Social distancing and dealership visits

Dealerships are an important part of the Motability Scheme. Our dealers support our customers throughout their lease, from helping them choose a car to servicing and maintaining their vehicle.

Many dealerships are now open, or in the process of reopening, but they are having to do so with strict social distancing measures in place as per Government guidelines. These new ways of working will result in changes to the ‘normal’ dealership experience, and the encounters with dealers, that our customers may be used to.

Watch the animation below to see what to expect, and how you can prepare, if you are planning to visit a dealership:


Before you go


You must make an appointment before visiting a dealership. Many dealerships will be busier than normal as they catch up with work – if you turn up unannounced they may be unable to accommodate you.


Some dealerships are employing parking attendants to direct customers to parking spaces and ensure that cars are parked at safe distances. Parking spaces may be allocated in advance, which is why it’s important that you book an appointment before visiting a dealership.


A few dealerships have created videos and animations to share with customers before they visit. These clips show you what practices they’ve put in place, including their social distancing and sanitisation measures. When making an appointment feel free to ask the dealer about their new procedures.


Inside the dealership

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitisation

While all dealerships are adhering to the government guidelines some have introduced increased measures. You may find that staff at the dealership are wearing PPE, like gloves and facemasks, as a means of protection. In some cases, they may also offer you PPE and hand sanitiser. Other dealerships may have protective screens up; some of the biggest dealer groups are even insisting on temperature checks for customers and staff alike. Contact your dealer in advance to ask what they’ve put in place.


Chances are one of the first things you’ll notice when visiting a dealership will be new signage. Many dealers are using signs, such as floor markings or posters, to outline their social distancing measures. Keep an eye out for these, they’ve been introduced to help people stay safe.  

Family and facilities

You can still take your named driver, appointee, or even children with you to the dealership, but please be aware that dealers are having to change their ways of working, and what they can offer customers. So, it’s very unlikely that dealerships will have refreshments available, and many dealerships are choosing to remove their reading materials and, if they had them, any children’s toys. Some dealerships are operating with limited toilet facilities. If you’re concerned about any of this then ask the dealership what’s available ahead of your appointment.

Test Drives

Before deciding on a car it’s very important that you test drive it, even in the current climate. Dealerships will still be offering test drives but with new measures in place. Please contact your dealer in advance to see what’s possible.


All dealerships have introduced strict rules on cleaning and disinfecting vehicles; this includes wiping down key parts of the car, such as the driver’s door handle, steering wheel, gear stick and controls to ensure that there’s minimal risk of infection.

Don’t be surprised if a dealer wipes down your keys and even puts them in a Ziplock bag before giving them to you, dealerships are adopting a range of precautions to help to protect people.


Just like most supermarkets, most dealerships are only accepting electronic payments currently. 


When you arrange a servicing appointment there will be limited “while-you-wait” servicing and some customers may be given a time slot to collect their vehicle later in the day. Unfortunately, many dealers who were offering collection and delivery for their service work are unable to do so at present.

We know that many customers are eager to choose a new car and speak to their dealers, but please bear with them as they work to catch up following weeks of closures.  They’re adjusting to the new social distancing measures, which means you may have to wait longer than usual for an appointment to order a new car or to arrange any outstanding servicing work. But please be reassured that your safety and the safety of their employees are of the utmost importance in these unprecedented times.

If you require any urgent assistance, then please contact the RAC who continue to offer an emergency breakdown service for our customers.

Find a dealer near you

There are around 4,500 Motability Scheme dealerships across the UK, each with specialists on hand to give you expert help and advice. Please click here to find details of your local Motability Scheme dealers along with their opening hours. With current social distancing measures in place, before visiting the dealership you must contact them to make an appointment to see their Scheme specialist. This will also mean they will be able to dedicate enough time to help you find the right car.

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