The government has confirmed that car dealerships can sell vehicles online and deliver them during the lockdown period.

Car dealerships, along with the majority of other retailers, have had to close their doors to customers following the government’s lockdown announcement on March 23 to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

And though several dealerships have been continuing to promote their operations via online platforms, many have had to cease trading entirely to remain on the safe side. With the rules surrounding car deliveries unclear, most dealers took the decision to close their doors until the lockdown conditions were eased.

However, a spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) told Car Dealer Magazine: “They are all 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 customers.”

It means that dealers can sell cars online and deliver them to households providing they follow key safety guidance.

The spokesperson added that current health and safety guidelines issued to car manufacturers would also be useful to car dealers, with the key points detailed below:

  • If you decide the work should continue, staff should work side by side or facing away from each other, rather than face-to-face if possible.
  • Dealers should increase the frequency of cleaning procedures, pausing in the day if necessary for staff to wipe down workstations with disinfectant
  • Dealers should assign staff to the same shift teams to limit social interaction.
  • Dealers should not allow staff to congregate at break times and staggered break times should be considered so that staff can continue to practice social distancing.
  • Dealers should communicate to all staff that they should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more at the beginning and end of every break, when they arrive at work and before they leave.
  • To help with handwashing, dealers should consider adding additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities, providing soap, water and/or hand sanitiser.
  • When entering and leaving, dealers should ensure their workforce stays two metres apart as much as possible.
  • And to protect staff, dealers should remind colleagues daily to only come into work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.