The UK government recently announced that it would allow car showrooms in England to reopen from 1st June, provided they were able to meet Covid-19 security guidelines aimed at protecting customers and employees. However, many dealership owners are still reporting lower footfall as a result of concerned customers and the current economic climate. We thought it may be useful to outline exactly what safety measures will be in place in order to give you peace of mind that you will be perfectly safe purchasing your new car.
Firstly, before any dealership reopens, it must complete an online HSE inspection to prove that they meet safety requirements. This includes carrying out a risk assessment, regular cleaning and handwashing, reasonable steps to encourage work-from-home and 2 metre social distancing. Once completed, the dealership will receive a certificate which must be clearly displayed to the public. Moreover, they will be subject to random inspections to check that the claims are substantiated. If you visit a dealership, look for their HSE certificate or ask to see it, this will reassure you that they meet government guidelines.
Secondly, many dealerships have introduced smart ways of adapting to the current conditions. Test drives are now offered unaccompanied, perspex screens have been installed if appropriate and one-way systems are in place at larger dealerships. Some are offering a no-contact click and collect service across all sites, which is also allowed in Scotland provided the customer does not enter the showroom.
While many dealerships had hoped that an element of pent up demand, and government guidance to avoid public transport, would lead to a surge in sales, it seems that consumers are still being rather tentative. Nevertheless, many are reporting that consumer behaviours are shifting towards more online sales. CEO of Vertu Motors, Robert Forrester, has spoken of the group’s success during lockdown. He said, ‘People are doing far more on the internet and our online sales have gone up quite considerably. We sold 650 cars last week as a group without a single test drive and not one person coming into a showroom.’
In truth, if you are interested in buying a new car, there really should be nothing to put you off. The amount of purchasing options available to you is wider than ever before and you will be kept safe throughout any of these processes. Dealerships are up and running and need your support, now more than ever. We encourage you to get out there and buy your new dream car. It could be the pick-me-up that you need at this time.
If you are thinking of purchasing an electric vehicle and would like to discuss your options, please get in touch. A member of our team would be happy to discuss this in more detail and answer any questions that you have. Call us on 0141 280 8890 or drop us an email at [email protected]