Aftermarket March 2024

The No.1 magazine for automotive information MARCH 2024 INSIDE MOT consultation response P8 The sector was universally relieved by the Government’s MOT consultation decision to keep 3-1-1 Business: Know your audience P14 CCM’s Tina Drayson on how getting to know your customers better will help your business in so many ways Technical: A month in the life P26 Technical guru Frank Massey ‘FLUKEs’ his way through a VW T4 problem, before carrying the CAN on a Fiat 500 ENTER TOP TECHNICIAN AND TOP GARAGE 2024: PAGES 22-23

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS We aim for nothing less than the highest standards when manufacturing our catalytic converters, DPFs and front pipes. Our advanced techniques ensure everything from sub-components to finished products are designed to the highest possible quality and fit. From laser mapping, to automated welders, and CNC technology. In everything we do, we try and be the best we can be. Make us part of your quality standard. THOSE WHO ASK FOR PRECISION, ASK FOR BM. Discover how our world-class manufacturing can help your business. Visit: Call: +44 (0)1623 663 800 MARCH 2024 AFTERMARKET 3 CONTENTS BUSINESS 8 Big issue: MOT consultation response 12 Handling a H&S investigation 14 Tina Drayson: Know your audience 16 Russ Houlden: Big shoes to fill? 18 Autodata: Mind the gap TOP TECHNICIAN/TOP GARAGE 20 JLM Lubricants UK: Only the best TECHNICAL 24 Technical update 26 Aftermarket of the future 28 Frank Massey: A month in the life 30 Neil Currie: Making the Smart choices 32 Repairify: ADAS added to the MOT? IN FOCUS 34 Vehicle electronics and engine management 40 Ignition 42 Turbos 45 EVs and hybrids 48 Bearings PLUS... 52 Competition/General products 54 On the road: Town & Country Covers 56 Garage visit: Personal Services 58 TomTom: Beyond cities 60EVs and hybrids 62 Training update 64 Recruitment 66 Teabreak PROS AND CONSULTATIONS Editor | Alex Wells | +44 (0) 1732 370 345 Head of Sales | Angela Lyus | +44 (0) 7823 736 629 Managing Director | Ryan Fuller | +44 (0) 1732 370 340 Contributors Parminder Takhar | Neil Currie | Tina Drayson | Russ Houlden | Neil Kennett | James Lett | Frank Massey | Drew Meehan | Martin Pinnell-Brown Operations Manager | Emma Godden-Wood | +44 (0) 1732 370 340 Marketing Manager | Hope Jepson | +44 (0) 1732 371081 Finance Department | +44 (0) 1732 370 340 Chief Executive | Ian Atkinson | +44 (0) 1732 370 340 Published by | DFA Aftermarket Media Ltd 192 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1BE Alex Wells, Editor Average net circulation July 2022 to June 2023 17,274 @aftermarketmagazine @aftermarket01 @aftermarketmagazine @aftermarketmagazine ISSN 2516-9149 Aftermarket is published 10 times a year and is sent free of charge to applicants meeting the publisher’s criteria. All others may subscribe at £60 per anum, £120 Europe and £150 rest of the world. While every care is taken to provide accurate information, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or ommisions, no matter how caused. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior consent of the publisher. The views of contributors do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Copyright: DFA Media Group 2024. The major news for the sector in the last month was the publication of the Government’s MOT consultation response, and the decision announced therein to keep the existing 3-1-1 frequency pattern for the test. This was a victory for common sense, but it took an industry-wide almost entirely wholesale condemnation of the idea of rolling back to a 4-1-1, or worse a 4-2-2 to get this through. The statistics were against shifting the pattern, and the experts were against moving the pattern, and yet every few years the sector needs to unite, get all the facts together, much of which the various Government departments actually collate themselves, and point this all out, again. I mean, talk about Déjà vu. When I first found myself in the Editor’s chair here at Aftermarket all the way back at the start of 2017, we were discussing the risk of the gap between MOTs being extended, and the first MOT being pushed back a y ear. In fact, I’m starting to lose track on how many times we have been through this in the last decade as a whole. Of course, the MOT must move with the times. Vehicles have changed, and systems such as ADAS need to be considered as part of the test, and emissions testing can also improve. I said this before, and I’ll say it again; How could the MOT be used to test vehicle emissions, with a view to improving the situation, if the test was being performed later and less often? Fortunately, the professionals in the sector are more than able to help the Government on all fronts. To find out what was said across the industry when the consultation response came out, turn to Big Issue on pages 8-11. If you are on your computer looking to read the MOT consultation response, the link to which can be found in the aforementioned Big Issue, what are you doing afterwards? Have you entered Top Technician and/or Top Garage 2024 yet? Both competitions are now open, and it just takes a few moments to register and take the initial online tests. Winners will receive big prizes including cash, tools and equipment. For Top Technician and Top Garage 2023, the total prize fund was in excess of £40,000. To enter Top Technician or Top Garage 2024, visit click on the appropriate tab, and follow the instructions. Also looking at Top Technician and Top Garage, on pages 20-21 you will hear from JLM Lubricants UK on their reasons for becoming Full Event Partners for both competitions in 2024. We also have articles from long-time contributors including CCM’s Tina Drayson, as well as technical pieces from our regulars including Frank Massey, 2019 Top Tech champ Neil Currie, and Aftermarket of the Future from Neil Kennett. We actually have a triumvirate of contributors called Neil, but we are keeping the third for a forthcoming issue. Lastly, one of the major problems that emerged in the last few years was the problem of parts supply, which was an unforeseen side-effect of the pandemic lockdowns across the world. Recent events in the Red Sea are already causing disquiet as ships are required to eschew the Suez Canal and take the long way around Africa. With recent experience offering potential options, hopefully the sector will adapt quickly, and cost rises will be kept to a minimum. Subscribe for your FREE copy now

Attacks on shipping passing through the Red Sea have raised concerns over vehicle parts availability, but factors and representative organisations in the industry are looking to reassure garages that supply chains are not under major strain at present. However, delays and cost increases are expected as ships look to avoid the Suez Canal in favour of the longer route around Africa. Since November, Houthi militants in Yemen have been attacking shipping heading towards the Suez Canal, and this has led to operators avoiding the route in favour of the long way round Africa towards Europe via the Cape of Good Hope. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated at the end of January that trips via the Suez Canal were down 42% on a weekly basis, compared with the preceding two months. IAAF Chief Executive Mark Field said: “The attacks on freight in the Red Sea will no doubt have an effect on the automotive aftermarket. While shipping companies are very experienced at finding solutions, the effects will be more reaching than just longer wait times for products. “These current disruptions will mean rising transport costs, which will have to be passed on to the customer. While we’re not experiencing global factory shutdowns like those during the COVID-19 pandemic, freight prices have again surged with S&P Global reporting that ‘Container freight rates to Europe are at a 15-month high.’” According to data from S&P Global Commodities at Sea, the alternative route has increased westbound transit times for AsiaNorth Europe shipments by 30% and for Asia-West Mediterranean by 60%. As a result of increased fuel consumption and higher bunkering overheads, carriers have been raising charges. Mark continued: “Such issues never exist in isolation. Increased freight rates drive up costs and longer lead times lead to delays, all of which could push prices up in other areas. Some consumer retailers are forecasting as much as an additional 18 days to their expected delivery times.” Mark added: “In the automotive aftermarket, effective communication will be key, as it was during the coronavirus pandemic. Parts distributors will need to continue to work closely with suppliers on maximising availability, which the sector has proven very good at in recent years.” Recent experiences with supply issues should mean that the sector is prepared for a bumpy ride if necessary, as Kevan Wooden, Chief Executive at LKQ UK & Ireland, observed: “Our business is resilient to global supply chain disruption as it forms a crucial part of our promise to deliver for customers. We have strong stock availability across our range despite disruption to shipping from the current Red Sea crisis. That’s thanks to the efforts of our remarkable team that continued to deliver for garages and workshops through COVID-19, the 2021 Suez obstruction, and the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. “Successfully navigating shocks like these is of the upmost importance to our business, and our teams ensure the business puts all resources possible behind providing continuity for our customers.” GSF Car Parts Chief Commercial Officer Paula Huesca de Crean commented: “GSF has been closely monitoring the evolving situation in the Red Sea to ensure we maintain our normal levels of excellent availability and fast supply across our entire branch network. Our logistics team have worked closely with suppliers to re-route inbound containers to alternative ports to avoid the areas adversely impacted by the situation. “We’ve also added buffer stock to our network to ensure that any potential delays as a result of the Red Sea situation do not impact our supply. As yet we haven’t seen any major disruption, but we know we’re fully prepared to react quickly and maintain full service and availability via our network of 180 branches across the UK.” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes concluded: “The auto industry has global supply chains so any disruption has the potential to interrupt operations. Given the situation in the Red Sea, companies are putting in place strategies to manage the issue but there is the likelihood of increased shipping costs, longer lead times for parts, supply gaps and possible spill-over effects on the timely delivery of finished vehicles. SMMT is maintaining contact with businesses and Government to understand the situation and identify ways in which smoother trade can be facilitated.” 4 AFTERMARKET MARCH 2024 Red Sea crisis impact on parts: “Strong stock availability…despite disruption” NEWS In association with:

MONTH 2017 AFTERMARKET 3 MARCH 2024 AFTERMARKET 5 Enter Top Garage now! Business owners and managers are flooding onto the Top Tech/Top Garage site to register and take the first round for Top Garage in order to get ahead of the closing date on Friday 19 April. Have you done it yet? For Top Garage, businesses compete in sizebased classes and for the Ben Health and Wellbeing Award, while individual staff members compete for Top Service Advisor. A new addition for 2024 has also arrived in the form of the Mobile Mechanic class. The in-person Top Garage finals are being held on Saturday 26 October at Delphi Academy, at the same time as the Top Tech finals. Winners will be named at the Top Technician and Top Garage Awards Evening, being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Coventry. Winners will receive big prizes including cash, tools and equipment. For Top Technician and Top Garage 2023, the total prize fund was in excess of £40,000. To enter Top Technician or Top Garage 2024, visit click on the appropriate tab, and follow the instructions. Top Technician and Top Garage 2024 come to you in association with the Garage Equipment Association (GEA), the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). Full Event Partners: Snap-on, TOPDON, JLM Lubricants UK and Delphi. To hear more from Top Technician and Top Garage 2024 Full Event Partners JLM Lubricants UK, turn to page 20-21. New BookMyGarage marketing package launched BookMyGarage has launched a marketing package for independent garages. The company’s new Accelerate programme has been developed from the company’s SecretService offering, which was launched for franchise workshops four years ago. Accelerate provides garages with a priority position in BookMyGarage listings as well as brand advertising on search engines. It also includes a Facebook page, with three dedicated Facebook posts per week and co-ordinates with the GMS system built into BookMyGarage, as well as other garage management diary systems. BookMyGarage Co-Founder Karen Rotberg said: “We are both proud and excited to launch Accelerate, our first new product release for independent garages in five years.” For more information, visit: Full Event Partners: HEVRA support widens HEVRA has added Dacia to the range of brands for which it provides EV support, which takes the total for the organisation to 40 marques. Other brands added in recent months to HEVRA's list of supported manufacturers include Abarth and Alfa Romeo. Following the updates, HEVRA's database now covers 136 fully EVs, with a further 225 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and range extender models. HEVRA Technical Director Peter Melville commented: "These developments further strengthen our position as a leading provider of repair and maintenance information, empowering automotive professionals with the knowledge they need to deliver exceptional service to their customers." For more information, visit: For Aftermarket’s EVs and hybrids feature, turn to pages 45-47. NEWS In association with:

6 AFTERMARKET MARCH 2024 MOTs will continue to be undertaken on the existing 3-1-1 pattern, it has been confirmed by Government following the publication of its response to the MOT consultation at the end of January. The consultation, which ran in early 2023 from January to March saw the UK automotive sector come together to oppose proposals move to a 41-1 or 4-2-2 pattern. Commenting on the response, Roads Minister Guy Opperman said: “We have listened to drivers and industry, and keeping MOTs in their current form shows once again that we are on the side of motorists. By offering clarity on MOT tests, alongside our recent street works consultation and unprecedented £8.3 billion to resurface roads, we are helping motorists drive with peace of mind and ensuring Britain’s roads continue to be some of the safest in the world.” The consultation also considered the future of the MOT, and sought opinions on how to move the test forward via advances in vehicle technology such as ADAS, and to address vehicle emissions, with an emphasis on diesel particulate emissions testing. To view the consultation outcome, visit: o-other-mot-enhancements For the full industry response to the outcome of the MOT consultation, turn to Big Issue on pages 8-11. MOT consultation response: 3-1-1 to stay in place REPXPERT Conference announced An all-new national REPXPERT Conference is being run by Schaeffler at the Manufacturing Training Centre (MTC) Coventry on Wednesday 22 May 2024, and the day is also set to include the inaugural REPXPERT Awards. Keynote speakers are set to include REPXPERT Ambassador/ The Garage Inspector Andy Savva, Tim Benson of Oldfields Garage, Matt Wiseman of Wiseman Motor Services and Dean Lomas of DC Lomas. The host for the event will be automotive journalist, TV presenter and content creator Abigayle André. Meanwhile, there will also be three repeated breakout lectures presented by the likes of EV servicing and repairs ambassador Matt Cleevely of Cleevely EV, and a Technical Zone covering innovations from Schaeffler and invited workshop service providers including Laser Tools and Garage Hive. Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket (UK) Sales and Marketing Director Matthew Selby commented: “This action-packed REPXPERT Conference has been created to provide garages with ideas and resources to deliver exceptional service.” Schaeffler will cap attendance at 200 attendees. Free tickets are now available on a first-come, first-served basis. To book, visit: to/Nj0eezec 73% of testers still need to take Annual Assessment 73% of MOT testers have still not taken their Annual Assessment and the IMI has warned then that they face additional checks if they miss the 31 March deadline. A new requirement, introduced on 8 January 2024 means that MOT testers must provide a recent basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if they are ‘returning after being lapsed or suspended from testing. This includes being suspended for not completing your annual assessment’. IMI Policy and Public Affairs Lead Hayley Pells said: “This could have a serious impact on garages’ ability to complete MOT testing, and ultimately their customer satisfaction and profitability. Garages therefore need to support their technicians in their training and assessments to avoid any impact on the business.” Hayley added: “MOT testers who fail to meet the deadline will lose their ability to conduct any MOT work until their training and assessment has been completed, and their DBS check has been approved.” For more information, visit: Follow us on Facebook @aftermarketmagazine NEWS In association with:

NEWS MARCH 2024 AFTERMARKET 7 Castrol turns 125 and unveils new strategy Castrol is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2024. To commemorate the milestone, it has unveiled its Onward, Upward, Forward strategy along with a special 125-year commemorative logo that will be used throughout 2024 in events and sponsorships across the world. The company was founded on 9 March 1899 as CC Wakefield & Co. by Sir Charles Wakefield. This eventually became Castrol as we know it today. Michelle Jou, CEO of Castrol observed: “As we celebrate 125 years, Castrol is not just reflecting on the past but charting a course for the future. It’s a privilege to take Castrol’s 125-year-old iconic brand forward to serve the changing needs of customers and set our business up for future success.” For more information, visit: Honk with your horn-y: All aboard the new BenBus Ben has hit the road in its new branded BenBus, which will be used to increase the charity’s visibility and raise awareness of its life-changing support. The BenBus is a VW Transporter camper van and the Ben on the Road team has already visited companies in Guildford with food and drinks. While in the town, the team also dropped in on the UK Garage and Bodyshop Event show team. Ellen Plumer, Head of Marketing and Outreach at Ben, said: “We’re delighted to be unveiling our new BenBus which will raise awareness about the vital services we provide for our automotive family. Knowing about Ben can make all the difference. If you see the bus out the road, give us a honk!” To book a visit from the BenBus or to find out about sponsorship opportunities, visit: The IGA has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, encouraging him to use the upcoming Spring Budget to make changes to the Apprenticeship Levy to reverse an ongoing slump in the number of young people joining the garage trade. Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017, new Level 2 & 3 Light Vehicle apprenticeship registrations have fallen by 39%. The IGA has proposed utilising unused Levy funds to enhance trainee earnings for over-19s not employed, in education, or undergoing training to encourage them to enter the automotive industry, which would help garages and reduce the number of underqualified unemployed young people. Commenting on the proposal, IGA Chief Executive Stuart James said: "It is widely recognised that there is a shortfall of suitably skilled professionals within the automotive sector, and we have urged the Chancellor to take appropriate action to halt the decline.” He added: This is a great opportunity for the Government to provide help and to take steps to fill the skills gap in the automotive sector." IGA urges Chancellor to rethink Apprenticeship Levy IGA signs on for Aftermarket Event More sector bodies are joining forces with the Aftermarket Event, which is taking place from 2-3 October at Farnborough International, and the IGA is the latest to add its considerable weight to the new show. Major suppliers from all across the sector have been jostling to secure the best slots. In all, the Aftermarket Event is set to include around 150 exhibitors, with 50 speakers appearing across two theatres themed around the Top Technician and Top Garage competitions. The event will also be co-located with another show, Safety, Health & Wellbeing Live. This will mean Aftermarket Event visitors can also learn more about workplace safety and occupational health. For more information, visit: NEWS In association with:

8 AFTERMARKET MARCH 2024 BIG ISSUE While the MOT is a fixed point in the calendar for many car owners, and a reliable source of work for garages, the test is most importantly a mandatory safety check, and must move with the times. It was this question that led to the Government running the MOT consultation last year. It sought views on how the MOT could be modernised, including particle number (PN) testing, with a view to improving vehicle emissions. However, it was the suggestion of moving away from the traditional 3-1-1 pattern that caused the biggest reaction in the sector. Organisations across the industry including the IGA, GEA, IAAF and more worked to put the case for 3-1-1 as part of their overall consultation submissions. As a result, the Government’s decision to stick with the existing MOT frequency was almost unanimously welcomed across the sector. Commitment IGA Chief Executive Stuart James said: "We are pleased that the Government has listened to our concerns and opted to retain the three-year time period for the first MOT. Public safety is paramount, and the decision aligns with our commitment to protecting motorists by ensuring the continued effectiveness of MOT testing in identifying potential safety issues as early as possible." As part of its campaign to help maintain the status of the test, the IGA ran a Government petition, collecting more than 11,000 signatures from those opposed to changing the frequency of the test. The consultation also looked at where the test could be improved and modernised, with the inclusion of ADAS and more effective emissions testing discussed. Stuart added: "The IGA looks forward to contributing to discussions on the future of MOT testing and other reforms. Our commitment to promoting road safety and protecting consumers remains unwavering, and we will actively participate in shaping policies that benefit both motorists and the industry." LKQ UK & Ireland CEO Kevan Wooden observed: “This is a fantastic outcome for UK road users and the aftermarket. We lobbied hard alongside our industry partners to push back against the proposed changes on the grounds that they would put the UK’s hard-won reputation for road safety at risk, endanger our national net zero ambitions and increase costs to motorists. And this is without mentioning the impact it would have had on work volumes in the aftermarket. As with Block Exemption, we have once again shown the impact the industry can have when it comes together to push for what’s right.” Opportunity IAAF Chief Executive Mark Field commented: “Plans to extend the first test from three to four years have been met with the full power of the entire automotive industry including motorists, who have been united in their view that extending the test frequency risks driver safety. “Every argument put forward to change the date of the first test has been overcome. An extended test won’t save motorists money and will in fact generate higher bills from MOT CONSULTATION RESPONSE: SECTOR WELCOMES OUTCOME The sector was united in welcoming the Government’s decision to keep the MOT at a 3-1-1 frequency

worsening, unchecked problems. While it is right to consult on modernising the test process, the debate over the test frequency, the third in over a decade, should never be on the table.” As well as the argument that the regular mandated MOT inspection saved money for motorists by enabling them to have issues found sooner rather than later, the IAAF’s submission also observed that alternative fuelled vehicles, including EVs, are more likely to fail their first MOT. Mark added: “Data from DVSA and from the IAAF Garage Network suggests a levelling out of the current MOT trend brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. There is a clear need – and opportunity – to support motorists on the safety benefits of carrying out regular MOT tests. MOT testing stations and testers need to be better supported in communicating to motorists why the MOT test is in place. Much is done on the importance of roadworthiness but more needs to be done to promote the relationship between the motorist and the workshop carrying out the test.” Hayley Pells, Policy Lead at the IMI said: “We welcome the Government's commitment to maintaining the first MOT at three years and annual testing thereafter. This aligns with our findings on the importance of regular checks for road safety and vehicle maintenance. “The decision to further explore modernising tests for electric and automated vehicles is a positive step towards addressing the unique challenges and advancements in vehicle technology. We also appreciate the focus on diesel emissions, which is crucial for environmental concerns. The conclusion of the consultation also underscores the need for ongoing adaptations in MOT testing to keep pace with rapidly evolving vehicle technologies and environmental considerations. “The IMI’s response to the original consultation provided clear evidence that extending the date for the first MOT would significantly increase road user risk. In particular, the IMI identified that the risks surrounding electric vehicles – which are heavier than ICE vehicles and cause heavier wear to their tyres – would be heightened if the first MOT date was extended. Evidence drawn from MOT testing records supplied to the IMI by the Department for Transport showed that comparative to petrol engine vehicles, electric vehicles are much more likely to fail their first MOT test.” Evidence The IMI’s Consultation submission was supported by data from Garage Industry Trends. Garage Hive and Lindleys Autocentres Director Alex Lindley analysed 200 million lines of MOT data through which he identified key issues. This included the fact that the first MOT failure rate for EVs on dangerous items was actually higher than for petrol vehicles. Commenting on the outcome of the consultation, Alex said: “It's obviously great news, particularly for the independent sector, that relies on those cars coming through for the first MOT after three years. But most importantly, just based clearly on the evidence, it's the right thing for drivers. I'm really chuffed so well done to everybody that campaigned to make sure the MOT stays the way it is.” He added: “It's a very sensible outcome. I think it would have been quite difficult for the government to decide to go against its own data so it doesn't come as much surprise - but of course you never really know what's going on behind the scenes.” Reform NFDA Chief Executive Sue Robinson said: “We are pleased that the Government has heeded the points outlined in NFDA’s consultation response and has made the decision to maintain the first MOT test at three years rather than increase it to four, as was proposed. “This announcement is extremely positive for our members and consumers. In the consultation, NFDA largely expressed our concerns for motorists’ safety and stressed the importance of vehicle safety and maintaining the UK’s leading safety record in roads. “NFDA will continue to work closely with the Government as it seeks to establish a programme of longer-term reform for MOTs and looks to explore modernising the test for electric vehicles.” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes noted: “Government and the automotive industry have worked together to ensure the UK has some of the world’s safest roads. The decision to retain the existing MOT system is the right one, helping maintain this proud record and giving drivers confidence in car and van roadworthiness. With vehicle technology continuing to evolve at pace in terms of both safety and environmental performance, we will maintain this collaboration with government and other stakeholders so that the MOT continues to be fit for purpose, helping Britain improve what is already a strong road safety record.” Confidence Halfords Chief Executive Graham Stapleton said: “The decision to not make changes to the frequency of MOTs is a victory for road safety. The proposed changes would have cost lives. As it is, we are seeing more and more vehicles come into our garages at MOT with tyres that are below the legal minimum tread. Far from rowing back on road safety we should be doing all we can to encourage and enable motorists to keep their vehicles in a roadworthy condition. I look forward to engaging with the Government on the next stage of this process, which is to reform the MOT test so that it better reflects advances in automotive technology.” MAHA UK Managing Director Neil Ebbs said: “Extending the MOT frequency could have increased the number of vehicles in a nonroadworthy condition on our roads; Therefore, we welcome the news that the 3-1-1 will remain unchanged. 10 AFTERMARKET MARCH 2024 BIG ISSUE

MARCH 2024 AFTERMARKET 11 Vehicle condition and roadworthiness are paramount. Therefore, maintaining the current inspection frequency is a positive step towards supporting this.” AA CEO Jakob Pfaudler said: “AA polling showed 83% of drivers overwhelmingly supported the annual MOT for keeping their cars and other cars safe. With one in 10 cars failing their first MOT, we fully support the government’s pragmatic decision to maintain the first MOT at three years and annually thereafter.” IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Standards Nicholas Lyes added: “An MOT gives drivers confidence their vehicle is conforming to minimum roadworthiness standards and many see it as an essential technical health check. Well-maintained vehicles make our roads safer and reduce the chances of collisions caused by wornout parts and more serious defects. We welcome the Government listening to drivers and prioritising both road safety and emissions as part of this package of announcements.” Investment Despite the understandable focus on the frequency of the test, the consultation also considered the wider future of the MOT. Opinions were sought on how to move the test forward to take into account advances in vehicle technology such as ADAS, and to address vehicle emissions, with an emphasis on diesel particulate emissions testing. The consultation also considered likely areas where further change will be necessary, with EV and hybrid vehicle testing looked at, and automated vehicles discussed. GEA Chief Executive Julian Woods observed: “We are very pleased to see that the Government has listened to our industry’s feedback and comments on the MOT consultation part one and are now not looking to alter the first presented date of vehicles for MOT testing. Let’s hope that we can see a similar outcome on part two of the consultation where they were looking at the future of MOT testing and what should be included in future updates to MOT testing standards.” “As was pointed out in the original consultation documents in January 2023, many of the MOT testing rules and requirements date back to the 1960s, although many have been reviewed and updated since then. However, vehicles have changed and continue to change on our roads and the MOT test is critical to ensure continued safety for drivers and pedestrians and all other users of our road networks. The MOT test should be seen as the gold standard of testing and as such should include the latest technologies and equipment as relevant to ensuring our road safety standards. “At the GEA we fully support the introduction of PN testing for diesel cars as it has been clearly seen that the current opacity (smoke) test is not able to fully test modern engines and their control systems such as DPFs. Data from some European countries who have already mandated PN measures on diesel vehicles shows how up to 20% of modern diesel tested have faulty or tampered-with DPFs allowing high levels of pollutants into the atmosphere. Air pollution affects us all and ensuring vehicles are not polluting our environment should be a must as part of the annual testing scheme.” Then there are the newer systems: “As vehicles have evolved many systems are now mandatory in new vehicles on our roads such as automatic emergency braking, electronic parking brakes, lane departure systems and many other ADAS, so the MOT test must evolve to ensure that these items are full tested as part of the annual MOT. “As a sector, we must aim to help combat all deliberate fraud within the motor vehicle/MOT industry. This is best done in our option using modern technology to ensure the correct vehicle is tested, it is tested fully and correctly and that all results are stored as correct records of the test.” Julian added: “The MOT testing scheme does need to develop and evolve for the modern vehicle and modern workshops environment. This will mean investment by all parties. To continue to have some of the safest roads in Europe, and indeed the world, with clean air to breath, we feel this is a worthwhile cost.” Future Neil Barlow, Head of Vehicle Policy at DVSA, concluded: “Ensuring the MOT remains fit for the future is a key part of DVSA’s work and getting ready for new technology will help keep Britain’s roads safe. We hope, this positive news will provide some certainty for garages to enable the investment in new technologies that could be needed to keep the MOT at the forefront of road safety and the environment.” To view the consultation response, visit: ations/changes-to-the-date-ofthe-first-mot-test-and-research-in to-other-mot-enhancements

Accidents happen, but what organisations do once an incident occurs will have repercussions on how an investigation proceeds and its effects on the organisation concerned. The primary legislation used to enforce health and safety in England and Wales is the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the lead regulator under the Act and is responsible for enforcement of it in relation to higher risk settings such as construction, factories, and agriculture. Local authorities have responsibility under the Act in relation to lower risk settings like retail, leisure, and office premises. Penalties following conviction for breaches of the Act can be significant. Fines on conviction are now based on the sentencing guidelines in the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences, Definitive Guideline. The obligation to formally report a health and safety incident itself is governed by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 – known as RIDDOR. This places an obligation on employers and those responsible for work premises to report deaths, certain types of injury, diseases, and dangerous occurrences to the regulator. It is a criminal offence to breach the notification requirements of RIDDOR. An incident occurs When a health and safety incident occurs, a check should be undertaken to determine whether the incident is notifiable to the regulator under RIDDOR. If it is reportable, the relevant enforcing authority must be informed by the quickest practicable means without delay; a RIDDOR report must be submitted within 10 days of the incident unless the accident results in a more than sevenday incapacitation of a worker which itself must be notified within 15 days of the incident. Once a RIDDOR report has been submitted, the HSE is likely to conduct a site inspection and may commence a formal investigation. If there has been a workplace fatality, the WorkRelated Deaths Protocol gives the police primacy over the investigation during the interregnum whilst they consider whether to investigate offences of corporate manslaughter and/or gross negligence manslaughter. In circumstances where no manslaughter investigation is to take place, or in cases where there is no fatality, the HSE or local authorities will lead the investigation. There will often be much going on in the immediate aftermath of an incident. This means it is important to get lawyers on site as swiftly as possible to provide advice to the company and support those dealing with the incident. It is also important to have an emergency plan in place prior to such incidents that can be put into action in the event of an incident. This should include having someone in place to co-ordinate with the emergency services and the 12 AFTERMARKET MARCH 2024 BUSINESS HANDLING A HEALTH AND SAFETY INVESTIGATION H&S guidelines have tightened up to the point – deliberately – so organisations can’t do anything but obey the law BY Parminder Takhar, Litigator, commercial litigation department, Wright Hassall

MARCH 2024 AFTERMARKET 13 regulatory authorities. It is also vitally important that procedures are in place to look after the welfare – physical and emotional - of those who may have witnessed the incident. It is just as important to make provision for professional counsellors to attend site for group or individual consultations; follow-up telephone hotlines should be made available. The investigation HSE inspectors have wide investigatory powers by virtue of section 20 of the Act. It is important organisations obtain legal advice in respect of this area. The Act allows inspectors to be present at sites to conduct investigations. It also gives them the power to require the production of documents and authorises them to take and retain copies of these documents. Normally, the organisation is entitled to retain original documents. It should be noted that HSE inspectors are not entitled to obtain documents that are legally privileged. It is therefore advisable for a solicitor to review any documents before they are handed to the HSE. Inspectors can compel any person they believe has relevant information to answer their questions. This can be extremely onerous, and it is an offence to obstruct an inspector in the course of their investigation by failing to answer such questions. Generally, the HSE prefers to take statements from witnesses using voluntary statements under section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967. Interviewees should ensure that such statements are entirely accurate and based only on fact before signing the statement. Inspectors tend to engage in a very wide-ranging information gathering exercise at the outset of these investigations. The approach narrows as the case progresses and the key issues in the case are identified. Companies the subject of investigations must co-operate with the HSE. However, they should retain as much control over the process as possible. In particular, they should keep a list of all documents handed over to the HSE as this will normally indicate the type of issues that are being considered by the inspector which will assist with the preparation of the defence later in the case. Following an incident, HSE inspectors can issue a Notification of Contravention. This identifies laws that the HSE believe have been broken, is normally sent as a letter by the HSE inspector who is responsible for the investigation. They generally arrive a few weeks after the incident but not always. They are required to identify the health and safety laws that the inspector believes have been breached; the reasons for their opinion; and specify that a Fee For Intervention (FFI) is payable to the HSE. It will normally set out the steps required to achieve compliance. Service of the Notification of Contravention is essentially the vehicle that enables the HSE to recover its costs of carrying out its regulatory functions from those found to be in material breach of health and safety laws through FFI. The FFI is based on the time spent by inspectors at hourly rates determined by statutory instrument. The Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations 2021 set the hourly rate for 2022/2023 at £163 per hour. These notices can be served on employers; self-employed persons who put others at risk; public and limited companies; LLPs; and crown and public bodies. These fees are generally invoiced quarterly throughout the life of an investigation up to the enforcement decision. It will include all work needed to identify any material breach and all work to ensure that it is remedied. HSE’s invoices can be significant and can exceed £100,000 over the course of a fatal accident investigation. Payment is due within 30 days of the date of each invoice and the HSE will pursue any failure to pay as a debt through the civil courts. Invoices should be carefully reviewed as they often contain errors. More notices Health and safety inspectors have the power to serve Improvement Notices or Prohibition Notices which are formal notices. These are burdensome and it is an offence not to comply with them; the penalties for a breach can be significant. Improvement notices can be served where an inspector is of the opinion that the recipient is contravening health and safety law or has previously contravened health and safety law, in circumstances that make it likely that the contravention will be continued or repeated. The purpose of the Improvement Notice is to require the recipient to take steps to remedy the breach in a specified time period. Prohibition Notices can be issued where the Health and Safety inspector is of the opinion that an activity takes place or is likely to take place that involves a risk of serious personal injury. It requires the activity to cease – an interregnum – until remedial measures are taken to deal with the risk of injury and the breach of the specific laws. Lastly, Accident Investigation Reports are an important tool to help a company understand why an accident has occurred and the causes and root causes. They are vitally important in preventing future incidents of a similar nature. However, HSE inspectors can compel a company to provide its accident investigation report if it is not legally privileged. In effect, this will lead to the company’s own document being used against it in any subsequent proceedings. But if such investigations are commissioned by a solicitor, on the basis that litigation is contemplated and that the sole or dominant purpose is dealing with that litigation, it will be protected from disclosure even where the HSE could ordinarily use statutory powers to require the disclosure of the report. If a document is not privileged at the outset, it is impossible to recover privileged status. In summary HSE investigations can be lengthy, time consuming, complex, and can have significant implications for organisations and should be treated with the utmost seriousness. While it’s better not to have incidents in the first place, it should be recognised that they do occur, and observance of the law will make a difficult situation easier to manage. It should be recognised that they [accidents] do occur, and observance of the law will make a difficult situation easier to manage. ”

BY Tina Drayson, Operations Manager, CCM How many of us really know and understand our ideal customer? Creating positive customer satisfaction and trust is paramount. It will enable a business to be successful and have long term relationships with its customers. How do we learn about our customers? Study the demographics and characteristics of your own customer base. This is the best tool and at your disposal, and will provide great lead generation. Think about gender, age, families, occupations and location. These variables will give you insights into the type of customer that you serve. How do you do this? It’s simple; Collate the customer information that you already have. Name Vehicle Age of vehicle Service history MOT due date Preferred method of booking (phone, online, in person). Produce and send a survey asking for basic information that will help you to group data, such as age, occupation, earnings (not specific but perhaps earning bands), preferred vehicle make, type of driving that they do. All you need to do is ask. Just put the question to your customers when they are in your reception. Customer feedback is vital. Good or bad, this information is invaluable. It shows what your customers do or do not like. Follow this up with emails and calls. All the above will show patterns of behaviour from customers, giving you a better understanding of your audience. Do not just do this once, continue to collect and analyse, to keep it up to date. Then you have customers with different needs. There are those that are safety-conscious, maybe they are parents and are carrying around their children. Vehicle safety is key, so health checks and reminders when different services are due would be particularly helpful for this type of customer. Collection and delivery to reduce the stress of dropping their vehicle off with children in tow. How about those newly qualified drivers? They may not 14 AFTERMARKET MARCH 2024 BUSINESS KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE Knowledge is power they say, and according to Tina, getting to know your customers better will provide many benefits to your business

MARCH 2024 AFTERMARKET 15 d Protecting As an independent trade body, VLS is here to protect you by verifying that lubricant products really can deliver what they claim. That means you can have confidence that the engine oils you use in your customers’ vehicles are fit for purpose. If you have any concerns about a lubricant product, report them to us on 01442 875922 or d i @ kl l k workshop you and your admin@ukla-v vls orguk be focused on their vehicle maintenance, but their parents will be. Then there are those that have heavy work commitments and use their vehicle for commuting or even work travel. Good maintenance on their vehicles would be a must to ensure their vehicles run efficiently and without breakdowns. Offer appointments that minimise disruption to their schedules and provide courtesy cars when necessary. Those customers that have a bit of knowledge about their vehicles and our industry, require more information. They need an explanation; a breakdown of what work is being done on a more technical level. Then you have the customer who is driven by price. They want the cheapest, the quickest and the least work done. Ask yourself if this is the customer that you wish to serve. Communication How you communicate to your customers is vital. Do not use technical jargon that they do not understand. Some will ask for an explanation, others would be overwhelmed. Explain in simple terms what the work is that is being done, take the time to make sure that your customers feel important. Generally, customers will fall into two types, tasks driven, or people driven. Those that are task driven will need more information and detailed explanations. You can identify these types as they will ask more questions when making a booking or studying their invoice. Those that are people driven, just want a price for the job and would prefer to be making idle chit chat when collecting their vehicle. Adjust your communication to that of the customers. With so many marketing tools at our disposal and with the digital world at our fingertips, knowing your audience provides you with the best method of reaching your ideal customer. Sending reminders for MOTs, services and other routine work helps to build those relationships. Keep records of customer preferences such as how they prefer to be contacted, and if they wish to receive marketing information from you. Taking this approach and connecting with your customers will help to build trust and long-term relationships. If you wish to exceed customer expectations, then you need to go above and beyond by getting personal, knowing the individual needs and preferences of your customers and interacting with them in a manner that is best for them. CCM has been running for more than 30 years. The business employs 23 mechanics and MOT testers, plus a customer support team. CCM operates from three depots serving a large catchment area covering Surrey and Sussex

BY Russ Houlden, Owner, Billingborough Cars and Commercials Many garages are family businesses passed down from generation to generation. Here at Billingborough Cars and Commercials we are on the third generation. Taking over from those who went before you can be daunting. For some there is a long period of preparation, with a gradual transfer of skills that sets a foundation for you to move forward. Others find themselves in charge without much warning, and then it is a case of sink or swim. Unfortunately for me, I fell into the latter camp. Following an abrupt change of family circumstances, I was thrust towards the helm. I followed in the footsteps of two incredible men who had solid reputations in the local area. In the local community they were characters who were known by many and respected by all. I was always told that the first generation starts it, the second builds it and the third destroys it. One, two, three… oh dear. No pressure then. The panic then begins to form, the realisation about how unprepared you are. A nagging feeling that you aren’t going to be as capable as they were. Then there is the worry that the customers are coming in purely because of their skills and that they are all going to disappear as soon as they realise it’s you running the show now. You then consider the possibility that you won’t have the respect of the employees or customers. Your mind jumps to the worst conclusions. The truth is much rosier. Customers continue to come through the door, and technicians continue to fix vehicles. The basic business doesn’t change, but you gradually find your feet. You slowly reach the realisation that you don’t have to be the same as those that came before; You can do it your way. In my personal journey I was thrown in at the deep end. Sinking wasn’t an option. I had to deal with the personal and family pride of ensuring that the garage continues, with a family member still at the wheel. You feel the pressure of expectation, but in reality, you create that yourself. I guarantee no other family member would be worrying about whether it stayed in family hands. They just want to make sure that you as an individual are doing what’s best for you. Having known the individual so well, you create an internal pressure or expectation, but it is all within yourself. Your family see you as your own person that has their own life to lead. Your employees see you as a completely new manager, with a different style and capabilities. Your customers know you as a different person. You are your own person and always have been. Stepping into a new role is a process of discovering your own capabilities, personality and individual style. The saying is true, that people buy from people, but if you show them your own uniqueness then they are likely to warm to you. The saving grace is that you are selling a service that already has a good reputation behind it. It is less a case of stepping into big shoes and more making your own pair of boots that fit you perfectly. 16 AFTERMARKET MARCH 2024 BUSINESS BIG SHOES TO FILL? Russ reflects on the pressure a new owner feels when taking on the mantle at a family business