Motoring: Consumer confidence is vital during this difficult time

The Government has confirmed motor dealerships must close showrooms

The Government has confirmed motor dealerships must close showrooms - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As we come to the second week of the national lockdown the priority must be to reduce the number of cases of Covid-19 and get things back to normal, or at least whatever the new normal is.

The Government has confirmed motor dealerships must close showrooms and not attend to customers at open display areas but new and used cars and vans can be bought online, on the telephone, and handed over at the dealerships on a ‘click and collect’ basis.

Service departments will remain open to carry out servicing, MOTs, and repairs, including tyres.

This time there is no extension for MOTs so make sure you are covered before going on the road.

Many dealerships will offer a collection and delivery service at a nominal cost for those who are vulnerable and do not feel comfortable visiting the dealership.

Manufacturers are continuing to deliver vehicles and parts so any of you who have placed orders for delivery should be hearing from your dealer when your vehicle arrives and discussing delivery with you.

If you are concerned what safety and protection measures have been put in place, go to your dealership’s website or call to find out.

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Since the first lockdown Vospers dealerships have all made changes to layouts and processes to more than meet Government rules and appointments can be made to minimise the amount of time spent in the dealership.

All employees wear proper masks and front facing employees also have screens to protect customers even more.

As well as hand sanitisers, one-way systems and increased cleaning and sanitisation of the vehicles, all employees working on the vehicles use seat, steering wheel, and gear lever covers, gloves and masks to add protection.

Your safety and the safety of our employees is paramount and I am sure you will find your local dealer will have implemented similar processes but do not be afraid to ask.

You should feel totally confident about your visit.

Now to turn to those of you who are looking at helping your children with their first car purchase this Christmas, a bit of advice. Instead of giving them some money towards an older vehicle, which if there are any problems you may find yourself spending out further money, find out about making a lower deposit and helping them out with payments on a lease (PCP) on a new car.

We have done this with two of ours, who then took on their own leases and are on their third and fourth lease respectively and it has worked very well as they both live and work outside the area.

You can also explain the car is covered on manufacturer’s warranty and if they look after it properly it will be worth more when they need to change it.

You can contribute as much as you wish for as long as you wish in line with their own circumstances.

Many parents are now doing this and with deposits from as little as £1,000, and payments starting at around £150 per month, it is an alternative to consider.

Ask your dealer who will provide full details and and explain the finance options available, subject to conditions.

Keep safe and I look forward to next week.