Car dealerships in England are open

Many car showrooms in England are reopening their doors with new Covid-19 safety procedures in place to protect customers and staff...

Kia showroom

Car dealerships in England are among the businesses that were allowed to reopen on 1 June, and many have already welcomed customers in again.

Before being allowed to reopen, showrooms must ensure they comply with strict Covid-19 health and safety guidelines and display a health and safety certificate in the premises. This means would-be buyers will be able to talk with sales staff while following strict social distancing protocols, and potentially be able to test cars alone, as long as trade plates and the relevant insurance are in place.

In many showrooms, perspex barriers have been fitted to reception desks and one-way systems have been introduced with signage on the floor to ensure that customers and staff are able to remain two metres apart while moving around. 

Car showroom

Other measures introduced include the thorough sanitising of premises every day, wiping down surfaces that are touched frequently every hour, cleaning the touch points on cars before and after a customer sits in the car and disinfecting cars and keys prior to them being given to car owners. 

Access to dealership premises is likely to continue to be restricted, with some dealers telling us they will be operating on an appointment-only basis to ensure there aren't too many people in the showroom at the same time. So it's well worth contacting a dealership before you plan to visit to book an appointment and check on the safety measures they have in place.

Contactless collection and delivery services for new purchases and car servicing have also been introduced by many car makers, so it's worth asking about this if you would rather not visit a showroom.  

Car showroom

Most retailers are also offering to discuss potential purchases online or on the phone and to provide customers with video walk-rounds of cars they are interested in. They can also communicate with customers on FaceTime, Skype or WhatsApp, as well as via text and email.

In addition, many car makers have created online portals, where you can trade in your old car, buy a new one and have it delivered by a franchised dealer, without the need to leave your home. 

You can also discuss the purchase of a new car via What Car?'s New Car Buying service, which guarantees you won't pay more than the Target Price set by our team of mystery shoppers. You can contact one of our dealers and talk through the deal with them, through our online chat platform.

Car showrooms in Northern Ireland are allowed to open from 8 June. 

Showrooms closed in March in line with government coronavirus advice, with dealers restricted to selling cars online via contactless delivery. As a result, April's new car registration figures were down 97.3% year on year.

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Read more: all the latest coronavirus advice for drivers >>