Click-and-collect handovers of cars can go ahead

Buyers can now collect cars ordered online or over the phone, even though showrooms can’t reopen until 1 June at the earliest...

Car dealership

If you ordered a new car before the coronavirus lockdown or you need to buy a new or used car and take delivery quickly, you can now do so in England as long as the dealer adheres to strict Covid-19 safety guidelines. 

The Government has said that, as of 13 May, click-and-collect retail services can begin to operate, and that means vehicles that have been ordered remotely can be collected. 

“Following the latest government guidance, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) can confirm that although physical ‘car showrooms’ should remain closed to the public pending further developments, dealers are entitled to offer a ‘click and collect’ service at dealerships for vehicles purchased remotely,” said Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK.

Volvo online buying

The change in guidelines means that the large number of vehicles ordered for the March numberplate change – normally the busiest time of the year for car sales – can now start to be fulfilled.  

According to the NFDA, the click-and-collect service can also be used by owners who want to drop cars off for servicing and repairs. 

Measures that dealers will need to put in place to follow coronavirus safety guidelines while fulfilling click-and-collect orders have been outlined in a Covid-19 Industry Guidance and Best Practice guide compiled by the NFDA and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 

The guide covers the entire customer experience, from booking appointments to showroom interactions, test drives, click-and-collect, part exchanges and aftersales, and includes advice on staff training, signage, sanitation and protective personal equipment (PPE). 

Its aim is to give customers and staff confidence that all interactions will be carried out in a safe way that will help to avoid the spreading of the virus. 

Car showrooms are expected to be allowed to reopen from 1 June, and while many dealer groups are preparing to reopen on this day, not all will be open to the public straight away. The Government is allowing retail outlets to reopen in phases, and details of which types of business will be in each phase have not yet been revealed.  

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