In welcome news to the motoring industry, car dealerships will open on April 12th. You will now be free to visit a showroom to look at a car, test drive it, configure it and buy it. There will now of course be be strict social distancing in place and you will be required to wear a face mask. Test drives will also be expected to be taken alone.
Whilst showrooms have remained closed, they have been still able to operate a remote ordering and delivery service. However, with potential new car owners unable to inspect the car first and still wary of the virus, this has been largely unsuccessful. It is hoped that customers will now feel more at ease.
Good time to negotiate a deal
Sales of new cars were have been badly effected over the lockdown period. However there as been a rebound in March, as registrations rose 12.5%. This was the first growth for the new car sector since August.
In addition, research from WhatCar? suggests that nearly one in five car buyers are preparing to purchase a new car now showrooms are reopening. Great news for under-pressure retailers and manufacturers. Many dealerships will have excess stock they will be desperate to sell – therefore it could be an excellent time to secure a competitive deal on a new car.
Can I get my car repaired, serviced or MOT tested?
Car servicing, repairs and MOTs were able to carry on as usual during the latest lockdown, so you can take your car to a dealer or garage for any of these services. There has also been no MOT extension scheme as per the first lockdown.
Many garages will be offering a collect-and-return service to assist with social distancing and reducing the need for unnecessary contact. Therefore there is no reason to be put off from getting your vehicle tested.
As we previously reported, there are currently estimated to be thousands of unroadworthy vehicles currently on the roads. In turn, the return to testing is understandably welcome news to road safety campaigners.
If you are not sure when your test is due you can check the Government’s MOT status tracker.
Petrol Price Update – 12p a litre rise in just 5 months
Fuel prices have increased in March for a fifth consecutive month. The average price of petrol is now up to 126.28p, accelarating a further 3%. Diesel prices have grown more steadily at 2.4p per litre in March, reaching 129.07p-a-litre on average.
The RAC has commented that recent pump hikes ‘seem unrelenting’ and have frustratingly come at a time when drivers are ‘now starting to use their vehicles more with the easing of the national lockdown’.
Meanwhile, the lockdown restrictions on road travel in 2020 collapsed UK petrol and diesel sales by 8.7billion litres, HMRC’s latest fuel duty update has revealed. AA analysis suggests that the crash in demand was equivalent to vehicles not visiting petrol stations for 10 weeks. The recent continued price hikes suggest they are looking to make this up as quickly as possible.
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