How does England’s post-lockdown tier system affect car buying?


Today, Boris Johnson has laid out the UK’s plan to contain Covid-19 after the second lockdown period in England comes to an end on December 2.

The ‘Covid-19 Winter Plan’ will see a return to localised lockdowns based on the three-tier system, similar to the one that was implemented before the current national lockdown, but with stricter restrictions in place.

Tier one will simply see the government encourage people to work from home, tier two will require pubs and bars to close unless they serve substantial meals, while tier three will see all hospitality forced to close except for delivery and takeaway, as well as hotels.

Coronavirus – Mon Jun 1, 2020
Coronavirus – Mon Jun 1, 2020

However, all non-essential shops and leisure facilities can reopen regardless of their region’s current tier designation.

This means that car dealerships will be cleared to reopen their doors, so you can buy a new vehicle whether you’re looking for a new or used model.

During the initial lockdown, car dealerships worked to implement Covid-safe procedures that allowed them to reopen over the summer.

That means that if you arrive at a dealership to buy a car, they should have social distancing measures in place, as well as keeping cars regularly sanitised between customers.

When national restrictions end on 2 December we will return to a regional tiered approach in England.

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— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) November 23, 2020

Many dealerships have also taken the selling process online or over the phone. If you contact your local dealer, it is likely you’ll be able to buy the car without ever setting foot in the dealership. And when it comes to new cars, you can even specifically choose the colour, trim level and optional extras when ordering.

Click and collect services are now common, which means that your car will be waiting for you at the dealership at a pre-arranged time, minimising your need to enter a dealership’s premises and interact with the fewest members of staff possible.

Furthermore, it’s also common to have vehicles delivered to your door, meaning the whole process can be completed without so much as seeing the dealership. This is likely to cost extra, though.

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