Almost two-thirds of visitors to dealerships will steer clear of showrooms without anti-Covid measures after many of the restrictions were scrapped in England as of July 19.
That’s according to What Car?, which said today (Jul 21) that a poll of 1,322 potential buyers revealed that 63.7 per cent of them would avoid showrooms lacking hygiene measures, social distancing guidelines or other Covid-19 safety practices.
Monday was the first time in more than a year that showrooms and dealerships in England didn’t have to restrict visitor capacity, stick to social distancing guidelines or require staff and visitors to wear masks. Similar easing of restrictions took place in Scotland and Wales.
More than half of those quizzed (59.4 per cent) said capacity restrictions should still be enforced after the legal requirement expires, while nearly three-quarters (74.7 per cent) wanted social distancing measures to stay in place after July 19.
Although other industries are removing customer mask requirements, What Car?’s research found that 78.5 per cent of would-be buyers supported continuing to ask staff and visitors to wear masks at showrooms.
They were even more in favour about hygiene, such as disinfecting demonstrators after each use and offering hand sanitisers across the showroom, with 90.9 per cent saying those measures should continue.
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What Car? managing director Rachael Prasher said: ‘The message to dealers is simple. The majority of buyers want to see Covid-19 safety measures continue, to the extent that failing to implement them is likely to impact whether they visit a showroom.
‘While removing capacity restrictions and easing hygiene measures to increase potential footfall and the availability of test drives may look like a positive step, it could prove counter-productive to businesses, with safety still clearly at the forefront for buyers.’