How car companies are keeping key workers mobile

Car makers were among the first to offer servicing and the use of vehicles to frontline staff. Here’s what some of them are doing...

Coronavirus story

While around 40% of garages have remained open to help keep vehicles used by the NHS and other key workers in good shape, Aston Martin Works (AMW) has taken the idea one step further. It is offering a free emergency car repair service for cars owned by NHS staff in the Milton Keynes area. 

The service covers all makes and models, and is staffed entirely by volunteer technicians and back-of-house staff. The recipients don’t pay anything for the labour, and they are only asked to pay for parts where required, which BMW is doing its best to source at significantly discounted rates.

Cars for key workers

Many car companies have also provided free vehicles to key workers and those delivering food to the most vulnerable people. 

Around 50 BMW and Mini vehicles have been given to NHS key workers and MG has donated 100 ZS electric vehicles to them to use throughout the crisis. 

Coronavirus story

Jaguar Land Rover has deployed around 120 vehicles for use by various organisations. The British Red Cross has been given 57 Land Rovers, including 27 new Defenders from the press fleet, while the Health Authority and Air Ambulance have both been given four vehicles, 12 have gone to Local Resilience Forums and two to engineers at RAF Scampton who are distributing food.  

The Fiat Group has loaned three Jeeps to the South Central Ambulance Service to support them and its local community. 

Hyundai has loaned a fleet eight of vehicles to NHS Buckinghamshire’s volunteer effort. The cars will go to people delivering medicine and information leaflets and transporting patients around Buckinghamshire. It will increase the number of vehicles as the need arises. 

Nissan has announced that its dealers are making more than 100 vehicles available for free to NHS staff. The vehicles are dealer demonstrators or courtesy cars from 30 different dealerships; the models on offer include the Micra, Juke, Qashqai and all-electric Leaf.

Seat has supplied the South West Yorkshire NHS Trust with two vehicles to assist community and mental health services with daily deliveries. The company has also taken an order for 25 Leons, which are being fast-tracked and made available, for nurses working across multiple NHS care trusts. 

Renault has provided additional vans to the Felix Project, which is working on the Food For London campaign, delivering food to the poor, elderly and vulnerable in London. It is also providing resources to The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes.

Volvo has introduced a direct sales supply to key emergency services, including the police and fire departments. This secures the continued supply of vehicles, parts and tyres to them. 

In addition, the car maker has introduced a discount scheme specifically for NHS staff and workers. It allows them to buy a new Volvo on the same basis as Volvo and retailer staff, which is up to a 20% discount on certain models.  

Free breakdown assistance

AA roadside rescue

Breakdown cover is also being offered to those on the frontline for free. The AA has set up a dedicated NHS worker line – 0800 072 5064 – which can be used by those travelling to and from work. A patrol will try to repair the car and if that’s not possible take the car and driver to their preferred destination. 

The PSA Group, which owns Citroen, DS, Peugeot and Vauxhall, are also offering free breakdown assistance to owners of relevant brand cars of all ages. Peugeot owners can call 0800 197 2045; the number for Citroen owners is 0800 197 2046; DS Automobile owners can call 00800 24 24 07 07; and the number for Vauxhall owners is 0800 197 2049. 

Nissan is also offering a free recovery service to all NHS workers owning one of its vehicles. The service is available by calling 0330 123 1231. 

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