Fleet News

Coronavirus: Emergency aftersales services remain available despite dealership closures

technician MoT service

Fleet operators and company car drivers can access emergency vehicle repair and maintenance services as some garages and workshops remain open during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Routine servicing or non-essential repairs should be delayed, in order to free up workshops incase they are needed to support key workers or the emergency services.

The closure of all non-essential retail sites was ordered by the Prime Minister on Monday (March 23) for a minimum of three weeks, prompting car dealers to close their showroom doors immediately.

Garages are included in the list of ‘exceptions’ that can stay open. This list include supermarkets, health shops, pharmacies, petrol stations and car rentals.

The latest guidance aligns with the Government previous statement describing key workers in the transport sector as “those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.”

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said: “Aftersales workshops and their technicians will play an important role in ensuring that critical vehicles can continue to operate safely and efficiently during these challenging times.”

TrustFord, part of the Ford Retail Group, is the UK’s largest Ford dealer group. It announced yesterday that it will continue to provide aftersales services with a “skeleton staff”, while its Part Plus business will also continue to operate.

Stuart Foulds, TrustFord’s chairman and chief executive, said: “We must play our own part in protecting the most vulnerable in our society and make sure that the NHS and front line services are able to function in the days and weeks ahead.”

Nissan dealer Chorley Group is keeping its workshops open and offering NHS staff a 50% discount on servicing and repair work.

The company's sales director Adam Turner said: “We know how difficult it is for everyone at the moment, and we want to make life a bit easier for those people working to keep us and our families safe and well.

“We are here for our customers, our team and our suppliers, too. Everyone is coming together and working hard to ensure we have 100% business continuity.”

Kia says approximately 40% of workshops (around 80) will continue to run an 'essential-only' service to ensure key workers and emergency services vehicles are kept in good working order. 

The brand also confirmed that if a customer’s latest scheduled service has been delayed during the period where the UK is under Government measures, Kia will honour valid warranty claims. Additionally, if there is a valid warranty claim on a customer car but the repair could not be completed before the warranty expired because of current Government measures, Kia will be flexible and honour those claims. 

Kwik Fit centres are also remaining open at this time, where possible. A statement on the company’s website says: “Where possible, our centres remain open as usual.

“Garages are identified as providing essential services required to keep the road transport network moving.

“Many of our customers, both individuals and organisations, including emergency workers, teachers and those providing vital community services rely on us to ensure their vehicles are road worthy and safe.”

Halfords has kept its retail stores open and says Halfords Autocentres, McConechy’s, Tyres on the Drive and Halfords Mobile Expert will also remain open to “support essential services within our communities”.

Recovery services, including The AA and the RAC, are also still operating as is parts supply from Euro Car Parts. Other motor factors are closed, making some parts difficult to obtain.

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