Arnold Clark contacted the Scottish government to seek clarification on how it can continue to operate under the latest coronavirus restrictions.
Scotland was placed in a national lockdown from midnight on January 4, but the impact on car dealers was unclear.
Arnold Clark – the most profitable car dealer group in the UK as named in the Car Dealer Top 100 – said it contacted the government to get guidance.
Since Tier 4 restrictions were imposed in Scotland prior to Christmas, the dealer group continued to operate via click and collect and home delivery.
Aftersales departments remained open and available to all customers too.
The firm said: ‘Following the first minister’s announcement on Monday, we sought further clarification from both the government and Trading Standards, and we are able to continue safely providing these services to our customers within government guidelines.
‘While guidance states that retail showrooms must remain closed, it is clear that Click & Collect and home delivery services can continue to operate where goods are purchased online.
‘Our digital journey ensures that customers can engage with us online, while Covid measures in branch mean that the minimal employees that are preparing and delivering vehicles, can do so safely.’
Arnold Clark said that it was also mindful of the welfare of its employees and that this was a ‘priority’ during the resurgence in cases.
The firm added: ‘We communicated with all employees on the same day as the new announcements to advise that where possible to do so effectively, employees should work from home.
‘We are working closely with our IT department to ensure that extra equipment is provided where needed to ensure this can happen.
‘Any employee that cannot work from home, has been given access to download a letter confirming that they are travelling for work that is within government guidance, but that cannot be completed at home.’
The proactive moves from the most successful car dealer group have been followed by dealers across the UK after the UK government placed England in lockdown the following day.
Yesterday, Car Dealer hosted a live Q&A with legal experts to explain exactly what can and cannot take place during the lockdown – click and collect is fine, as long as dealers follow certain rules, but test drives are not advisable.
The full details of how dealers can continue to do business during the third lockdown can be found here.