The Prime Minister has been urged to include automotive retailers in the first wave of non-essential retail reopening in a letter from the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

Last week, the United Kingdom’s retail motor industry signalled its readiness to get back to work with the publication of new sector-specific guidance by the NFDA and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to help ensure all showrooms are safe spaces for employees and customers.

NFDA director Sue Robinson said: “The motor industry and retailers have been making enormous strides to creating a greener fleet of vehicles on the nation’s roads. The Government has set us a challenging target for a ban on petrol and diesel cars by 2035. The longer we remain unable to sell new cars, the harder it will be to hit this target.

“The Government has told people they should avoid public transport and return to work on foot, by bicycle or by car and the majority of the UK population will be relying heavily on cars to get to work, and on vans and trucks to move goods around the country.

“Franchised dealerships provide reliable motor vehicles – cars, vans and commercial vehicles – which are essential for many people to get to work and to undertake their work safely and efficiently. Automotive retailers need to be open to serve the workforce and get the country moving again.”