It may seem like a lifetime ago that the government imposed
lockdown on all businesses other those deemed ‘essential’. The Prime Minister
seemed leave this up to a fair amount of interpretation at the time, causing
significant controversy when some businesses chose to remain open. The car
sales industry was not given any room to negotiate and the PM specifically
asked them to shut down to all activity other than ‘urgent car repairs and
other necessary services’. This left many dealerships with no source of income
and an uncertain future. In particular, growth in electric vehicle market was
dealt a heavy blow and it threatened to derail the progress achieved so far.
In the weeks that have followed, while we all remain
indoors, many industry representatives have pushed the government for
clarification over which industries fit the ‘essential’ category and what, if
any, activity is still allowed to be undertaken by non-essential business. As a result, the government has confirmed today
that car dealerships will be ‘able to continue to sell cars remotely and
deliver cars, as long as they follow our clear guidance from Public Health
England to protect both employees who cannot work from home and their
Pre-Coronavirus statistics indicate that around 29% of people were purchasing their new car online. There still exists understandable reservations over making such a significant purchase without seeing the product in person. However, with the rise in personal contracts and hire purchase deals, buying or leasing a car is becoming less of a commitment. Mercedes reported that around 80% of their UK sales contained a lease element and they expect this to continue.
Moreover, as we have discussed before on this blog, the
interactive nature of car manufacturer websites and the amount of information
available online means that buying a car remotely is incredibly easy. This is
even more applicable of the electric car market. One example would be Tesla,
who have moved away from the traditional car dealership model and have been
creating smaller high-street shops to sell their brand. Picking your electric
car has becoming much more of an interactive virtual experience, one which can
almost certainly be achieved from your sofa.
So where does today’s announcement leave you?
This development means that anyone sitting at home waiting
to purchase their next car, or those who are at least curious, now have the option of buying their car online
and may not have to wait until the end of lockdown to receive it (delivery
times allowing). Moreover, it allows the car sales industry to get up and
running again and may be a life-saver for many companies worried about cash
Nevertheless, while the government is encouraging home
deliveries of new vehicles, it remains unclear whether showrooms can offer click-and-collect
or appointment style handovers. Moreover, the decision to introduce remote
sales remains at the discretion of individual dealerships and not all will have
the capacity to do this safely. It is best to contact the car manufacturer or
local dealership before placing an online order.
Finally, the government spokesperson added that ‘when the time is right, reopening car showrooms will be a crucial first step to restarting the market and getting the wider economy back on its feet.’ This is a clear indication that car manufacturing and sales is considered to be a key part of the UK economy and this will be taken into account as we move forward.
If you are thinking of purchasing an electric vehicle, we
encourage you to continue this process as normal and seriously consider
ordering your new car online. We promise you will receive just as much
satisfaction when your car is delivered as you would have if it was purchased
it person. In the meantime, if would like information about chargepoint
installation or have any other questions relating to electric vehicles, call us
on 0141 280 8890 or drop us an email at email@example.com.
A member of our technical team will be happy to talk to you.
We also have a variety of platforms available with extensive
information about electric vehicles (brite-ev.com), EV chargepoints
(evchargepoints.com) and EE accessories (briteaccessories.com).
Alternatively, our blog has many recent articles which discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the electric vehicle market and other interesting topics for you to read about.
Author – Iain McComish of evchargepoints.com
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