Car retailers have been given the green light to start selling and delivering cars again following the coronavirus lockdown - so long as they continue to strictly adhere to social distancing regulations.
In a statement to Car Dealer Magazine, a spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: “We have asked non-essential shops like car dealerships and showrooms in England to close, unless they provide urgent car repairs and other necessary services.
“They are all able to continue tosell cars remotely and deliver cars, as long as they follow our clear guidance from Public Health England to protect both employees who cannot work from home and their customers.”
The clarification means that retailers set up for online interactions with potential customers can restart both sales discussions and actual selling - so long as all paperwork can be completed remotely.
Meanwhile, anyone who buys a car, or those who are waiting for a car they have bought to be delivered, can receive it, again so long as strict social distancing protocols are followed. Since the lockdown began Autocar has been contacted by several car buyers whose vehicles have arrived in the UK, but which couldn’t be delivered because of the current restrictions.
While it is not yet clear which retailers or manufacturers will look to restart or ramp up operations under the guidelines, there have been several indications that car buyers have begun shopping again in recent weeks.
A weekly car buyer survey by What Car? revealed last week that one in five people researching cars on its website was looking to buy as soon as the lockdown ended, while Robert Forrester, boss of the Vertu Motors retail group, revealed yesterday that the firm received 366 sales enquiries over the internet and took 50 sales orders yesterday.