In England, car dealerships have been closed since near the start of the lockdown, whereas the service departments have been allowed to stay open during it to help key workers get their cars repaired in order to travel to work. This week, Boris Johnson has announced that starting on the 1st June, car dealerships in England will be allowed to fully open to sell new cars so long as the “necessary social distancing” rules are adhered to.
The announcement was made on Monday this week and Johnson said that car dealerships can open up again on the 1st June and then on the 15th June, other ‘non-essential retail’ locations can open up.
“The NFDA has worked closely with SMMT to produce guidelines for retailers in line with the Government’s recommendations. Retailers have been working hard to put all necessary measures in place to ensure social distancing can be observed. Following our lobbying efforts where we highlighted it was vital to include dealerships in the first wave of non-essential retail reopening, it is positive that the Prime Minister has confirmed the Government intends to reopen car showrooms from 1 June. As lockdown measures start to ease, many of us will need cars to get back to work and it is crucial that automotive retailers are open to serve the workforce. The retail automotive sector looks forward to welcoming customers back into showrooms.”
Sue Robinson – Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA)
When dealerships reopen, shoppers will be able to chat with staff while meeting the social distancing rules and test drives could be conducted alone. However, it is still best to not turn up at the dealership without calling ahead and planning first and dealers are also offering a video walk around a car.
This announcement is only applicable to car dealerships in England, the lockdown rules are currently much more strict in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Jason Cranswick on Twitter, who works for a Jaguar dealer has revealed they have perspex screens up on desks ready for the reopen.
Sat behind a Perspex screen today in one of our amazing JLR businesses getting ready to re-open on 1st June. I could buy a Jaguar F-Type online on @jardinemotorsuk to match my water bottle #StayingSafe #ContactlessSales #SocialDistancing #KeepingHydrated pic.twitter.com/GUVqs5hNIx
— Jason Cranswick (@JasonCranswick) May 28, 2020