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How we improved the MOT reminders service using feedback from motorists

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: MOT Modernisation, News and updates

MOT reminder service on a mobile phone

Earlier this month we made some improvements to our MOT digital services to make them easier for motorists and businesses to manage their MOT reminders, and to view all their MOT certificates in one place.

We also celebrated reaching 4 million sign ups to the MOT reminders service, over 10% of the vehicles that need an MOT.

Finding out what motorists think of our service

Despite the MOT reminders service scoring highly in our customer satisfaction surveys (around 90%) we always want to see if we can improve it. Feedback from customers started to show us what wasn’t working for them and what we could change.

This initial research highlighted several pain points and opportunities which then became our focus areas for the project. These were:

  • Entry points into the service – what situations make customers want to use our service and how do they get to it?
  • The core journey – looking at the whole customer journey from start to finish, especially any parts that aren’t working for them
  • The reminder – does the content of the MOT reminder work and is it clear? Is it successful in encouraging customers to book their MOT?
  • Removing a vehicle from the service– how do customers feel about the process of unsubscribing?

Digging deeper into the feedback

We began by carrying out a deeper analysis of the themes identified from the feedback. This really helped us understand the specific pain points within the themes and how big of a problem they were.

All of this told us that motorists’ biggest issues with the service were around our communication with the DVLA and the difficulty they had unsubscribing from the service:

  • “Don't send out reminders for a vehicle that you were notified of, and acknowledged, has been scrapped”
  • "Very difficult to review vehicles registered for reminders and amend if no longer own vehicle and want to replace with an alert for a replacement vehicle. Have tried several times and can't find the option".

Motorists also felt it was difficult to remember what reminders they’d signed up for and the some said they felt the content of the reminder came across as too threatening.

Developing our ideas to improve the service

Using this research, we wrote some clear user need statements to capture:

  • who the customer is
  • what they want
  • why they want it
  • if there was something preventing their need being met

One of our highlights on the project was getting together with a range of different people from across DVSA to find some creative solutions for the issues identified by motorists.  Seeing everyone come together to create a sea of coloured post-it notes all containing a range of varied ideas was amazing.

We went through all the ideas generated in the workshop and scored them by how much effort would be needed to deliver them against how much impact it would have on motorists. This allowed us to choose which ideas we would prioritise doing first, and which would form a backlog for us to look at later down the line.

Testing our idea with customers

The first idea we prioritised for development was giving customers the ability to view what MOT reminders they have signed up for and to make it easier for them to amend their reminders.

We built a prototype service, and then carried out some user testing to see what motorists thought. We carried out pop-up user testing in local MOT garages, asking members of the public to try out our prototype service and give us their feedback.

Overall it tested brilliantly, with comments on how “extremely simple” it was to use. We also got some great feedback to help us to tweak it further and get it ready for further development and launch.

Getting ready to launch

Our ‘Manage your reminders’ improvement to our MOT Reminder service went live on GOV.UK last month, giving motorists the ability to manage their current MOT reminders and remove any old ones they don’t want to receive anymore.

We’ve also improved the MOT reminder message itself to make the language less threatening and updated the feedback survey link. This will help us conduct monthly analysis on feedback responses and support further improvements to our services.

Thank you for your support over the last few weeks sharing our service improvements on social media and with your customers. It’s been really great to see you using our toolkit and images online.

 Moving on to our next project

We’re now working on the development of our next idea - around how we can better use the data we receive every day from the DVLA to prompt customers to update their reminders when they sell or scrap a vehicle.

Working with another agency means it might take slightly longer to develop this, but we think it’s something that will really benefit motorists.

I hope it’s been useful to understand more about how we improve our services, the process we go through, and to highlight how important feedback is to our work and services.

Please let us know below in the comments if there’s any areas you think could be improved in our digital services and we can add these to our research list.

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  1. Comment by Whatlington garage posted on

    Thank you I shall remind the customers when I MOT their vehicles of this information and service

  2. Comment by Dwight Mclean posted on

    Was very helpful

  3. Comment by Hmp posted on

    Once the mot is done should be able to see it on line asap.

  4. Comment by Robert Chater posted on


  5. Comment by Steven Duff posted on

    Couldn’t find ‘Manage your reminders on

  6. Comment by Rod Guy posted on

    As an M.O.T Tester personally I think you need to focus on making the Testers Guide more user friendly.
    When carrying out the Exam for my C.P.D I really struggle using it in the time given,I'm sure i am not alone in this.
    The search function is just terrible to use and needs to be displayed immediately you enter the Guide and actually work.
    No doubt i have just wasted my time writing this as nobody will even read it.
    I do wish people of the D.V.S.A would stop thinking they are God and listen to the people actually doing the job.
    Please do get intouch as I would love to speak to someone regarding the terrible service you provide.

    • Replies to Rod Guy>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Rod - thank you for your comments. Hopefully the below information will help you:
      - Go to the section of the manual you wish to search and click on the “show all sections” button
      - If you then press Ctrl f on your keyboard, a new search box will appear
      - Enter what you want to search for in the box - it will find all the times the search term appears in that section.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Rod posted on

        Thank you for the reply it's appreciated

  7. Comment by Shaun posted on

    We could improve the refusal certificates by putting the last day for retest on it in bold / capitals. The amount that come back too late is probably high