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How GOV.UK Notify is helping the DVSA remind motorists to renew their MOTs

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital Service Platforms, GOV.UK Notify


MOT reminders screenshot

DVSA’s MOT reminder service has just passed its beta service assessment. As the name suggests, the service reminds people that they need to have an MOT test for their vehicle. Passing the beta stage means it's ready for the public to use.

Getting to the stage where we’re ready for the public to use the service marks a key milestone following extensive user research, planning and trials – and of course that approach will continue.

We knew the service would be popular, but to have over 100,000 user sign-ups in beta showed just how much demand there was.

There are now more than 200,000 users signed up, and that number should grow as more motorists become aware of the service.

Why we made the service

There are over 30 million cars that need an MOT each year in the UK.

Most people get their MOT test on time, but for every motorist who doesn’t, the safety of the roads is compromised. Around 28% of cars are late for their MOT, and for these, the failure rate is 8% higher than average. This means that not only are they breaking the law, but that their vehicles are in worse condition – so more likely to cause or contribute to an accident.

So, to reduce the number of motorists bringing their vehicle for its MOT late, we began developing a reminder service.

Our research showed this service would help car owners – it’s nice to get a reminder to do something, rather than a fine if you forget.

Creating value for the user

We wanted to provide users with a service that’s easy to use, so it was important we could send out both email and text message reminders. We needed a system that’d integrate quickly with our service while remaining cost-effective.

We’d sent out bulk emails before, but we knew that text messages were something our users would value so we needed a product that did both.

Finding GOV.UK Notify

GOV.UK Notify is brilliant for government service teams like us. Knowing that the needs of service teams helped to develop Notify gave us confidence it was the right system to use.

The system will also continue to evolve with feedback from teams across government, including ours. This means that when needs emerge they are quickly met.

Why it works for us

We knew it was reliable, that it allowed us a degree of flexibility in messaging, and that the cost-per-message was very competitive. But there are longer-term benefits to adopting Notify too.

Notify is built to use the best providers on the market, so we knew we wouldn't be ‘locked-in’ to any one supplier. We also avoided potentially costly and lengthy procurement processes and we could connect up quickly – Notify is designed to integrate quickly with government services.

The government offers a wide range of services. Many of those need to message users. A common solution can only be a good thing for services, citizens and taxpayers.

What next?

There are over 30 million cars in the UK, so we’re expecting the number of users to grow significantly beyond the current 200,000, and we know Notify can handle that scale.

Now we’ve worked with Notify, and understand fully what it can do, we can plan future service transformation knowing we have a reliable messaging solution.

MOT reminders are currently for citizens, but with over a million trucks and buses in the UK, we know there is plenty more Notify can help us with.

Stay up to date

If you’re a motorist, you can sign up for reminders now. If you’re in a government service team and interested in using GOV.UK Notify, you can sign up for a trial account with your government email address.

You can follow DVSA on Twitter, and subscribe to this blog for regular updates on Government as a Platform.

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  1. Comment by Umair posted on

    Recent media coverage about dramatic increase in Untaxed vehicles suggests another area that would benefit enormously from Notify service.