What Does the New Lockdown Mean for Car Buying, Leasing, Servicing and MOTs?
The latest lockdown will be the second round of lockdown that the English population will face to try to lower the R-rate, or rate of transmission, of the global virus COVID-19.
Currently in place in the UK from November 5th and lasting until at least 2nd December, this second lockdown is similar to the first lockdown but in some cases is less restrictive. Children, for example, are currently remaining in school, and all who can work are advised to do so, although working from home is recommended wherever possible. With a whole new set of rules to get our heads around, we answer all your car-based lockdown-related queries.
Can I lease a new car during the second lockdown?
Rules and regulations seem a constantly moving quicksand at the moment, but here at Rivervale we are working to ensure that new leases can be taken out through lockdown, in a COVID-secure manner.
Browse through the car leasing pages of the Rivervale site to narrow down on what make and model might fit the bill for you, and we can work towards a contactless transition into a new lease.
If your lease is due to end in the imminent future, you can likewise continue as normal, and return and renew as planned. Vehicle inspection procedures will stick to COVID-secure guidelines on health and safety when collections and deliveries.
If you are isolating/shielding, or socially distancing due to being symptomatic or in contact with someone who has been symptomatic, you can get in touch with us to discuss an extension to your lease. We will discuss formal and informal extensions. A formal extension would extend your lease by a minimum of 6 months, whereas an informal extension, would be available on a rolling basis and generally for a shorter period of time.
Can I buy a new car during the lockdown?
This lockdown, some non-essential retailers are being allowed to remain open, unlike during the first lockdown. Car dealerships fit the bill here, being allowed to remain operational - but most will be operating a click and collect, contact-free service with appropriate COVID-secure restrictions in place. Here at Rivervale we thoroughly sanitise the whole vehicle, including the keys, before a contact-free hand-over.
As it stands currently, dealerships can offer a contactless click-and-collect and delivery service, but the showrooms themselves must close. Rivervale House for example is closed to the publich however some staff continue to work from the on-site offices and our used vehicle and Bosch service centre remaim operational.
Test drives will be heavily restricted - prospective buyers will have to take the test drive on their own after the car has been heavily sanitised for safety reasons. Upon purchase, the salesman cannot walk you through a new purchase in person either, as they might normally - although they might offer to do so over video conferencing software in an identical vehicle to get you familiar with your new ride.
These rules all apply, currently, for England. In Scotland meanwhile, the Tier system still applies. Showrooms in Tiers 1-3 can remain open, whilst only forecourts remain open in Tier 4.
Can I get my car serviced, or book in for an MOT?
During the last lockdown, the government implemented a six-month extension to drivers’ MOTs, so that they could avoid going to get serviced during the lockdown period (enabling them to avoid both unnecessary driving and coming into contact with a wider circle of people at the garage). This time, garages are allowed to remain open, so the MOT extension will not come into play.
There is still a hefty backlog of MOTs to get through as hangovers from the last lockdown, so if you are coming up for being due it’s worth getting a date booked in to ensure you can keep your car on the road.
In Wales, garages remain open for essential repairs and MOTs only, whilst in Scotland, the rules vary region by region, with Tier 4 restrictions advising against all but essential travel.
Am I allowed to drive through lockdown?
The government has advised us all to restrict travel to only necessary journeys. ‘Necessary’ journeys include driving where necessary for work if you cannot work from home, as well as for buying essentials (trips to the supermarket and other food shops), and for care - whether that’s childcare, care for the vulnerable or elderly or to get medical care. So no, we shouldn’t just be going for a drive to ‘get out of the house’. As well as for the reasons above, we are also allowed to drive to access outdoor spaces for exercise.
The government’s second lockdown is currently due to end on the 2nd of December, although cabinet minister Michael Gove has already alluded to the fact that this date could be pushed back if COVID-19 infection rates are not significantly lowered and brought under control during this period. We are doing all we can to make car leasing problem-free during this difficult period.
If you have any further questions please get in touch and we will do our best to find answers for you. Call 01273 433480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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