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Drivers in France urged to advance car CT checks as garages swamped

Up to 600,000 more contrôle technique than usual are expected in May, raising fears that many people will not get a slot in time for early summer holidays

A mechanic working on a car engine in a garage

Garages and contrôle technique centres are set to be overrun this spring and summer as a knock-on effect of 2020 Covid lockdowns Pic: A_stockphoto / Shutterstock

Drivers in France are urged to bring their contrôle technique (CT) appointments forward by six-to-eight weeks if they are due a CT this May, June, or July, as professionals confirm they expect sky-high demand.

Garages are warning of bottlenecks from May to July due to the knock-on effect of the 2020 Covid lockdowns in March. 

France’s regulatory vehicle ‘contrôle technique’ – compulsory roadworthiness tests or MOT - must be carried out every two years, meaning the effects of delayed checks due to lockdown will be felt in the coming months.

Drivers were given three months of extra time to allow them to postpone their checks without risking a fine. As a result, after the first 2020 lockdown, centres were overrun in May, June and July.

Two years later, the effects of this will be felt when they need to book for their next check.

Read more: Explained: Car contrôles techniques checks in France

Jérémy Kayal, manager of a CT garage, told BFMTV: “This means their [next] scheduled dates are now for this May [onwards]. We will be overwhelmed, centres will not be able to meet demand.”

Sébastien Danvel, president of the contrôle technique booking website AutoSécurité, told Le Parisien: “As technical checks are carried out every two years, we now expect to have to check 500,000 to 600,000 more cars than normal in May.”

Mr Danvel added: “We invite drivers not to wait until May and to bring forward their appointment. If they are not able to carry out their inspection in time, many people in France could find themselves unable to take to the road for their summer holidays.”

AutoSécurité is part of the SGS Group, which holds more than a third of the parts needed for a CT. Its directors have warned of a “new tsunami of appointments scheduled for May, June and July 2022”, and have also invited drivers to book their checks in advance as much as possible.

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