A difficult time for us all
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As expected the situation with coronavirus has worsened and it is likely we will remain in lockdown for some weeks to come.
The Government has taken the decision not to extend MOTs and is expecting garages to remain open to carry out these, as well as continue regular servicing and repairs.
I believe most garages will remain open but franchise dealers will more likely be open, as a requirement from the manufacturer.
If you are vulnerable or just nervous about visiting your dealer ask about the safety practices being carried out, which at least have to meet Government standards, and whether or not there is a collection and delivery service.
At Vospers, we tested all our employees and as a result of two positive results, a few of our total team have been self-isolating to ensure no further spread.
Sales of new and used vehicles require all showrooms are closed but online and telephone sales are continuing and you can either collect outside or have delivery to your home.
Most dealers will be digitally open and will have excellent websites for you to inspect their stock and talk to a sales advisor on the telephone.
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There will also be many dealers with videos and further information which will allow you to buy with confidence.
At Vospers vehicles can be completely sanitised and a safe handover completed outside with the customer in the vehicle and with no proximity to the sales advisor.
For more security the sales advisors will wear masks, although not required outside.
So if you need a new car and your lease is coming to an end in the next few months telephone your dealer and he will be able to help you and explain your options.
March will be a big month with the new 21 plate and you will be able to reserve your new car for collection then when hopefully the restrictions will be eased.
Used cars continued to sell in the previous lockdown periods and you can operate on a click and collect, home delivery or reserve with collection when restrictions are eased.
Although for some this is not the way they would prefer to buy a car or van it is at least an alternative. Business users have kept ordering vehicles which are necessary for them to carry out there services and are keeping their vehicles in a safe and roadworthy condition for the safety of their employees.
Also as a result of more online shopping van sales have been continuing to satisfy demand.
Many dealers, including Vospers, have special arrangements for emergency services and are continuing to prioritise front line workers.
The challenge for all dealers is to balance the number of people at work with customer demand and this is further effected by those who are having to remain at home to care for a child or vulnerable person.
We all know this is a vital time if we are to stop the virus causing more cases and deaths, with pressure on the NHS at its peak. We all must play our part.
Thank you for joining me. Stay safe and keep smiling.