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Scottish Government confirms customers can access showrooms to ‘conclude purchasing of vehicle’

NFDA 23/02/2021

“Following our requests, it is extremely positive that the Scottish Government has confirmed that amendments to the current operation of click & collect for dealerships in Scotland mean that accessing the showroom to conclude the purchasing of the vehicle would be permissible using an appointment system”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK.

A letter received today by Sue Robinson from the Scottish Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP, confirms that “accessing the showroom to conclude the purchasing of the vehicle would be permissible at this time using an appointment system to manage customer numbers to as few in the showroom at any given time - ideally only one customer at a time - and with the usual caveat that face coverings should be worn and physical distancing maintained”.

The Minister continues: “As much of the purchase as possible should be completed online or by phone to ensure as little time as possible is spent in the showroom. What is not permissible is for potential customers to come into the showroom to browse and to stay for any longer than is absolutely necessary to complete the purchase”.

The letter also highlighted that the “stay at home" messaging, means that for the moment “people should only legitimately be leaving their homes for an essential reason which will ensure that they, their homes and occupants and their means of transportation can be maintained in a safe, secure way”.

Additionally, in response to NFDA’s initial indications, the Minister said the issue of “unaccompanied test drives to be allowed as part of the purchasing process has merit” and officials will be asked to “give this proposition serious consideration”.

Sue Robinson added “We thank the Minister for considering our suggestions and enabling dealers to better serve their customers. Our members continue to work incredibly hard to follow covid-secure guidelines and ensure that staff and customers are kept safe”.

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.