Dealers in Scotland have been left frustrated after their government said it would ‘give…serious consideration’ to allowing unaccompanied test drives.
Car Dealer reported yesterday (Feb 23) on how showrooms in Scotland were being allowed to let customers in to finalise click-and-collect deals by appointment.
However, the Scottish Parliament is still looking into solo test drives and would only say that the proposition ‘has merit’.
David Wishart, director of Frasers of Falkirk, told Car Dealer: ‘While I think that it’s great to get some clarification [about showrooms], the point about test drives is massively disappointing.
‘I would think all dealers are perfectly willing and able to make sure their cars are fully sanitised and safe environments for customers.
‘I mean, you can travel in the back of a taxi legally, so which one is the far safer option?’
It comes as legal experts at Lawgistics confirmed to Car Dealer that test drives were legal during England’s lockdown – if a deposit has been paid.
- Test drives are allowed during lockdown three after legal experts receive confirmation from Trading Standards
Wishart added: ‘To focus on some positives from this announcement, it’s great to let people, however limited, back into our showrooms to at least let the conclusion seem normal.
‘So long as we do this in a controlled way, then I take from that there is finally an end in sight to restrictions on our showrooms, and we can look forward to test drives being next in the coming weeks – hopefully days.
‘The lack of any real care for the motor trade in general has been shocking so far, and I hope that this is the start of some engagement with governmental ministers who can actually answer the many questions we have.’
Businesses in general in Scotland have also urged for more clarity after Nicola Sturgeon announced yesterday (Feb 23) how its lockdown would be eased.
The first minister told the Scottish Parliament that ‘if all goes according to plan’, the country will return to the levels system of coronavirus restrictions from April 26, with all council areas moving to Level 3.
That will allow a ‘phased but significant reopening of the economy, including non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers’.
Meanwhile, the lifting of the stay-at-home order and expansion of the essential retail definition won’t happen before April 5.
Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: ‘While it does not go as far or as fast as the prime minister did towards clarifying when we can get back to business, we will continue to robustly represent business views to the Scottish government to help inform this plan in the coming days and weeks.
‘More detail on the roadmap is essential, as it will enable both consumers as well as businesses plan for reopening, and we need the Scottish government to stick to its guns on these dates as much as is possible.’
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