The UK’s car dealerships are set to re-open on 1st June following over 10 weeks of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The news announced by the Prime Minster, Boris Johnson, is part of a wider plan to open all non-essential retailers and shops by 15th June. The update of car dealerships re-opening will be welcomed by the hundreds of dealers across the UK that are also responsible for employing thousands of sales staff and mechanics.
Car dealerships will need to address safety measures such as social distancing and other methods to ensure cleanliness and limit the spread of coronavirus. This will include limiting the number of people allowed in a showroom and the usage of gloves and masks for both staff and customers.
The Prime Minister said new guidance was being published for the retail sector ‘detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards’.
‘Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen,’ he said. ‘This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take.’
Boris Johnson said the authorities would ‘have the powers we need to enforce compliance where that is required’.
He added: ‘I want people to be confident that they can shop safely provided they follow the social distancing rules for all premises.’
Sean Kelly, managing director of Vines BMW, commented: ‘It’s clearly a very welcome decision, car dealers are well able to serve customers safely and many showrooms are already compliant with social distancing requirements.
‘It’s also a big boost to UK Plc as we can help Britain back to work and create quick high income for HMRC from VAT and VED duties.’
Whilst no one has been able to purchase a vehicle through a car dealership for the last 10 weeks, this has a spill-over effect to the car finance industry which has not been able to fund any new purchases.
With this in mind, finance providers and brokers such as 24/7 Car Finance, Zluto and QCF will slowly start to re-open their businesses in June and slowly build up their level of funding.
This will be good news to the hundreds of staff employed by car finance providers including sales agents, customer service advisors, marketing specialists, underwriters and other employees.
The car finance industry has not only been limited in their ability to fund new vehicle purchases in recent weeks, the FCA regulator of the industry also permitted a one-month payment holiday for any existing customers suffering with financial difficulty.
However, should the coronavirus decrease and eventually disappear, both the car dealership and finance industry should see an increase in demand for their services and a strong Q4.