Halfords Autocentres are offering free vehicle MOT tests to families in financial difficulty as part of a new charity partnership.
As the cost of living crisis sees one in three drivers struggle to make ends meet, the automotive retailer has teamed up with charity Family Action to help families who rely on their car stay mobile this winter. The scheme will see 1,000 families identified by the charity given a free MOT at a Halfords Autocentre.
The scheme has been launched after research found 40% of drivers were concerned about or certain that they would not be able to afford their car’s next MOT. Among families in “working poverty”, 90% said not having a car would make it harder or impossible for them to do their job but that rising household costs were making it harder to manage motoring costs.
Chris Lunn, head of category at Halfords Autocentres, said: “Those who are struggling to make ends meet are most likely to not be able to afford their MOT - but for this group, it could lead to a dangerous cycle of poverty.
“Amongst them, more than nine in ten say that not having a car would make their job impossible or significantly harder. Not having an MOT puts them at risk of losing their car, and therefore their job, making their financial situation far worse. That’s why we’re trying to help by offering free MOTs to families who rely on their car but are struggling financially, and discounted MOTs for all Brits to help keep motoring affordable.”
Access to the free MOTs will be distributed by Family Action among the families it supports. David Holmes, chief executive of Family Action, said: “We are delighted to be working with Halfords and we are extremely grateful for the donation of 1,000 free MOTs to share with the families we support. As the survey reveals, it is essential for many families to have access to a safe and roadworthy car for work, and for their day-to-day activities.
“Halfords generous support will help many families facing very difficult choices about how to spend what money they have this winter. It will ensure that they have peace of mind that their car is safe and roadworthy, and it will be one less thing for them to worry about.”
Halfords is also offering free MOTs to 10,000 of its staff and offering £10 MOTs to any drivers who sign up to its free Motoring Club. An MOT normally costs up to £54.85.
Its research found that among those worried about affording their next MOT, almost half (45%) said they would continue to use their car without an MOT, despite this being illegal and invalidating their insurance. It also runs the risk of drivers unknowingly using cars in a dangerous condition.
Mr Lunn added: “The findings raise serious concerns about the ability of Brits to afford key, safety-related, motoring expenses like MOTs, as well as the potential dangers this could lead to in the form of millions of cars on our roads without an MOT certificate. MOTs are a vital and legally-required check-up on any vehicle over three years old, to ensure it is roadworthy. Put simply, driving without one is both illegal, and can invalidate insurance.”