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RAC Approved Garages network reopens following payment holidays

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Garages on the RAC Approved Garages network, powered by Autofirst, are getting back to business with a series of measures designed to improve cashflow and help ensure the safety of customers and staff amid the coronavirus outbreak.

All RAC Approved Garages were granted a subscription payment holiday, regardless of whether they closed or chose to remain open during lockdown, enabling them to remain focused on providing the best service to customers.

Alongside this, to support garages as lockdown is eased, the RAC has also published a new COVID-19 Code of Conduct for its Approved Garages https://media.rac.co.uk/images/rac-approved-garages-covid-19-code-of-conduct-1971033. This sets out guidelines for technicians to protect their own health and wellbeing and is also designed to reassure customers that it is safe to bring their cars to garages for vital servicing and maintenance.

Wayne Large, Director at AR Motors in Canvey, commented: “The payment holiday has really helped to support our business during the pandemic, allowing us to keep our doors open for customers in what has been a challenging time for the industry.”

By following the Code of Conduct, garages can implement a framework for creating safe vehicle handover and returns processes, alongside minimum standards for cleaning and hygiene.

Lee Forty, from Autofirst, said: “Garages have been grappling with unprecedented conditions, with fewer vehicles on the roads during lockdown resulting in reduced demand for maintenance and repairs. Now, as the lockdown is eased, we can expect to see sharp spikes in customer demand, particularly for MOTs and maintenance for common problems arising from cars sitting idle for several weeks.

“All RAC Approved Garages are closely following the new Code of Conduct, meaning they are in an ideal position to get ahead of the curve and begin proactively contacting customers requiring servicing, helping to grow revenue and – crucially – keep in control of growing demand.”  

Adam O’Neill, Head of Motoring Services at the RAC, said: “First and foremost, we are here to support all the garages that are members of our nationwide network through this difficult time. With more drivers now using their vehicles than earlier in the lockdown, our garages are providing a vital service to those whose vehicles require urgent work and which may have had little use during lockdown.

“The message to drivers is that our garage network is very much open, and they should be confident in getting their cars MOT’ed and serviced as normal with all garages following our COVID-19 code of conduct, and the majority offering a Collect-and-Return service.”

For more information, visit https://www.rac.co.uk/approvedgarages.

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