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Now the UK has a little more clarity on the phases and alert levels of lockdown, we can start sketching out what the new normal might be and how we’ll get around, when we can.

In our recent survey, we spoke to UK driving licence holders that didn’t currently have a car (among many others), and found that 56% of them were considering making a purchase when it’s safe to do so.

An easing of restrictions across the UK has meant dealerships can re-open in England and (from 8th June) Northern Ireland, and customer collection services have been given the go-ahead in Scotland.

In these regions, you now have options when buying your next car. These can include arranging a visit to an open dealership, or buying a car online or over the phone and collecting it from a retailer. You could also arrange to have it home delivered, providing the retailer has the infrastructure to support the transaction safely and responsibly.
Contact-free options for responsible buying and selling
To help you do more of your research and car buying from your own home, we’ve introduced new features to Auto Trader ads.

Each of these flags highlight a new feature that retailers have adopted to help keep you safe, observe social distancing, and keep car buying easy during the lockdown.
COVID-19 safety measures
Recent research has revealed that, due to social distancing anxieties, 76% of car buyers are concerned about visiting a dealership in a ‘normal’ way once the restrictions have been lifted.

As dealerships are permitted to re-open once they have social distancing and sanitisation measures in place, we’re helping them show via their adverts on Auto Trader the measures they may be taking to make it easier for customers to visit showrooms and forecourts.

Retailers across the UK are determined to keep you safe and healthy throughout the car buying process, so this dedicated spaced in each ad will highlight the measures they’ve adopted. Such measures may include:

• Operating by appointment only (you can make an appointment on Auto Trader, just use the email, call or chat buttons on the ad).
• Click and collect services, allowing you to stay safe while picking up your car yourself.
• Adhering to two metres social distancing on forecourts.
• Complete sanitisation of vehicles.
• Using staff personal protection equipment (PPE), sneeze screens and other health and safety measures.
• Making PPE and hand sanitisers available to customers.

Look out for the COVID-19 safety measures icon, to see what they are doing for you.
Home delivery
This feature will show you if a retailer is providing home delivery to your location.

Collection and delivery services from and to a customer’s address are currently permitted in the government guidelines, for both vehicles sales and aftersales.

Look out for the home delivery icon on the car advert, to see if the retailer can offer you this service. You can contact them through the advert to find out how it will adhere to government guidelines on social distancing, hygiene and sanitisation.
Live video viewing
With some dealerships, you can book a video viewing and vehicle walk-around to replace a forecourt visit.

If you want one, you can arrange a live video viewing directly with the retailer. They’ll virtually walk you around the vehicles and give you to time ask any questions, just like they would in person.

Look out for the live video viewing icon on the car advert, to see if the retailer can offer you this service.
We’ve introduced these feature across Auto Trader – including bikes, vans, motorhomes and caravans – to make sure you can stay confident throughout the site.
How you can stay safe
We encourage everyone to follow NHS advice and Government guidelines. These include:

• Stay at home as much as possible
• Limit your contact with other people
• Stay at least two metres (six feet) away from others if you do go out
• Continue to wash your hands regularly.
Finding your next car
If you’re looking for your next car, you’re heading into a ready market. We’ve probably got more stock on site than ever – including new and used cars and a huge choice of makes and models from throughout the years.

If you’re just starting to look, try our best-ofs for recommendations based on your lifestyle. If you’re looking at a few makes and models, our expert reviews should help you find the one that’s right for you.

If you haven’t already, check out the Auto Trader app – it’s a great way to see what’s on the market near you and shortlist your favourites by saving them.
This article represents Auto Trader’s opinions and interpretation of the current situation and does not necessarily reflect the latest government guidance and advice. Please always consult the latest government guidance and advice before taking any decision based on this article.

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