How car dealership test drives work in 'new normal' as Hartlepool showroom reopens

A Hartlepool car dealership has reopened its showroom for the first time since the lockdown.
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Drive Vauxhall on Burn Road is open to the public after the Government issued guidance for dealerships.

Customers can browse and take vehicles for test drives, but they will notice a number of safety measures that have been put in place.

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Face masks and hand sanitising gel are available for everyone in the showroom, where the latest health and safety information and guidance is on display.

Drive Vauxhall has put a range of safety measures in place as it reopens following the lockdown.Drive Vauxhall has put a range of safety measures in place as it reopens following the lockdown.
Drive Vauxhall has put a range of safety measures in place as it reopens following the lockdown.

Staff have been provided with gloves, and desks have been fitted with clear screens. Customers are also asked to observe markers on the floor and abide by social distancing.

A rigorous cleaning schedule is being implemented across all areas of the showroom, with every vehicle regularly disinfected and desks thoroughly cleaned after each customer.

For test drives, vehicles will be fully disinfected before use or fitted with protective coverings, and the sales consultant will sit in the back wearing PPE.

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Machines serving refreshments will remain out of use for the foreseeable future.

Joe Palmer, general manager at Drive Vauxhall, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be reopening the doors to our showroom and welcoming customers back to Drive Vauxhall.

“Of course, we are aiming to provide the personal service that people in Hartlepool have come to expect from us and we want our customers’ experiences of the Vauxhall range to be as close to ‘normal’ as possible, while also taking the necessary steps to protect staff and members of the public alike.”

Anyone buys a vehicle from the dealership still has the option to collect in person, but they will also receive handover videos via email to demonstrate key features along with the necessary paperwork which can be completed electronically.

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The lockdown has seen the new car industry take a massive hit with registrations falling to their lowest level since 1946.

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed just 4,321 new cars were registered in April 2020, compared with 161,064 in the same month last year, representing a 97% decrease on last year.

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Read more: How Hartlepool’s independent traders are making stores safe to reopen

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