Is This The ‘New Normal’ for Car Sales in Scotland?

Added: 18 March 2021

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease in Scotland, the Scottish Government has confirmed that car buyers will soon be able to enter car showrooms to complete their vehicle purchases- as long as they have an appointment.

Scottish minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP, has written to the NFDA (National Franchised Dealers Association in order to get confirmation that prospective car buyers will be given permission to enter a car showroom in order to finalise vehicle purchases. This will be made possible by using an appointment system.

It should, however, be made clear that visiting car showrooms should only be for the purpose of concluding a purchase, and that as much of the process as possible should be completed  online or on the phone. That means that customers simply looking to browse will not be able to do so in person, even if they try to book an appointment to do so.

The news of this change comes following the UK Government announcing the roadmap towards an exit strategy as lockdowns ease over the next several months. It stated that car dealerships should, along with other non-essential retailers, remain closed until at least 12th April 2021.

The NFDA and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have both brought  forward the argument that it could be deemed safe for car dealerships to begin to open now with the correct measures of social distancing, hygiene practices, and appointment systems in place in order to allow this to happen. 

However, Sue Robinson, the Chief Executive of the NFDA commented on the Scottish Government's decision, outline that the results were increasingly positive. The Scottish Government have created a ‘click and collect’ system for car dealerships operating in Scotland, meaning that access to the showroom in order to complete the purchase is possible through their strict appointment system.

Appointments should take place one at a time with mask-wearing and social distancing measures in place. This is a welcome change that indicates the beginning of lockdown easing in Scotland and throughout the UK.

Scotland is set to return to the levels system of restrictions from April 26th with all council areas set to move to Level 3 which will begin to see a reopening of the economy including ‘non-essential’ services. Phases will change after three weeks as the curve is flattened which is continued good news for the automotive company.

Sandy Burgess, Scottish Motor Trade Association Chief Executive has stated that they would be able to issue some more guidance to its members which will iron out any ambiguity that is currently in place.

To book your one-on-one appointment to complete your car purchase, talk to us at Ian Grieve today!