How has Covid affected the delivery of cars in the leasing industry?
Since mid-March, the reality of “lockdown” has seen an almost terminal effect on vehicle deliveries in the contract hire and leasing industry. At CarLease UK we had to make a tough decision to furlough almost all of our team on the 24th of March, with the result being that only 2 directors and 1 employee remained on premises on a 7-day a week basis to answer customer concerns and queries. The key issues in the lease car industry are essentially:
- When will my new car be delivered – can it be delivered?
- Can I have a payment holiday on my lease car – will it affect my credit rating going forwards? And
- When will my existing car be collected?
With regards to the delivery process, our industry relies on a) the dealerships being open to PDI the vehicles; and b) the logistics companies being open to deliver the vehicles. From the end of March almost every manufacturer/dealership was closed, which meant that any updates were almost impossible. Between March and the middle of May we delivered almost no vehicles.
It hasn’t just been about the lack of businesses being open to provide the services but also the uncertainty of HOW a vehicle must be delivered “safely” and also whether a customer is comfortable in accepting the car. Some customers, particular those at high risk, were unable to take delivery of the car.
The reality is that medical professionals and Governmental organisations have struggled to understand what/why/how on industries moving forwards.
It isn’t just the car and van industry which has been in turmoil – retail, leisure, food and transportation has been facing the same conundrums. This has brought about a key question – economy or health – with each business having its own viewpoint
What’s the position on delivery post-lockdown?
The good news is that from 11 May, the Government provided a roadmap to getting life back on track. With furlough and lockdown costing billions of pounds, common sense prevailed and the Government realised that we had to make swift changes to prevent a complete economic disaster/recession.
While certain physical premises remained closed, some transportation services could open as it was not feasible to run “working from home” policies.
During May we were able to deliver some vehicles and this was handled carefully and sensibly. To help bolster all of this, the Government announced that from 1 June 2020 all car dealerships which could meet the relevant healthy and safety guidelines could open. This represented a key and marked shift in attitudes.
CarLease UK, like many business, have their own health and safety assessment in light of COVID-19, which is available on request. This has allowed us to bring some of our staff back to our premises and return to what we do best – supplying brand new cars and vans to individual and businesses throughout the UK.
What is in place to ensure safe delivery of cars in the UK?
Every manufacturer, dealership and logistics agent will have a slightly unique way of managing the delivery of vehicles in this post-Covid era we now operate in.
To assist the industry, our ombudsman, the BVRLA, has provided a basic guidance booklet for businesses to use as part of making the right health and safety decisions. This is available at BVRLA
In summary there are some key themes to identify:
- Assess risks and consult with workers – businesses have a legal and ethical responsibility to understand the risks they face and to ensure their employees are communicated/consulted with. Regular assessments will help manage this;
- Manage the risks – when you have carried out the above, understand how you will implement these into the business for example sanitisation processes, working from home, social distancing and reducing unsafe activities. Our customers will see new delivery processes for example transported deliveries, signing for the vehicles remotely, a sanitisation process before handover and no face to face contact with the delivery driver. Unfortunately there will be no more personal service;
- Communication – make sure your employees and customers know what is expected of them. If you have 50 or more employees you need to publish the information on the website plus indicate all of the relevant changes with physical signs throughout the premises;
- Ongoing management – agree and update the business processes for example shift changes and team meetings; and
- PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) – where you are in an industry which used PPE or you are in a situation of high risk, you may need to consider the use of PPE.
Are lease cars being delivered?
Absolutely. We are now able to start moving our news cars to our customers more comfortably and many of our team are working even closer with our customers to ensure they understand their obligations. For our Liverpool customer, they happily received their car this week – say hello the lovely new VW 4 x 4 they received!
In terms of the car shown, the Volkswagen Tiguan Estate 1.5 Tsi Evo 150 R Line Tech 5dr DSG (Petrol Auto), this is based on the following configuration:
- Indium Grey Metallic Paint
- Race Cloth – Grey
- Aluminium decorative inserts
- 20″ Suzuka alloy wheels + anti theft wheel bolts
As standard the car includes discover navigation, driver and passenger lumbar support, winter pack, tinted glass, DTC, hill hold control, Bluetooth, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors. Distance control assist, fatigue detection, lane assist, fully electric tailgate, keyless entry, start/stop function, electrically heated and foldable door mirrors with puddle lights, auto dimming rear view mirror, DAB radio, body coloured externals.
R Line body kit, LED rear tail lights, coming/leaving home light function, LED headlights with dynamic assist, multifunction steering wheel, ambient lighting pack, R Line styling pack.
First aid kit, 40/20 split folding seats, alarm with interior protection, XDS differential lock and 20” alloys. In terms of additional options, with the car having a great level of specification you would perhaps only include Vienna leather or the Dynaudio pack.
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £34,935.00 and CO2 at 168g/km (WLTP). Please note that any car registered on or after 1 April 2020 will have a CO2 based on WLTP for VED and company car tax calculations.
The 1498CC 7 speed petrol auto engine delivers 150ps, 0-62 times of 9.2 seconds and has service intervals of every 12 months or every 10,000 miles.
We will have some Tiguan R Lines in stock, so if this is the next SUV lease deal for you, just get in touch with our sales team!