All Collections > Help and advice > COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and will provide updates on this page. If you have any questions, please refer to the FAQs below or contact your Account Manager or Customer Support team directly.

We are taking appropriate precautions to keep staff, suppliers and customers safe, but remain very much open for business. Having successfully redeployed our teams to work from home we continue to provide the best service possible to our customers and drivers.

If you have any sales or service enquiries, or you are looking to order a vehicle, return or extend a vehicle then please contact us in the usual way.

Last Updated date:
25/6/20

FAQs

VWFS and Service

I require support: who do I contact?

Our team will do everything we can to support our customers through this difficult time. We will continue to provide quotations, to order vehicles, and, where appropriate, advise you on how best to plan and respond for the weeks and months ahead. Our Customer Account Management team are working from home and available to support, please contact them in the usual way.

We have accelerated the launch of our new Fleet Management Portal. It’s available now, free of charge to all our customers – simply contact your Account Manager to get set up. It allows you to raise queries directly to our support team with live online updates, request new vehicle quotes and track vehicle orders. You will also benefit from a comprehensive suite of reports including rentals, telematics, maintenance and mileage status – using vehicle information, driver information, monthly rental and maintenance history to inform best practice decisions.

If you have any enquires relating to breakdown and recovery, accident management, replacement glass, maintenance and tyre services, please contact our Driverline service for support on 0330 100 8950. If you wish to make contact with one of our team regarding any other query, please email fleetsalessupport@vwfs.co.uk if you are a Corporate customer or please email publicsector@vwfs.co.uk if you are a Public Sector customer.

What is the Volkswagen Financial Services UK response to the coronavirus?

We’re monitoring the situation closely: employee and customer safety remain our highest priority. Our business will continue to follow the UK Government guidelines as these develop. We’re working closely with our HQ and Volkswagen Group UK colleagues, and our Board of Management and Business Continuity Management (BCM) team are meeting on a regular basis as they work to keep our business running for our customers.

Our team, Volkswagen Financial Services | Fleet (VWFS | Fleet), will do everything we can to support our customers through this difficult time. We will continue to provide quotations, to order vehicles, and, where appropriate, advise you on how best to plan and respond for the weeks and months ahead.

What is your policy on visitors/meetings?
We are still open for business. Our customer teams remain available to you via email for all business enquiries, or through our new Fleet Management Portal. Our account managers would welcome the opportunity to continue to hold business meetings which can be conducted effectively over telephone calls, conference calls and Skype. However, we have suspended all face-to-face meetings with our business customers until further notice. We have accelerated the launch of our new Fleet Management Portal, which enables you to work much quicker with us online. It’s available now, free of charge: simply contact your Account Manager to get set up.
Can we manage our account services with you online?
Yes, we have accelerated the launch of our new Fleet Management Portal. It’s available now, free of charge to all our customers – simply contact your Account Manager to get set up. This new portal will also allow you to raise queries directly to our support team with live online updates, request new vehicle quotes and track vehicle orders. You will also benefit from a comprehensive suite of reports including rentals, telematics, maintenance and mileage status – using vehicle information, driver information, monthly rental and maintenance history to inform best practice decisions.
Are Volkswagen Financial Services UK staff affected by COVID-19 and are any self-isolating?

We have more than 1,000 employees, so inevitably some are affected by the current situation. For confidentiality reasons, we won’t be disclosing how many of our team are self-isolating or if any are affected. At present we can continue to provide a good level of operational service, but we do ask for your patience because in some cases, our response times may be delayed.

 

What impacts on service can I expect?
We are working hard both internally and with our network of suppliers to ensure that we can continue to provide the best service possible to our customers and drivers. This includes breakdown and recovery, daily rental services, accident management, replacement glass, maintenance and tyre services, as well as administrative support.
Are vehicle retailers and service centres now out of lockdown and operating as normal?

The UK Government authorised these premises to open from Monday 1 June, but with strict guidelines in place to ensure staff and customer safety. You can expect controls over where you stand and how close you are to staff – similar to any supermarket or other essential retailer that has been open to date. There will also be new contactless procedures in place for vehicle delivery and collection, test drives, servicing and handover, including thorough cleaning of all vehicle surfaces.

Any of our retailer and service partners will ensure your drivers are given clear instructions before any contact with them for vehicle servicing, collection or delivery. For a general overview, we suggest reading these summaries:

Decisions have not yet been finalised for Scotland: we have provided the most recent media update below:

What are your business travel arrangements?
All business travel has been suspended until further notice. Our offices are closed and colleagues are working from home. Our organisation has responded to the crisis quickly and in an agile way to enable all of our 1,000-plus employees to work from home, within days. At our offices, our Facilities team has added new signage, and new rules will be in place in order for hygiene and social distancing to be observed at all times, should a return to office working be authorised. Plans for a staggered return to the office by some teams are being reviewed and will be considered in light of UK Government updates and our global company policy.

Vehicle ordering, production, extensions, collection and delivery

Can I still order vehicles?
Yes. We are still taking vehicle orders and aim to operate a ‘business as usual’ service. Many vehicles are available in UK stock today, ready for delivery when the circumstances allow it. If a vehicle you need to order is affected by production issues, our expert team will work to find you an alternative stock vehicle. Many vehicle factories around the world have resumed production, some since April, so please check lead times with us for each vehicle order.
What should I do if there is disruption to production, collections and deliveries? What are my extension options?

The coronavirus/COVID-19 has created significant disruption to vehicle production, collections and deliveries since mid-March, but as of 1 June there is some movement towards normal business operations, albeit carefully controlled in line with UK Government’ safety guidelines.

Production: many vehicle factories around the world have resumed production, some since April, so please check lead times with us for each vehicle order.

Collections and deliveries: since 1 June our collection and delivery partners have resumed service, with controls in place to significantly reduce the risk of spreading infection. These controls are required by the UK Government to continue trading.

As we work to rearrange deliveries and collections that were postponed, we ask that if this applies to you or your drivers please wait for us to contact you so we can prioritise these new appointments as quickly as possible.

If you need to arrange a new vehicle collection, please book this online at https://vwfsfleetreturnbooking.co.uk, where you can make your appointment up to 90 days before the end of your contract. This is the quickest and easiest method of booking; you can also ask for appointments by email or by calling your account team.

When a vehicle collection is booked, this will be managed to ensure staff and customer safety. Your drivers will be advised of all changes to the collection process that may impact them. Some examples of the measures our suppliers are implementing include:

  • Contactless vehicle collection – social distancing maintained at two-metre minimum
  • Keys returned sanitised and in a bag
  • PPE worn by all vehicle delivery and collection agents
  • No wet signatures required, all administration will be paperless

To help you, we have also mapped out some likely scenarios for you, below.

Vehicle returns and collection scenarios*

1. My contract is ending shortly and I have not placed a new order yet
You can extend your existing contract pro rata, with no change to the monthly rental. You do not need to take any action to extend your contract, we will complete this for you automatically. However, if you do want to make contact we would be very pleased to hear from you.
We are still here to help to support fleet policy decisions and vehicle selection. We are very happy to provide quotations in the usual manner and to process new vehicle orders.

(a) If I am expecting to significantly exceed my contracted mileage can I still extend?
Yes, your contract will be adjusted pro rata against the original mileage parameters for the length of your extension. Given you are likely to be using your vehicles less than normal, this will probably mitigate any excess mileage charges due to lower than average utilisation.

 

2. One or more of my vehicles have driven much less than their contracted mileage/s. Can I amend these mileages?

Yes, if there is six months or more remaining on the contract/s, we can arrange a contract re-write, which could reduce your costs.

 

3. I am expecting a key-for-key replacement and...

(a)…my current car is with VWFS | Fleet and my new one will also be supplied by VWFS.
We will extend your contract (as per item 1) and advise when a handover is possible. As we work to rearrange deliveries and collections that were postponed, please wait for us to contact you so we can prioritise these appointments as quickly as possible.

(b)…my current car is with VWFS but my new one will come from another supplier.
We are happy to extend your contract to any future handover date, we will extend the contracts automatically (as per item 1). Please make contact with us when you would like a collection, but please also bear with us: vehicle collections have resumed, but at a slower rate than previously, as we work to reduce the risk of spreading infection and to rearrange appointments that were postponed during lockdown.

(c)…my current car is with another supplier, but my new one will come from VWFS.

Please contact us and we will advise on the status of your order and delivery date, but please also bear with us: vehicle deliveries have resumed, but at a slower rate than previously, as we work to reduce the risk of spreading infection and to rearrange appointments that were postponed during lockdown.

 

4. I would like to return my vehicle as my contract has expired but I no longer require a replacement.

As stated previously, we are happy to extend your contract at the same monthly rental, but if you do wish to return your vehicle please contact our Sales Support Team. Please bear with us bear with us: vehicle collections have resumed, but at a slower rate than previously, as we work to reduce the risk of spreading infection and to rearrange appointments that were postponed during lockdown.

 

5. I would like to return my vehicle, my contract has not yet expired, but I no longer require a replacement.

Normal contractual conditions still apply, however, please call our Sales Support Team if you require support. Please bear with us: vehicle collections have resumed, but at a slower rate than previously, as we work to reduce the risk of spreading infection and to rearrange appointments that were postponed during lockdown.

 

6. My contract will expire shortly but I would like to extend it on a formal basis (ie contract recalculation).

Your contract will automatically extend pro rata and you will continue to pay the same monthly rental with no action required. If you request a recalculated extension this is possible, however, calculations are often based on current used car market values and therefore it is unlikely to be advantageous in the current economic climate. Please contact us if you need any advice, we’d be happy to provide an example for your consideration.

 

7. I have been extending for some time already, can I extend indefinitely?

Yes, provided you can maintain the vehicle in a safe and roadworthy condition we are happy to allow this and lift some of our normal restrictions. Your contract will automatically extend on a pro rata basis and you will continue to pay the same monthly rental with no action required.

*In all scenarios, you must continue to make your usual monthly contractual payments to maintain use of your vehicle.

 

Will cars and vans still be delivered in the usual way?

Since 1 June our collection and delivery partners have resumed service, with controls in place to significantly reduce the risk of spreading infection. These controls are required by the UK Government to continue trading.

As we work to rearrange deliveries and collections that were postponed, we ask that if this applies to you or your drivers please wait for us to contact you so we can prioritise these new appointments as quickly as possible.

If you need to arrange a new vehicle collection, please contact us in the usual way.

When a vehicle collection is booked, this will be managed to ensure staff and customer safety. Your drivers will be advised of all changes to the collection process that may impact them. Some examples of the measures our suppliers are implementing include:

  • Contactless vehicle collection – social distancing maintained at two-metre minimum
  • Keys returned sanitised and in a bag
  • PPE worn by all vehicle delivery and collection agents
  • No wet signatures required, all administration will be paperless
Will I be charged for collections that have been suspended?

No. Our suppliers are working on completing all outstanding collections.

 

My car was due to be collected and now won’t be and I don’t want to extend the contract, what should I do?
If your vehicle is due for collection and you choose not to extend the contract we advise the following:
  • You must not use the car
  • You should keep the car in a safe place (preferably off-road) and fully insured
During this time and until your vehicle is collected we will continue to tax the vehicle to avoid fines from the DVLA. If the contract has ended and you have requested a collection, we will not charge you from the date of your requested collection even if we were unable to physically collect the vehicle. The vehicle inspection will take place in the usual way once a collection appointment has been arranged. As we work to rearrange collections that were postponed, please wait for us to contact you so we can prioritise these appointments as quickly as possible. If at any point your circumstances change and you want to extend your vehicle contracts, we will be happy to arrange this.
Can VWFS | Fleet extend vehicle contracts to support our own contingency plans?

Yes, contracts can be extended both formally and informally. Informal extensions are put in place automatically when no vehicle collection is arranged, there is no need for you or your drivers to take action. If you want to formally extend a vehicle or vehicles on your fleet, please speak with your account manager, who will be happy to help.

 

Will we be charged for cancelling orders by VWFS | Fleet or by vehicle manufacturers?
If a vehicle has not yet been registered, many vehicle manufacturers will allow an order to be cancelled without charge, although this should not be assumed true for all manufacturers. If you want to cancel an order, please contact our Sales Support team or speak with your account manager.
Are vehicle production and vehicle delivery times likely to be affected by COVID-19?
Many vehicle factories around the world have resumed production, some since April, so please check lead times with us for each vehicle order. Many vehicles are available in UK stock today, ready for delivery. If a vehicle you need to order is affected by production issues, our expert team will work to find you an alternative stock vehicle.
What happens if my vehicles are due an MOT?

A temporary exemption for MOTs has been put in place to enable vital services to continue and key workers to get to work.

Vehicle owners will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work (where working from home is impossible) or to shop for necessities.

All cars, vans and motorcycles which would usually require an MOT test will be exempted from 30 March 2020. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can still be prosecuted for driving unsafe vehicles.

We will continue to conduct essential maintenance services to keep key workers and business critical fleets mobile. If you need to book an MOT to ensure vehicle safety, call our Driverline on 0330 100 8950, but please anticipate a slower than usual service. Although the UK Government authorised vehicle retailers to open from Monday 1 June, there are strict guidelines in place to ensure staff and customer safety.

 

I have a rental vehicle that I want to hand back but the branch is closed or can’t be collected?
The majority of our rental provider network remains operational. However, if your rental vehicle can’t be collected or returned we advise the following:
  • You must not use the car
  • You should keep the car in a safe place
  • You should take photos of any damage and the mileage
Your rental provider will either arrange hand back or collection in the usual way once their operational service resumes.  

Partners and Suppliers

Can business drivers still visit dealers and authorised repairers for vehicle collection, servicing and maintenance?

The UK Government authorised these premises to open from Monday 1 June, but with strict guidelines in place to ensure staff and customer safety. You can expect controls over where you stand and how close you are to staff – similar to any supermarket or other essential retailer that has been open to date. There will also be new contactless procedures in place for vehicle delivery, collection for test drives, servicing and handover, including thorough cleaning of all vehicle surfaces.

Any of our retailer and service partners will ensure your drivers are given clear instructions before any contact with them for vehicle servicing, collection or delivery. For a general overview, we suggest reading this summary from What Car?

https://www.whatcar.com/advice/buying/car-dealerships-in-england-are-open/n21187

Please continue to call our Driverline team in the first instance when booking any fleet services, on 0330 100 8950.
Our service partners will continue to prioritise key workers and business-critical fleets with essential repairs. These includes but are not limited to:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Public Services
  • Government
  • Medical and food supplies
  • Public safety
  • Transport
  • Utilities

 

I’m due to have a home charge point installation, will this still go ahead?

Our charge point installation partner, Pod Point, has provided this update:

  • We’re conducting remote risk assessments to identify installs that have a “Lower Risk” of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Any installs that fall into the Lower Risk category will be eligible to continue.
  • Installs that fall into the “Higher Risk” category will be paused until we can reclassify them as Lower Risk

For more detailed information, including an explanation of the remote risk assessment process, visit this page on Pod Point’s website: https://pod-point.com/electric-car-news/covid-19-coronavirus

What should my drivers do if they break down?
If you have any enquires relating to breakdown and recovery, accident management, replacement glass, maintenance and tyre services, please contact our Driverline service for support on 0330 100 8950. That’s 0330 100 8950. Our breakdown recovery partner is operating normally but is seeing a reduction in demand due to less travel. We will prioritise key workers please make this known to our Driverline service team.

Employees with company cars on furlough

If an employees’ vehicle is no longer in use, can we register it as off-road?

This process is often referred to as ‘Statutory Off Road Notification’ or SORN for short. VWFS are asking customers not to SORN a leased vehicle which is currently part way through its contract; vehicles must also remain comprehensively insured (this is stated as a requirement in your company’s Master Lease Agreement) and road-legal. We do recognise that companies’ employees may be looking to reduce their Benefit in Kind liability during this period.

You can find the official guidance, published by HMRC on 6 May, here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-treat-certain-expenses-and-benefits-provided-to-employees-during-coronavirus-covid-19

You may find this article summarising the advice, from Fleet News, useful:

https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2020/05/07/coronavirus-hmrc-publishes-new-official-company-car-guidance

As the leasing company and the registered keeper of the vehicle, will you authorise my company to allow a furloughed employee to use their company car or van for volunteer work to support the NHS?

Yes, VWFS | Fleet is happy that the car or van we have supplied to the company can be used to support the NHS for volunteering purposes.

All terms and conditions of the Master Lease Agreement would remain the same. For example, in the case of mileage, if 1,000 miles are recorded during this period, they would simply be included in the overall mileage of the vehicle when returned at the end of contract.

Please note that this is subject to your own insurance company confirming they will cover the insurance.