Customers wishing to buy a car in March can visit a showroom to conclude the purchasing of the vehicle by pre-booking an appointment…in Scotland. But not in England.
Sue Robinson, Chief Exec of the National Franchised Dealers Association which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the entire UK, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s confirmation that the click & collect system north of the border will be amended to permit access to the showroom.
But, of course, dealers in England and Wales have to wait until 12 April (at least) until customers can come in to see, feel and smell their new car.
Meanwhile, over at the SMMT, chief exec Mike Hawes says that “the fact that retail showrooms must remain closed until April at least, is deeply disappointing given these facilities are Covid-secure, large premises with low footfall and able to operate on an appointment-only basis.”
Too right, Mike. He also says: “Click and collect…does not replace the showroom experience on which so many retail customers depend, especially in the all-important March plate change month that represents 1 in 5 of annual new car registrations.”
So, are Scottish showrooms safer than English or Welsh? Or Northern Irish? Why the discrepancies? Is it because the Scottish Government has a far greater understanding of how the retail motor sector works and trusts us to do a good job of keeping our customers safe?