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Coronavirus: When can I visit a car dealer again? | Motoring News

With Locking Locking All Over the UK we have put together this handy round up of the changing rules across the UK and what they mean to you. From reopening car dealerships to taking test drives, these are the changes that will affect car buyers in the coming weeks.

Some non-essential retailers in England have been allowed to stay open despite the lockdown, even though they only operate a click and collect and delivery service. That is set to change on April 12, when non-essential retail businesses – including car dealerships and showrooms – are allowed to reopen their doors to the public.

When can I visit a car dealership again?

From April 12th (in England) the showrooms and dealerships will reopen. This means you will soon be able to see potential purchases in the metal again. However, just like with supermarkets and stores, there will be rules in place in public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As you’d expect, you’ll need to wear a face mask and there is likely to be a limit to how many people can enter a showroom at one time. We expect most traders to get back to the rules in the summer of 2020, which means they’ll use an appointment system to keep the number of people on-site down. That means you may need to book in advance instead of just showing up.

Social distancing measures are being reintroduced to keep employees and customers safe. This includes in-store signage, floor stickers, desk screens, and hand sanitizing stations. You may also need to wear gloves if you plan to sit in one of the demonstration cars.

When will the test drives continue?

If traders revert to the social distancing rules we saw last summer when the lockdown had eased slightly, the test drives could resume again. But they won’t look normal.

Test drives are likely to be unaccompanied and carried out by customers themselves.

Can I buy or sell a car privately while it is blocked?

You may be able to visit a prospective buyer to buy a car, even though it is no longer essential after the home stay order expires (March 29). With this in mind, government guidelines do not specifically mention private car sales, and you should still reduce the number of trips you currently make.

You will likely be paying more attention to the car even after the lockdown ends.

An alternative to selling your own car privately would be to use an online sales site – like WeBuyAnyCar – or an auction house if, for example, you have a classic that you want to get rid of. You can use a physical auction house like Anglia Car Auctions or one of the new online classic car auction specialists, Collecting Cars or The Market.

-Car buy online

Can I haggle for a new car?

Haggling is harder than ever right now. New car demand could outperform supply in the coming months as auto auctions (and even factories) have been on and off for over 12 months.

Remember that the margin between a car’s retail value and its retail price isn’t entirely profit either. Dealers also have to pay for their premises, staff, any prep work on the car (which can often be very extensive) and a warranty.

If you’re not in a hurry, we recommend waiting for things to settle down a bit. Then do your research and look for the right offer.

Will Click and Collect and Home Delivery continue?

Buying a car remotely is here to stay. Even after the lockdown ends, you can still buy a car using Click and Collect, simply because online shopping is a huge success and car dealers are now familiar with the distance selling process.

What about Scotland?

The stay at home rules were repealed on April 2nd and replaced with guidelines for stay local. Non-essential Click and Collect services can be opened from April 5th. Car dealerships should be open to the public from April 26th – but they need to make sure they follow COVID-19 guidelines, which are similar to restrictions in England.

What about Wales?

Non-essential retail stores will be able to reopen from April 12th and people will be able to enter and leave Wales from that date.

What about Northern Ireland?

Starting April 12th, Click and Collect will be available to all non-essential retail stores, including car dealerships (we assume).

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