had a major upwards pressure on industrial values –  with demand significantly outstripping supply. In some parts of London, we have seen rents double in the last 5 years, and if workshop operators are facing a further loss of income from the lack of MOTs, this could mean operators are better off considering alternative uses going forward.

As we look to the future and shift to electrical vehicles, we expect workshops to be smaller and cleaner due to significantly fewer moving parts than a traditional combustion engine. Bearing this in mind, the need for workshops could alter as vehicle owners would require minimal mechanical input for an electrical battery.

If you have a workshop or are a landlord of a workshop and want to discuss your options in confidence please contact Mark Frostick, Senior Associate at Rapleus Automotive & Roadside team.