According to Khabar Khodro, car dealerships in England
can reopen for 'click-and-collect' style sales according to a new government
update. However, showrooms will not be allowed to reopen until at least 1 June.
Click-and-collect handovers would typically involve a
carbeing placed outside and sanitised prior to a customer collecting it at
aspecified time, with the key being left in a sanitised package, and with no
human contact of closer than two metres.
The move partially unlocks car sales, as it will allow
customers whose car is in stock to collect it so long as strict guidelines are
followed to ensure social distancing.
Because the coronavirus lockdown began inmid-March - the
busiest month of the year for new car sales - many vehicles were impounded
prior to delivery to their owners.
Additionally, during lockdown, dealerships have been
allowed to sell new and used cars online or on the phone. Most retailers had
moved to a model of taking deposits for them pending delivery - so a
click-and-collect style of system would allow them to complete the
The government guidelines state: "All retail, other
than those exempt, must close their premises to members of the public.
"However, staff may be present to make deliveries
or provide services in response to orders such as those through telephone,
online, or mail.
"Click-and-collect services can also operate,
though customers must not enter premises."
Retailers had hoped to be allowed to reopen this month
following talks with the government, but the infection rate from coronavirus
was deemed too high for restrictions to be lifted.