Arnold Clark and other major Scottish dealer groups are planning to continue delivering cars via click and collect from Saturday.
Yesterday, click and collect rules were tightened by the first minister Nicola Sturgeon banning click and collect for non essential retail.
However, confusion surrounded whether car dealers were included in that.
The Scottish government press office has issued a statement to the Daily Record and Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) which says ‘outdoor car lots’ are classed as essential and therefore allowed to continue click and collect.
The statement from the Sottish government press office said: ‘Current stay at home requirements are that you should only leave your home for an essential purpose.
‘As has always been the case for areas in level 4 people should not be going to car lots to browse for vehicles that are not required.
‘New regulations coming into force on Saturday mean that people will only be able to go to a dealership to collect a purchased vehicle or to deliver or collect a vehicle for a repair, service or MOT.’
This statement, coupled with the rules on the government website which say one of the reasons allowed to leave your home is to pick up a ‘newly purchased’ vehicle has given dealer groups confidence to continue doing business.
At first it was thought these rules had not been updated by the government to reflect the changes, but it appears they have been modified to include cars following the announcement.
Arnold Clark has updated its website to reflect this, stating: ‘Under current government guidelines, you can still buy a car online, then choose to click and collect in an outdoor area at your local branch, or we’ll deliver to your home.
‘To protect the wellbeing of our customers and employees, our branches operate on an appointment only basis and are adhering to sanitisation and social distancing guidelines with contactless processes in place.’
Although it is not clear from their websites, it is thought other leading Scottish dealers including Parks Motor Group and John Clark Motor Group will be doing the same.
Sandy Burgess, SMTA chief executive, said that he will be issuing an update to members this afternoon with his thoughts that click and collect can continue.
He said: ‘It is my intention later today to issue an e-shot confirming that click and collect is still an option for our sector as long as the process is completed without physical meetings on site, this therefore would suggest that the distance selling directive will play a huge part in all transactions and I will be suggesting that all dealers be mindful of this and ensure that there is a mileage clause highlighted within their terms and conditions or ideally on the sales invoice.’
The news will be a huge relief to dealers north of the border who were yesterday told by the SMMT that they would not be allowed to continue operating.
In an update on its website the SMMT said car dealers would be classed as non-essential and included in the ban on click and collect. It later back tracked and said it wanted to ‘seek further clarification’.
The news that dealers north of the border can still do business will come as a welcome relief to many across the UK facing intense scrutiny of click and collect services.
It is understood the UK government is currently holding it as an option for increased measures if infection rates do not come under control.