A CHIPPENHAM garage which opened its forecourt just days before the Coronavirus struck is offering free tyre and car checks to motorists as people slowly return to work.

ETB invested a six-figure sum to open the site in Bumpers Way Industrial Estate in March and business was booming until the global pandemic hit and lockdown restrictions were put in place.

With garages classified as an essential service, the depot has remained open to carry out essential repairs or services and while trade has understandably dropped off, centre manager Darren Alford is still looking ahead with optimism.

He said: “We opened a week before lockdown and were doing extremely well, but it has been difficult for us since then.

“But we are hopeful for the future and are beginning to see some more cars now that some people are making journeys to work again.”

Darren operates the site with one other member of staff, but says he hopes to recruit another two technicians in the near future and eight in total over the next two years..

The Government automatically extended the MOT test by six months, as long as a vehicle’s MOT expired on or after March 30.

“While the Government has granted vehicle owners a six-month MOT exemption in the battle against coronavirus, ‘vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition’. The MOT test remains the most effective way of ensuring this. We anticipate demand to surge once this six-month period ends and availability to be a potential issue.