FAQ about how SDM is responding to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)


Last Updated 05/06/2020



A message from our family to yours​


Our priority is to ensure the well-being of our customers and teams, whilst supporting your motoring needs safely. The following information may answer some of your questions, but we would encourage you to contact us if there is anything you want to discuss.



General FAQ

What are you doing to keep your showrooms safe for customers and employees?

We are putting social distancing measures in place, with clear signs throughout the showroom to support this. We are asking customers to only visit the dealership when necessary, when they are well, and with a prior appointment agreed, so that we can manage the number of people on site at any one time. We are regularly cleaning all spaces and surfaces throughout the Centre, including vehicles and keys which will be sanitised between every use.

We have a dedicated section on our website explaining the social distancing measures in place in our showrooms and a handy step by step guide on what to expect on your visit. Click here to find out more.

Do I need to visit the dealership?

There are many cases where you may not need to visit the Showroom. We can provide help and support on many topics, from car maintenance to buying a car, remotely via telephone, email and video calls. Where possible, we can offer unaccompanied test drives, in a safe way with social distancing measures in place.

We recommend you contact us to discuss your needs first, then we can decide together on the best solution and arrange an appointment if necessary.

If you or anyone in your household has a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, please stay at home and self-isolate in line with the Government advice. Do not visit our dealerships until after the recommended isolation period.

What should I expect if I do visit the dealership?

We are open for business, but our first priority is to keep you and our team safe, so your visit will be a little different to how it used to be:

  • Please only visit with a prior appointment, so that we can manage the number of people on site and make sure our team are ready to look after you safely.
  • You will notice lots of signs with information to help your visit run smoothly, maintaining the two-metre distancing rule at all times.
  • When you arrive please maintain a two-metre distance.
  • We will have sanitising hand gel available for you to use when you arrive, throughout your visit, and when you leave.
  • We will keep doors open where possible, and keep pathways clear, to avoid any unnecessary contact.
  • We will thoroughly clean all surfaces, vehicles and keys between every use.
  • We won’t be able to serve refreshments, but would be happy for you to bring your own.

What are your opening hours?

Our Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai franchises will be open as follows. Please only visit if you have an appointment:

Sales

Service & Parts

Bodyshop

Monday-Friday

SHOWROOMS OPEN 29TH JUNE

08:30-17:00

08:30-17:00

Saturday

SHOWROOMS OPEN 29TH JUNE

CLOSED

CLOSED

Sunday

SHOWROOMS OPEN 29TH JUNE

CLOSED

CLOSED



Service and Maintenance FAQ

My service or MOT was cancelled or could not be booked because of the closedown, what should I do?

We are working to contact all of our customers who had a Service and/or MOT booked or due between 24 March and now, to reschedule bookings at a safe and convenient time.

From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans are being extended automatically by six months. Drivers must make sure their vehicle is safe to drive. See the MOT question below for more details and contact us if you have any concerns about the safety of your vehicle.

If you haven’t heard from us yet and want to make a booking, please contact us by phone on 01324 616800 or using the ‘contact us’ button below.


Contact Us


How does the 6-month MOT extension work?

If your vehicle has an MOT due date of 30 March or later, the current MOT expiry date (even if it is the vehicle’s first MOT) will automatically be extended by six months if it is eligible. This will be done about seven days before it is due to expire. This means that:

  • Your vehicle will still have a valid MOT certificate for an extra six months
  • You can still tax your vehicle, although you might need to wait to do this until later in the month if both your MOT and vehicle tax run out in the same month, as you cannot tax the vehicle until the MOT date has been extended
  • Your insurance will still be valid
  • Your vehicle’s MOT record will be updated so the police can see you have a valid MOT.

What you should to do about your MOT extension:

  • Three days before your MOT was originally due to expire, check the expiry date has been extended on the Government website here.
  • If the expiry date has not been extended three days before it was due to expire, email covid19mot@dvsa.gov.uk, including the following details:
    • The date your MOT expired
    • Your vehicle registration number (number plate)

You must make sure your vehicle is safe to drive (‘roadworthy’). Government advice is that you should carry out the following checks:

Every time you drive you should check:

  • the windscreen, windows and mirrors are clean
  • all lights work
  • the brakes work

Your vehicle’s handbook will tell you how often to check the:

  • engine oil
  • water level in the radiator or expansion tank
  • brake fluid level
  • battery
  • windscreen and rear window washer bottles - top up with windscreen washer fluid if necessary
  • tyres - they must have the correct tread depth and be free of cuts and defects

The handbook will also tell you when your vehicle needs to be serviced. Please contact us if you need help finding this information.

Tyre tread

Tread must be a certain depth depending on the type of vehicle:

  • cars, light vans and light trailers - 1.6 millimetres (mm)
  • motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles - 1mm

There must be tread across the middle three-quarters and around the entire tyre.

How can I keep my vehicle’s battery maintained if I don’t drive for long periods?

Regular start-up of the vehicle on conventional engines (normal petrol/diesel engines) needs approximately 20 minutes of running to put back into the battery what you remove on start up, so to maintain this battery we would suggest 1 hour of running once to twice a week.You must not leave your vehicle unattended whilst doing this.

For Hybrid vehicles – the 12V auxiliary batteries are not used to start the engine, however, they are considerably smaller than those in conventional vehicles, so again 1 hour in “ready” mode once or twice a week should be enough to keep the 12V battery topped up through this difficult period.

If you have a 12V battery trickle charger, or a solar panel charger, and are confident using them, then these are a good option to keep the battery fully charged whilst the vehicle is stationary for a period of time.

I’m a key worker and need my vehicle for work. How can you help?

We are working to look after all of our customers’ motoring needs but also understand that Mobility is especially critical for key workers. If you are a key worker who needs repairs or maintenance on your vehicle, or needs a new vehicle to travel to and from work, please let us know and we’ll do everything we can to help.

I’ve had a letter to say a recall is due on my vehicle. What should I do?

During the COVID-19 shutdown, the DVSA temporarily paused the requirement to complete recalls. Now our workshop has reopened, we will complete the work on your vehicle as soon as safely possible. We are working to contact our customers to schedule appointments, but if you are concerned, or your letter states that you must not drive the vehicle until the work has been done, please contact us so we can arrange a convenient appointment.




​Vehicle Purchases FAQ

When will I get the vehicle I ordered?

The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted our ability to deliver both new and used cars. We are working to update customers with progress on their orders individually and as often as possible, but please contact us if you have any questions.

Used Car Purchases and Reservations

For used cars reserved before the lockdown or during it, we will be prioritising preparation of your vehicle as soon as our workshop is able to do so safely. Our team will contact you when we have any updates.

New Car Orders

New car production has been impacted because all 3 of our manufacturers (Toyota, Mazda, and Hyundai) and their suppliers had to stop work at a number of manufacturing facilities worldwide to protect the health and well-being of team members. At this stage, we are unable to confirm when production will return to normal or when new cars affected will be delivered. We are very sorry for any inconvenience or disappointment this causes. If your car was built before the shutdown, we will work hard to organise delivery as soon as we can do so safely.Our team will be in touch when we have any updates.

If my new vehicle order is late, will this affect the price I have to pay?

The purchase price of your vehicle will not change, but it may be subject to an increase in VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) as these rates changed on 1 April.

Can I buy a new or used vehicle now?

Yes. We know your motoring needs are important, and want to help make sure you can buy a new or used vehicle when you need to.

Our website is up-to-date with all of our prices and offers, and you will find full details of all of the used cars we have available. Our teams are available to help you decide which vehicle is right for you via phone, email or video.

If you want to see one of our new showroom display vehicles or used cars, we can arrange an appointment for you to visit the Centre at a safe and convenient time. We’ll be keeping all vehicles locked and sanitised between each use, but a member of our team will happily unlock the vehicles for you to explore in person.

If you want to test drive a new or used car, we will work with you to find out the best way to do this in a safe and convenient way. Where possible, we will bring the car to your home or workplace. Regardless of whether your test drive is at the Centre or your home or work, we will fully sanitise the vehicle and keys before and after you use it, and maintain social distancing procedures throughout.

If you decide you do want to buy a vehicle, we will talk you through ways you can do the whole process remotely, with electronic document exchange and contactless delivery. Ask a member of our team for full details.

My Motability Scheme car is due for renewal. What should I do?

The Motability Scheme was affected by COVID-19 and the closure of dealerships. Customers approaching the end of their lease during the shutdown were issued automatic extensions and insurance cover certificates.

The scheme was temporarily closed for new orders.

For the very latest information, visit the Motability website here

As soon as we are able, we will add updated Motability prices to our website.



The directors and full team at SDM would like to say a huge thank you to all of our loyal customers over the years for their endless custom and support, we hope it won't be long until we once again see you at our dealerships.

We hope your friends, family and loved ones stay safe during this time, we will work through this together.


If you would like to get in touch with us about any sales, aftersales or other enquiries please contact Lisa Aitken on 01324 616800 or at lisaaitken@sdm-group.co.uk who will be happy to help