Following the latest Government guidance stating that all non-essential physical retail, including car showrooms, are to close during the four week lockdown in England, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has shared with its members guidance on the online sales of vehicles and the implications for delivery and ‘click & collect’.
The NFDA’s briefing document has been prepared by TLT Solicitors to cover a number of aspects that are relevant to dealers, particularly where the Government guidelines may be open to different interpretations by enforcement authorities.
The document is intended to clarify as far as possible the current position surrounding requirements and restrictions relating to vehicle selling, transportation and distribution in England.
The NFDA briefing document provides advice to dealers and outlines the implications for businesses in the following areas:
- Vehicle sales and car repairs
- Remote purchasing of vehicles: delivery and ‘click & collect’
- Part exchanges
- Test drives
- Suggested hygiene and social distancing measures
Currently, the Government guidance states that all non-essential physical retail establishments, which includes vehicle showrooms, are to close during the four-week lockdown in England. These venues can continue to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected without the customer having to “enter inside” the dealership premises) and deliver purchased vehicles and accessories to customers.
Car repair and MOT services fall within a list of exceptions and are permitted to stay open. With regard to vehicle servicing, the briefing document says ‘people are allowed to travel if it is reasonably necessary to obtain services from a business, so this would include assessment and repairs for any serious or dangerous problems with their car’.
The suggested hygiene and social distancing measures listed in the document apply where goods are being delivered or collected, and where any necessary repair or maintenance services are being provided.
Sue Robinson, NFDA Chief Executive, commented, “It is vital that franchised dealers handle sales and delivery processes in a manner that is safe and compliant with all COVID-19 related health and safety requirements.
“Businesses must continue to follow the Government’s guidance. Our briefing document on online sales is intended to clarify any possible confusion and provide our members with advice and recommendations.
“NFDA members who have not yet received the document should contact us and we also continue to encourage dealers to get in touch with us directly for any assistance they need as advice may change on a case by case basis”.
NFDA Communications Manager