November 2020 COVID-19 Lockdown Update

Following the latest Government announcement, we would like to update our customers about the changes we will be making during the lockdown period starting as of Thursday 5th November.

Aftersales

We will continue to be open to our customers for Service, MOT and Parts Sales Monday to Friday from 8am till 5pm. This will be with strict social distancing measures in place, to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues.

Sales

Our sales departments will close for visitors, so we cannot offer test drives or in person visits.

However, we will be available remotely to handle sales enquiries via phone, email, live chat or using our fantastic new Click, Buy and Collect online, which allows you to buy your next car from the comfort of your own home.

We will additionally be offering COVID-secure contact-free Click-and-Collect services for customers taking delivery of their new vehicle over the period of lockdown. Your dedicated collection time will be agreed between yourself and a member of our physical sales team, who will be in contact with you to arrange this to be completed safely.



Face Covering Notice Update

From Thursday 24th September it will also be mandatory for our colleagues to wear face coverings at all times.

The wearing of a face covering for Sales, Aftersales and Parts customers attending the business by appointment is mandatory. Please ensure you have this in place prior to arrival as in the interest of our colleagues and customer safety those customers arriving at the site without a face covering may be turned away.

It is important to note that some of our customers may be exempt from wearing a face covering. The conditions under which this may apply are listed below;

  1. young children under the age of 11
  2. not being able to put on wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  3. if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause them severe distress
  4. if they are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  5. to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to themselves or others
  6. to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and they do not have a face covering with them
  7. to eat or drink, but only if they need to
  8. to take medication
  9. if a police officer or other official requests they remove the face covering

In line with the guidance from the government which states; “Shops and supermarkets will be expected to encourage compliance with the law (as they would do more generally) and can refuse entry. If necessary, the police have the powers to enforce these measures, including through issuing a fine of £100 (halving to £50 if paid within 14 days)”.

For further information please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus



Face Covering Notice

From Friday the 24th July it will be mandatory for customers and visitors to wear a face covering when entering any of our retail spaces.

Under the guidelines issued by the Government, car dealerships fall within the description of ‘Shops and Branches’ and therefore from Friday 24th July it is mandatory for customers/visitors to wear a face covering upon entering our businesses.



MOT Testing Note

Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted, Roads minister Baroness Vere has announced today (29 June 2020).

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

MOT tests are important for road safety and ensure that vehicle parts, including tyres, seatbelts, brakes, lights and exhausts, are in proper working order.

Drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a 6-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.



Social Distancing Note

Access to view or test drive any of our vehicles is limited by our opening times and our social distancing policy’s, please ensure you book an appointment by telephone or email to secure a time slot to view and discuss purchasing options. We kindly ask that is these unprecedented times that you are considerate to all our staff. Our social distancing policies are there not only to protect the customers but also all our work colleagues. We absolutely do not want you to be disappointed when visiting so once again please do ensure an appointment is booked before visiting.



Advice from The AA regarding keeping your car in good health during the lock down

Leaving your car parked for up to a month

Fuel – Before parking your car up for a long period, it’s a good idea to top up with fuel. Not only will this help with other measures, but a full tank doesn't attract condensation, which could cause issues if allowed to build up over time.

Battery maintenance – If you can, connect your car's battery to a mains-powered battery maintainer. If you can't, start the engine once a week and allow it to run for about 15 minutes. This will re-charge the battery and help keep the engine in good condition. It’s important to allow the engine to run for this long so the battery can charge properly. In the case of petrol engine cars, it also helps to prevent engines from flooding with fuel. Never leave your car unattended with the engine running.

Brakes – Sometimes when a car's parked up for a long period with the parking brake on, the brakes can seize. To prevent this it's good practice to release the parking brake and move the vehicle a short distance back and forth, at the same time as running the engine. You shouldn’t leave the parking brake off unless the vehicle is on private land with the wheels securely chocked.

Electric vehicles – EVs and hybrid vehicles have 12-volt batteries, the same as conventional cars. However, they charge differently. Pressing the start button, so the ready light comes on, will operate the charging system. Doing this for 10 minutes once a week should keep the 12-volt battery topped up. Some electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles can maintain their 12-volt batteries if they’re plugged in to the mains charger. Check your vehicle handbook for details on this.

Garages – Don’t run a car engine inside a household garage as the exhaust fumes can be toxic. If you keep your car in a garage, pull it out onto the drive to run the engine to charge the battery.

Getting back on the road

Before you start a car you haven’t used for a long time:

  • Check that the MOT and car tax are still current.
    • Taxing the car will cancel any SORN.
    • If you need an MOT, you can only drive the car if it’s to a garage for a pre-booked MOT.
  • Check tyre pressures.
  • Check nothing’s nesting under the bonnet or has chewed through the pipes/hoses.
  • Check all fluid levels, before starting the engine.
  • Check the brakes, including the handbrake – they may have seized up if the car was left with the handbrake on. Try putting into gear and driving gently.

Credit The AA, please visit https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/laying-up to see the original article.