95% of car buyers believe dealerships can be run Covid-safe
The majority of car buyers are comfortable with re-entering showrooms when lockdown restrictions lift and have full confidence that showrooms will be Covid-safe.
The Government’s new roadmap to lift the lockdown in England means the earliest non-essential retail outlets will open is 12 April – providing strict conditions are met. The plans mean that showrooms will remain closed throughout the first quarter – including the all-important March plate change month.
The new research from What Car? finds 95% of respondents said they would be comfortable entering dealerships once the guidelines allow.
The same share of buyers also believe that dealers can be run in a Covid-19 safe way to ensure the safety of staff and customers – up from 89% in October 2020.
The study of 2,823 buyers also explored measures that would help increase confidence among those not comfortable visiting a showroom. A total of 27% of respondents said a booking system with timed appointments would make them more comfortable visiting a showroom – a system already in place in Scotland. Meanwhile 21% wanted evidence of regular disinfecting of vehicles and waiting areas, and 14% wanted clear space dividers for staff and customers.
The research also underscores how significant dealers are to car buyers; although carmakers’ rapid developments of online sales and click & collect capabilities have proven capable of meeting the most urgent customer demands.
Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said the findings were extremely encouraging.
“The fact that most respondents are confident that dealerships can be run in a covid-safe way pays testament to the efforts dealers have been making over the past months to follow covid-secure guidelines and protect the health of staff and customers.”