Scottish car buyers can enter showrooms under appointment system

Scottish Government confirms dealers can allow customers into their showrooms to conclude the purchasing of a vehicle

Car dealership

Car buyers in Scotland can enter showrooms to conclude the process of purchasing a vehicle as long as they have an appointment, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Scottish minister for business, Fair Work and Skills, has written to the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) to confirm that “accessing the showroom to conclude the purchasing of the vehicle would be permissible at this time using an appointment system”.

Hepburn added, however, that “as much of the purchase as possible should be completed online or by phone” and that it is “not permissible” for potential customers to come into the showroom to browse.

The letter also said that the idea of allowing unaccompanied test drives as part of the purchasing process had “merit” and that the Scottish Government would “give this proposition serious consideration”.

The news comes after the UK Government announced a lockdown exit strategy for England, including a roadmap that will see car dealerships remain closed until at least 12 April, along with other non-essential retailers.

Both the NFDA and the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) have argued that it is safe for car dealerships to reopen now with appointment systems and social distancing in place.

Commenting on the Scottish Government’s decision, NFDA chief executive Sue Robinson said: “Following our requests, it is extremely positive that the Scottish Government has confirmed that amendments to the current operation of click and collect for dealerships in Scotland mean that accessing the showroom to conclude the purchasing of the vehicle would be permissible using an appointment system.”

Robinson described the UK Government’s decision to keep car showrooms in England closed until 12 April at the earliest as “very disappointing”. She added: “Dealerships have large areas, they generally have a lot of outdoor space on the forecourt and today there are very few vehicles in showrooms as these spaces are already adapted to be Covid-secure; social distancing is easy to maintain.

“Dealerships can operate effectively by appointment and take all necessary steps such as measuring customers’ temperature when they enter the premises, wearing masks, working behind protective screens, as well as sanitising cars and keys.”

Check out the latest on coronavirus' impact on the automotive industry here...

Recommended

Covid-19: what it means for motorists and the car industry
Motorway
News

Covid-19: what it means for motorists and the car industry

Everything you need to know about how Covid-19 affects cars, motorists and the car industry in the UK
6 Apr 2021
April new car registrations up 3,177%
Ford Fiesta
News

April new car registrations up 3,177%

Last month saw a monumental upswing from April 2020, when pandemic-struck Brits bought just 4,321 cars - but month was still 12.9 per cent down on dec…
5 May 2021
UK car production rises but still down on five-year average
Production line
News

UK car production rises but still down on five-year average

Manufacturing rose 46.6 per cent year-on-year in March 2021, but was still 22.8 per cent lower than the five-year March average
28 Apr 2021
UK Driving tests restart but learner drivers face long waits
Driving test

UK Driving tests restart but learner drivers face long waits

Learner drivers in the UK face a 17-week wait between booking and taking their practical driving test
22 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Average speed cameras on motorways get approval from drivers
Average speed camera
News

Average speed cameras on motorways get approval from drivers

UK drivers are in favour of average speed cameras on motorways despite the majority admitting to breaking 70mph limit
10 May 2021
Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value
Appreciators: Renault 5
Features

Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value

Looking to invest in a modern classic? Here are some cars destined to appreciate in value
4 May 2021
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke

Can the all-new Vauxhall Mokka make an impact in the small SUV market? We test it against the Hyundai Kona and Nissan Juke to find out
8 May 2021