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My Vehicle and Coronavirus – FAQs

My Vehicle and Coronavirus – FAQs

In what is the most unusual and unprecedented set of circumstances for all, Rivervale have created the below FAQ document to help vehicle owners and drivers during the coronavirus crisis. Everybody’s number one priority is the health and safety of loved ones and while there is limited official information available on a lot of the issues you may be facing with regards to your vehicle, vehicle use and vehicle finances we will be updating this document with any new official information as and when it is released.

**Information correct at time of publishing**

I’m expecting delivery of my lease vehicle, where is it?

Due to these unprecedented circumstances, all deliveries of new vehicles have currently been postponed. These circumstances will be periodically reviewed by individual manufacturers and logistics companies. We will be able to advise more once further communications are released.

This could also impact on vehicles due for transportation to the dealer network as many dealer groups are also closed.
Vehicles on order may also be impacted as the majority of worldwide manufacturing plants are currently on lockdown.

My lease vehicle is due for return - what are my options?

In the advent of delays to new vehicles being delivered, you have a few options to consider.

  • You could formally extend the contract on your current vehicle for up to 12 months. If you would like to explore this option then please contact one of our account managers.
  • You could order a replacement vehicle for future delivery. In this instance, we are able to approach the leasing company to see if they would be happy for you to retain your current vehicle until the delivery of the new one. Please speak to an account manager for further information.
  • As with deliveries of new vehicles, leasing companies have currently suspended the collection of vehicles due to be returned. If this affects you then please call for further clarification.

I cannot afford my monthly vehicle payments - what should I do?

Speak to your finance provider so you do not default on payments and receive late payment charges and the potential of negative credit scoring. You may be offered some options to make your payments manageable and allow you to keep the vehicle. You may be offered the option to defer payments for a period of time.

Each leasing company may have different offerings dependent on your circumstances. Whilst we are unable to advise on individual cases, we can offer contact information and support for you should it be required.

Can I return my vehicle?

The first thing to consider is the type of finance on your vehicle. If you are under a Personal Contract Purchase or Hire Purchase agreement, you may be permitted to hand back your vehicle to the finance company as long as you have already paid off 50% of the loan, including any deposit, interest, and fees. This calculatiojn is comonly known as '50% of the total amount payable'. This does not give you the opportunity to claim any equity. If however, you have more than 50% of the loan left to pay, you may need to pay the difference.

Read more: How to Get Out of Your Car Lease

If you lease your vehicle on a Contract Hire agreement and wish to early terminate, then you will have to request an early termination quote. Typically, this normally equates to around 50% of any outstanding rentals you may have. However, some leasing companies have different calculation methods, so please call to discuss if this is an option you wish to explore. Please remember that any early termination quotes will not include any pro-rata excess mileage charges (if applicable), and the vehicles will still need to be returned in fair wear and tear condition (damage charges may apply).

Read more: What is Fair Wear and Tear on my Lease Car?

If you used a bank loan or credit card to buy your vehicle and can’t afford the repayments, then it’s best to contact your loan provider or bank and discuss your options.

Can I get my vehicle MOT’d?

The Government has announced that vehicle owners will be granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing, so you can travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.

'All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March 2020. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.’

Can I get an MOT or service if I am in isolation?

The Government office had this to say:

‘If you cannot get an MOT that’s due because you’re in self-isolation, the Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police to ensure people are not unfairly penalised for things out of their control.’

As far as a service goes, our advice is if your vehicle is experiencing any issues or displaying any warning lights, do not drive it. If it is displaying a service light, try to contact your usual service provider and ask for further advice. In summary, if you can avoid contact with people then you must do so.

Can I get my vehicle serviced or repaired?

You may find some gargaes operating a contactless collection and delivery service for vehicle servicing and repairs, however be sure that you are not being put into any unnecessary danger by using this service. Where possible these service providers will be prioritising or only offering these services to key workers still required to work.

I am Key Worker and I need my vehicle MOT'd, serviced or repaired - what do I do?

Most garages are prioritsing where possible appointments for Key Workers, make sure you make it clear to your usual service provider that you are a key worker, you may be asked to evidence this.

At Rivervale we are offering all Key Workers, NHS Staff, Carehome workers, Teachers and Pharamacists a 15% discount on any MOT, Service or parts for repair work.

What do I do if my service is due?

If you are due a service, manufacturer service intervals are more a guideline not a legal requirement. Having said this its important to check the legal paperwork of any service contracts or warranty to check there are no obligations to have your vehicle serviced by a specific date. If in doubt call your usual service provider or main dealership.

What can I do to look after my vehicle while waiting for a service?

It is important to maintain your vehicle regardless of any servicing requirements. Our recommendation is that you keep a regular check of the below:

  • Coolant level
  • Engine oil levels
  • Tyre pressures and general condition of the tyres, you do not want to get an unnecessary puncture!
  • Windscreen washer fluid level
  • Lights/bulbs

You should refer to your owner’s manual for more specific information, they often give detailed instructions on maintenance you can carry out yourself.

Can I pre-book my MOT, Service or Repair?

YES! We advise you to get your booking in as soon as possible. When the lockdown is lifted there will be a larger number of vehicles due for servicing and MOT, if you have not got your booking in you may experience further delay. At Rivervale we are taking forward bookings from the 15th April, please email service@rivervale.co.uk

What do I do if my vehicle breaks down?

If your car happens to breakdown or gets a punctured tyre, at present you can still call out a breakdown service provider. If they cannot fix it at the roadside they will take your car to a garage.

Both the AA and RAC have stated they will remain operating their call-out services as long as they do not breach any Government guidelines. Currently, this means keeping two metres from anyone, wearing latex protective gloves and wiping down any surfaces touched with hand sanitiser or wipes.

Are dealerships open for test drives and enquiries?

Car showrooms across the UK should have now closed their doors, many are asking staff to work from home and where possible offering online options to buy. At Rivervale, we have closed our showroom and our employees are working from home.

Can I buy or order a new vehicle during the coronavirus crisis?

Many people will have an essential requirement for a vehicle. You can still order a new lease vehicle or buy a used vehicle however you will be required to complete the process online and your lead times for delivery will be difficult to confirm. One advantage is that interest rates are at an all-time low. At Rivervale, you can still communicate with our sales team by emails, telephone calls and live chat.

Read more: Keeping your vehicle clean during the coronavirus crisis

Tell us your concerns - while we may not have the answers immediately we will do our best to find the relevant information and publish it for all.

What issues are you facing with your vehicles during this crisis?

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The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.

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