Strictly distanced handovers now allowed, but showrooms must remain shut until at least 1 June

Car dealerships in England can reopen for 'click-and-collect' style sales according to a new government update – but showrooms will not be allowed to reopen until at least 1 June.

Click-and-collect handovers would typically involve a car being placed outside and sanitised prior to a customer collecting it at a specified time, with the key being left in a sanitised package, and with no human contact of closer than two metres.

The move partially unlocks car sales, as it will allow customers whose car is in stock to collect it so long as strict guidelines are followed to ensure social distancing.

Because the coronavirus lockdown began in mid-March - the busiest month of the year for new car sales - many vehicles were impounded prior to delivery to their owners.

Additionally, during lockdown, dealerships have been allowed to sell new and used cars online or on the phone. Most retailers had moved to a model of taking deposits for them pending delivery - so a click-and-collect style of system would allow them to complete the transactions.

The government guidelines state: "All retail, other than those exempt, must close their premises to members of the public. However, staff may be present to make deliveries or provide services in response to orders such as those through telephone, online, or mail.

"Click-and-collect services can also operate, though customers must not enter premises."

Retailers had hoped to be allowed to reopen this month following talks with the government, but the infection rate from coronavirus was deemed too high for restrictions to be lifted. The government says that retail stores in England will be cleared to open 'in phases' from 1 June at the earliest. All shops, including showrooms, will be required to complete an online risk assessment from the Health and Safety Executive to ensure they have health and safety measures in place.

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13 May 2020

 So, I phoned my BMW dealers last Wednesday to enquire about a Brake fluid change, she asked if I was an essential worker, which I'm not, she then said to phone Monday or Tuesday, I phoned Monday, and it was no problem, pick your time to come in and get it sorted,now, how is this going to work?

13 May 2020

All this will do is cause further confusion.

Authorities allow a fully packed plane load of passengers to leave Belfast and arrive at Heathrow. We see people this morning packed in to tubes and buses, but whatever you do don't look at cars, it's click and collect only.

I equate it to something I said a few months back before this all kicked off in the UK. We were told not to shake hands, remember touching elbows? 150,000 people a day would pass thru a single London railway station crammed in to carridges, footballers and rugby players would tackle, touch, breath all over each other and spit everywhere whilst playing their sport, not to mention everyone touching the same ball,. But don't shake hands. Just think of how our hands would all touch the same screens at the checkouts and handing over cash. The instances where we touch each other are numerous, but you were told not to shake hands. And like sheep they all believed not shaking hands would somehow prevent the virus from spreading. Jeez, are people that stupid? Eh, the answer is obviously yes.

It's mearly window dressing. the authorities want to be seen as if they're doing something but to paraphrase Billy Connolly, it's as much use as a fart in a space suit.

Introducing rules which are ambiguous at best and to which any business will look to twist to their advantage is pointless. The answer is black and white, a simple either or...  car sales should be either fully open or fully closed.

13 May 2020
Are they rules or guidelines? Either way, a simple risk assessment carried out under COSHH will dictate whether you can safely operate a business or not. You do not and never have needed to adhere to government guidelines, if a risk assessment could prove you can safely operate. In a car dealership, I'd think that would be very easy to do.

13 May 2020
Marc wrote:

Are they rules or guidelines? Either way, a simple risk assessment carried out under COSHH will dictate whether you can safely operate a business or not. You do not and never have needed to adhere to government guidelines, if a risk assessment could prove you can safely operate. In a car dealership, I'd think that would be very easy to do.

please remember, Scotland is still operating a lockdown, it must be hard with the lifting of lockdown in England only, the measures set by Boris&Co are at best a bit vague, but, none the less, it's down to you how you follow them, it's not forever, it's till the Virus is eradicated, and remember, there are other things going on in the World that have lasted years, children born into a War Zone, no water, electric, Doctors, all we're having to do is follow the measures.

13 May 2020
...Peter. I may be wrong, but as far as I'm aware, government guidance on the closure of businesses is just that, guidance, I believe that's on both sides of the border. No one is forced to follow that guidance if they can prove that operating their business is safe to both employees and customers. It's health and safety legislation that controls exposure to the virus in the workplace, that is the same both sides of the border.

The issue for many businesses has been the restrictions on customers movements, not allowing them to visit the dealership for instance as it's not, or hasn't been essential, but that hasn't, or shouldn't have stopped many businesses such as car dealerships operating.

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