NEWS: 22/05/2020 - Member's Weekly Update - important updates    |   20/05/2020 - Member message from the Chief Executive   |   19/05/2020 - HMRC: How to claim coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay   |   18/05/2020 - HMRC: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – update for employers   |   14/05/2020 - Member Weekly Update - please read   |              UPCOMING EVENTS: 29/10/2020 - SMTA Annual Dinner 2020   |   


Member's Weekly Update - important updates
22 May 2020

Please find below this week's update for our member's of the latest news relating to fiscal measures and the motor trade in Scotland.  

This week's update includes important issues the Scottish motor industry is facing at this time including a member' message from SMTA Chief Executive.

Important updates on the Business Support Grant non payment for some of our members and the DVSA MOT extension.

Read your weekly update as at 22/5/20 here

Member message from the Chief Executive
20 May 2020

Dear Member

I do hope this statement finds you and yours all safe and well.

The SMTA was formed in 1903 to encourage, promote & protect its members who joined us from across the growing automotive sector in Scotland. In that time the association has experienced numerous crisis situations including World Wars, global pandemics and financial recessions to name a few. There can be no doubt however that this current CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC will be the one that will leave the heaviest stain on many of your business and households.  

The offices of the SMTA have never stood so empty for so long, but as families, friends and businesses, right across the world – continue to adjust so admirably to an unfolding catastrophe there is much to be thankful for and more to be hopeful for.

Looking after our customers

A country without personal and business transport is a country that will eventually grind itself to a halt! The services that you provide on a daily basis throughout the communities of Scotland are critical to the success of our country as we start the long road to recovery from this lockdown.

To date we, as your association have worked hard to answer hundreds of member, non-member and political enquiries as quickly as possible, and we are still receiving more and more each and every day.   It’s essential that we are there for our members, present and future. Not least while we continue to provide vital support such as our Consumer Conciliation Service, Trading Partners, MOT QMS advice and support along with Scotsure and membership guidance as and when the need arises.
In what felt like a heartbeat, we have gone from operating our South Queensferry HQ based within traditional buildings with people and processes to a virtual call centre dispersed over multiple living rooms, kitchens and even garden sheds across Scotland, with some staff receiving office equipment to their doorsteps and connecting remotely to our HQ centre systems. Whilst we all may have been less able than normal to reply personally to members calls and emails, we do strive to ensure we are dealing with every enquiry across the business as effectively as possible. Currently we have furloughed approximately 50% of our team across all departments, while it may take slightly longer to get through to us, and we may need two or three days to reply to non-urgent emails, our promise remains. We are here to encourage, promote & protect our members interest as we always have been.

Looking after our staff

I am incredibly proud of the way our staff have adapted to such unusually demanding circumstances. Working from home can be difficult. Working from home during a lockdown poses even greater tests of focus and flexibility. We are doing our best to make sure everyone is supported and remains connected – whether that’s through regular one-to-one catch up calls or our general staff emails and of course our own website daily CORONAVIRUS updates. Personal connection with our staff and our members has always been important to us as a business. Right now it matters more than ever before.

Looking to the future

Living in lockdown has given new meaning to numerous words and statements like isolation, insecurity, loneliness and distance. However we have also experienced the true value of community and social unity in our personal and business lives. This has also produced a new wave of different thinking as the issues we face have become challenges in themselves, and of course the use of technology will have transformed and changed some attitudes and process in our sector forever, and of course created new challenges and opportunities as a result.
The efforts that so many have gone to, and the sacrifices people are making, can give inspiration to all of us and help to bring tomorrow closer. A tomorrow where our businesses are once again fully operational and everyone can travel freely to work and visit their families and friends, in the first instance within the UK but ultimately around the world.

From me and the whole team at The Scottish Motor Trade Association please stay safe, stay focused and stay positive.

Sandy Burgess FIMI
Chief Executive SMTA

HMRC: How to claim coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay
19 May 2020

Update from HMRC:

We’re writing to let you know that the coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on 26 May.

The scheme will enable employers with fewer than 250 employees to claim coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Tax agents will also be able to make claims on behalf of employers.

You’re eligible to use the scheme if:

  • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • you had a PAYE payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020
  • you had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020
  • you’re eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework.

The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP, and is payable if a current or former employee was unable to work on or after 13 March 2020 and entitled to SSP, because they either:

  • have coronavirus
  • are self-isolating and unable to work from home
  • are shielding because they’ve been advised that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

To prepare to make a claim, you should keep records of all the SSP payments you wish to claim for.

For more information about eligibility and how employers can prepare to use the scheme, please visit GOV.UK and search 'Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)'.

Please only call us if you cannot find the support you need on GOV.UK advice pages or through our webchat service – this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

You can find out more about this coronavirus support measure, and others such as HMRC’s Job Retention Scheme, by signing up to one of our webinars. For more information please visit GOV.UK and search for 'Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)'.

A word about scams

We are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. If someone gets in touch claiming to be from HMRC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, please do not respond. You can forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599.

HMRC: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – update for employers
18 May 2020

Update from HMRC:

It’s nearly a month since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened and many businesses will be preparing to make another claim in order to receive money by the end of May.

To ensure you receive a payment by the end of May, you need to apply by Wednesday 20‌‌ May.

When you make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you’ll receive the money within six working days.

After making a claim, please keep all records and calculations, in case we need to contact you to discuss these.

Update on the scheme

On 12 May, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the CJRS scheme will be extended until the end of October. The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July.

From 1‌‌ August to the end of October, we will introduce more flexibility so employers will be able to bring their furloughed employees back to work part-time and contribute to paying employees' wages while still receiving support from the scheme.

These measures will apply across all regions and sectors in the UK economy, and we expect to publish more details of how this will work by the end of May.

Guidance and support

In the meantime, more information is available online to help you apply – go to GOV‌.UK and search 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme'.

Online guidance has recently been updated with:

  • more information for furloughed employees
  • the work furloughed company directors can undertake
  • what time periods you can claim for
  • more detail on non-discretionary payments, holiday pay and record keeping.

Our webinars are also available to help you, and there are two about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on our YouTube channel 'HMRCgovuk' – an overview of the scheme and a detailed session about how to make a claim. You can book a place on a live webinar by going to GOV‌.UK and searching 'help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus'.

Please remember that grants are only intended for the payment of employees' salaries and related National Insurance, and pension contributions.

Payments may be withheld or need to be repaid in full if based on dishonest or inaccurate information or found to be fraudulent, and we may call you to check the details of your claim.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Don't give out private information or reply to text messages, and don't download attachments in emails you weren't expecting. Search 'scams' on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599.


Member Weekly Update - please read
14 May 2020

Please find below this week's update for our member's of the latest news relating to fiscal measures and the motor trade in Scotland. 

This week's update includes important issues the Scottish motor industry is facing at this time including an update from SMTA Chief Executive regarding DVSA and the 6 month holiday on MOTs and Covid-19 grant funding issues our members are having.

Weekly Update as at 14/5/20

BREAKING NEWS: Automotive aftermarket sector ready to keep millions of British vehicles roadworthy as SMMT launches COVID-19 guidance
14 May 2020


  • New automotive sector-specific guidance for aftermarket providers published by GEA, IAAF, IMI, SMTA and SMMT today.
  • MOT testers and service and repair sector ready to welcome back more customers with comprehensive COVID-19 safety measures across all points of interaction.
  • Sector can cope with significant ramp-up in demand but calls for end of six-month MOT extension as soon as possible.

The UK automotive aftermarket sector has signalled its readiness to cope with increased demand for MOT tests, service, maintenance and repair with the publication of new sector-specific guidance1 by the Garage Equipment Association (GEA), Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Although workshops have been allowed to stay open throughout the lockdown, helping to keep vehicles roadworthy for essential journeys, the new guidance will help companies of all types and sizes in the aftermarket operate safely while minimising the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

The best-practice guidance covers the entire aftermarket sector, including workshops, warehouses, mobile operations and parts distributors. It covers every aspect of their operations, from clear communications with customers and colleagues to social distancing, sanitisation and hygiene, and collection/delivery of vehicles from vulnerable owners. It is designed to complement government advice and help the aftermarket sector demonstrate safe practices for employees and customers across all points of interaction. It comes as vehicle mileages start to climb and the sector calls for an end to the six-month MOT extension.

Courtesy SMMT.

SMTA contact council chiefs regarding non payment of Covid-19 business support grants
12 May 2020

SMTA's Chief Executive, Sandy Burgess has contacted every chief executive at every council in Scotland regarding the major issue with the non payment of business support grants to the automotive sector.  A copy of this letter can be viewed here.

In addition, we would encourage all our members who have been rejected for one of the business support grants to contact their local MSP or MP to bring this issue to their attention.  

Sandy Burgess, SMTA Chief Executive can be contacted at

Northburn Oils resumes collections
11 May 2020

Member Update:

Northburn Oils have confirmed this morning that they have re-started waste oil collections.
As their office remains closed, collections can be booked by filling in the form on their website.

Member weekly update - please read
08 May 2020

We will be producing an update for our member's of the week's news relating to fiscal measures and the motor trade in Scotland.  This week's update includes important issues the Scottish motor industry is facing at this time including grant relief not being issued to some of our members, please click the link below to read.

Weekly Update as at 08/05/20

Breaking News - SMTA labels Covid-19 grant relief in Scotland a postcode lottery
07 May 2020

News published today on

The Scottish Motor Trade Association has hit out over a communication breakdown that is seeing some garages missing out on thousands in grant relief during the coronavirus crisis.

It all boils down to the interpretation by individual councils as to who is eligible for the money from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and a gap in guidance issued by the Scottish government.

A one-off £25,000 grant is available to ratepayers of properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors whose rateable values are between £18,000 and £51,000.

However, because of an inconsistency in guidelines issued by the Scottish government to local authorities, with garages not being specifically listed in one particular table although they are in another, claims for the £25,000 are being rejected by some councils, meaning a ‘double whammy’ for businesses having to pay rates and not getting any support, even though they’re shut other than for essential repairs and MOTs.

Read the full article here at Car Dealer Magazine

Business rates revaluation postponed
07 May 2020

A revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus.
Legislation had been introduced to bring the next revaluation forward by one year from 2022 to 2021, but following the recent economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic ministers want to ensure businesses have more certainty during this difficult time.

COVID-19: Out of furlough and back to work - FREE TEMPLATES
05 May 2020

From Lawgistics -

On the bright and green side, some garages are now re-opening to meet the demand. Some dealers have aptly adjusted to selling cars in the lockdown, taking on board the imposed restriction on trade and doing business distantly. Essential workers and all those who cannot work from home still need transport to commute, goods need to be delivered.

There is, reassuringly, a demand to meet and there are jobs to be done. Dealers and garages may have to start to recalling their staff from furlough.

If you are in this fortunate position and need your staff to come out of furlough to do work, this certainly can be done.

Just remember, the minimum furlough duration is 3 weeks. It is the employer’s decision which employees remained furloughed and who is coming back to work. This decision must not be in any manner discriminatory. It is worth reminding your staff that on furlough ending, the normal terms of employment resume.

Click here for a template created by Lawgistics

Europe’s four auto sector associations publish 25-point action plan for successful restart
05 May 2020

Joint Press Release from: CECRA, ACEA, CLEPA and ETRMA

Europe’s four auto sector associations publish 25-point action plan for successful restart

Brussels, 5 May 2020 – COVID-19 is having a major impact on the economy, with retail and manufacturing activity crippled without precedence and concerns mounting on consumer sentiment. The European automotive sector, which has been hit particularly badly, proposes a plan comprised of 25 key actions to ensure a strong restart of the sector and the economy at large.

Targeting decision makers at EU and national level, the action plan lists tangible recommendations to successfully exit from the corona crisis. It is issued by the four associations representing the full automotive supply chain: from equipment and tyre suppliers, to vehicle manufacturers, to dealers and workshops (ACEA, CECRA, CLEPA and ETRMA). Together, they want to contribute to a policy response to C-19 that ensures public health, minimises the impact on the economy and maintains focus on the overarching objectives of our time: the digital and carbon-neutral society.

As part of the action plan, the sector calls for coordinated vehicle renewal schemes for all vehicle types and categories across the EU. This will boost private and business demand, support economic recovery across the board as well as accelerate the rejuvenation of the vehicle fleet on Europe’s roads. Purchase and investment incentives should be based on similar criteria across Europe, drawing on both national and EU funding. Such schemes should be enhanced by scrapping premiums, and should take into account society’s climate ambitions and resource-efficiency objectives in concert with the economic impact.

Eric-Mark Huitema, Director General of ACEA, the automobile manufacturers’ association stated: “It is now crucial to bring the entire automotive value chain back into motion. We need a coordinated relaunch of industrial and retail activity, with maintained liquidity for businesses. Targeted measures will need to be taken to trigger demand and investment. Demand stimulus will boost the utilisation of our manufacturing capacity, safeguarding jobs and investments.”
Bernard Lycke, Director General of CECRA, the association of automotive dealers and workshops says: “To relaunch mobility and economic activity, it will be essential that vehicle dealerships and motor vehicle workshops reopen as soon as possible in the countries where they are still closed. Targeted purchase incentives and scrappage schemes for all categories of vehicles will, in addition to spurring the recovery, make a positive contribution towards carbon neutrality and road safety.”
Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe says: “Restarting the automotive sector will act as an engine of overall economic recovery because of the significant employment impact and immediate knock-on effect on other sectors. Investment in people and R&D remains key as well. Europe needs a strong automotive ecosystem to stay competitive and push ahead with ambitious environmental, digital and road safety targets.”
Fazilet Cinaralp, Secretary General of ETRMA, the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association: “The automotive sector is committed to emerging from this crisis stronger than before. A successful restart requires a supportive regulatory framework that protects public health, minimises the impact on the economy and ensures a transition to a circular, carbon-neutral economy. In close collaboration with the European Commission, we want to contribute to a policy response that brings about a successful COVID-19 recovery.”

Key updates for employers in respect of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
04 May 2020

Update from Just Employment Law:

Since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the CJRS) was announced on 26 March 2020 there have been many versions of the Government’s guidance on the CJRS.

This week, further key changes have been made to the Government’s guidance on the CJRS, in the wake of the CJRS portal’s first week in operation. These can be summarised as follows:
Collective agreement reached between an employer and a trade union to furlough workers will be an acceptable form of consent for the purpose of a CJRS claim.

An employee who was on a fixed term contract can be re-employed, furloughed and claimed for if either: (a) their contract expired after 28 February 2020 and an RTI payment submission was notified to HMRC on/before 28 February 2020; or (b) it expired after 19 March 2020 and an RTI payment submission was notified to HMRC on/before 19 March 2020. If the fixed term contract has not yet expired, it can be extended or renewed, and they can be furloughed and claimed for under the CJRS.

If a group of companies had multiple PAYE schemes and transferred all employees into a new consolidated PAYE scheme after 28 February 2020, they will be eligible to furlough those employees and claim for them under the CJRS.

Union or non-union representatives (including elected workforce representatives) may undertake duties/activities for the individual or collective representation of other workers whilst furloughed (such as during TUPE or redundancy consultation), provided they do not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of, the organisation which has furloughed them or any linked or associated organisation.

Company directors paid annually can be furloughed and claimed for via the CJRS provided they meet certain conditions, including being notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on/or before 19 March 2020 in relation to a payment of earnings in the 2019/20 tax year.

Where employees transferred to a new employer via TUPE on/after 28 February 2020, the new employer can claim for those employees under the CJRS if the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership.

The normal rules for all forms of family-related leave and pay apply irrespective of whether an employee has been furloughed (and furlough must end before the start of the leave). However, new regulations have been introduced which provide that where an employee was furloughed and then started a form of family-related leave on or after 25 April 2020, their statutory pay for that leave should be calculated based on the pay they would have received if not furloughed.

The Government launched a coronavirus business support finder tool on 20 April 2020 which uses an online questionnaire to identify whether a business or self-employed person could be entitled for support from various government schemes, including the CJRS. This can be accessed here.

New Bounce Back Loans to launch today
04 May 2020

Britain’s small businesses will be able to apply for quick and easy-to access loans of up to £50,000 from today – with the cash expected to land within days.

  • small businesses will be able to apply for quick and easy-to-access loans from today
  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with the cash arriving within days
  • loans will be 100% government backed for lenders, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – will be eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

From 9am this morning, small business owners can apply to accredited lenders by filling out a simple online form, with only seven questions.

The government has also agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. And any business that has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of £50,000 or less can apply to have these switched over to this generous new scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is the latest step in a package of world-leading support measures launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak – with £7.5 billion already awarded in business grants, 4 million jobs supported through the job retention scheme and generous tax deferrals supporting hundreds of thousands of firms. To apply, see further information about the Bounce Back Loan scheme.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

Small businesses will play a key role creating jobs and securing economic growth as we recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Bounce Back loan scheme will make sure they get the finance they need - helping them bounce back and protect jobs.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

We are backing small businesses, which are the backbone of our communities, with the support they need to stay afloat.

This new scheme of 100% government-guaranteed loans gives owners of even the smallest businesses the confidence and flexibility to borrow a sum which works for them. This will help ensure they can continue to trade, and be a key part of our efforts to reboot the British economy.

As part of the scheme, small businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee and cover the cost of any fees and interest for the borrower for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during this period to enable firms to get back on their feet.

The loans are available through a network of lenders, including the five largest banks.

Further Information

  • Eligible companies will be subject to standard customer fraud, anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks prior to any loan being made. Some State Aid restrictions may apply to applications.
  • The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

SMTA Coronavirus Weekly Update for Members
30 Apr 2020

We will be producing an update for our member's of the week's news relating to fiscal measures and the motor trade in Scotland.

Weekly Update as at 30/04/20

Use of Trade Plates for unaccompanied test drives
30 Apr 2020

Update from DVLA:

The DVLA have had a number of queries about the use of trade plates during the COVID-19 Pandemic and their use during a test drive while adhering to the social distancing rules.

DVLA has reviewed the relevant legislation on trade licensing and ascertained that a prospective purchaser may test drive a vehicle on trade plates, without the trade licence holder being present.

However, trade plates are the property of the Secretary of State and motor traders should take all precautions to ensure that trade plates are not stolen from the vehicle.

Applications open for lifeline support scheme
30 Apr 2020

A £100 million package of additional grant support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and newly self-employed people opens at 2pm today. There are funds available:

Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund
Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

SMTA Member Offer - Sneeze Screens
28 Apr 2020

Bestplate has a special offer for SMTA members  - “Sneeze Screens”, for hygiene and protection, manufactured in 3mm material with cut out.  

A 6 pack of the screens is £270 plus vat and carriage (700 (w) x 650 ( h) x 3mm with fixings)
Carriage cost is £10 per 25kg parcel, each single parcel holds 6 screens.

If you are interested and would like to find out more please contact Norman Stirling, SMTA Membership Development Manager on 07917 095014, or you can order direct by contacting Bestplate - see below. 

To order contact:  
m: +44(0)7967 716388  
t. 01253 345 287

New 100% government backed loan scheme for small businesses
28 Apr 2020

Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders, the Chancellor announced on Monday 27 April.

You can find more information here: Small businesses boosted by bounce back loans

SMTA Secure OFFICIAL clearance for dealers to sell and deliver vehicles during lockdown
27 Apr 2020

We attach a copy of a letter received from the Cabinet Secretary of the Scottish Government responding to our challenge for clearer guidelines about the task of selling and more importantly delivering vehicles with on-line transactions. The letter confirms official clearance for our members who are car dealers to be able to sell and deliver vehicles during lockdown.

SMTA members who are distance selling can print a copy of the letter here.

HMRC Employer Bulletin
27 Apr 2020

Update from HMRC:

The Employer Bulletin (April 2020, Issue 83) includes the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, along with updates on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and the deferral of VAT payments.

Please go online at GOV.UK if you need further support.

Scottish Government publish Covid-19 A Framework for Decision Making
23 Apr 2020

Update from The Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has today (23 April) published COVID-19: A Framework for Decision Making. It sets out some of the challenges Scotland faces and outlines the approach and principles that will guide us as we make decisions about transitioning out of the current lockdown arrangements. As a government we will listen to the best scientific advice and to the people of Scotland as we make our judgements. This is a living document and will be updated as evidence, modelling, and our assessment of the different options open to us develops. We will seek to engage at every opportunity and be open and transparent as our thinking evolves.

Click here to read the document.

Employment Law Update including furlough information
22 Apr 2020

Please find a Q&A document for employers from Just Employment Law that you may find useful.

Coronavirus update for Employers

DVLA Digital Services
21 Apr 2020

DVLA Update for members: 

The Coronavirus Pandemic has had a significant impact on DVLA’s services. In line with advice from Public Health Wales they have a very limited number of staff on-site who are focusing on applications from those who are directly involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, they are prioritising applications relating to HGV drivers and key workers to make sure they get any documentation they need as quickly as possible. They are only processing key worker applications, others being significantly delayed or unable to be processed until further notice.

Their Contact Centre is also focusing its services on those in most need and are telling customers not to call unless they are directly involved in the nation’s response to COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Contact Centre will not be able to respond to any other calls or general queries until further notice.

Whilst DVLA’s paper application processes have been severely impacted by the pandemic, DVLA’s digital services continue to operate as normal. We are therefore encouraging all applicants to utilise these digital services whenever possible.   Please find a list of their digital services and the link to their website here

UK government extends furlough scheme until end of June
20 Apr 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended by one month to reflect continuing social distancing measures.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

We’ve taken unprecedented action to support jobs and businesses through this period of uncertainty, including the UK-wide Job Retention Scheme. With the extension of the coronavirus lockdown measures yesterday, it is the right decision to extend the furlough scheme for a month to the end of June to provide clarity.

It is vital for people’s livelihoods that the UK economy gets up and running again when it is safe to do so, and I will continue to review the scheme so it is supporting our recovery.

HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims go LIVE today
20 Apr 2020

Update from HMRC:

We want to help you get ready to make your claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme when it goes live today. 

There’s now updated guidance on how to calculate your claim and a simple step-by-step guide.

There will also be a calculator available when the system goes live on Monday for you to check your calculations online before you make your claim.

Please have all your information and calculations ready before you begin your application. If you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this. You should retain all records and calculations in case we need to contact you about them.

You can now claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This scheme will be open until the end of June 2020.

Before you make a claim:

  • please read all the available guidance on GOV.UK before you apply
  • gather all the information and the precise calculations you need before you start your application – if you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this
  • you can find out more in the calculation guidance where you can access a claim calculator – this will allow you to check your claim for most employees who are paid the same amount each pay period
  • access our simple step-by-step guide for additional help.

After you’ve made a claim:

  • keep a note or a print-out of your claim reference number – you won’t receive a confirmation SMS or email
  • retain all records and calculations for your claims, in case we need to contact you about them
  • expect to receive the funds six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme – please do not contact us before this time
  • to receive payment by 30‌‌ April, you will need to complete an application by 22‌‌ April
  • please ask your furloughed employees not to contact us directly – we will not be able to provide them with any information on individual claims.

We expect to be very busy so we would ask that you only call us if you can’t find what you need on GOV‌.UK or through our webchat service – this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

HMRC will check claims made through the scheme and will act to protect public money against anyone who makes a claim using dishonest or fraudulent information.

We’d encourage you to also protect your own credentials from potential scammers and opportunist criminal activity.

Please only call us if you can’t find what you need on GOV‌.UK – this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

FCA publishes draft coronavirus guidance on motor finance repayments
20 Apr 2020

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said that it expects motor finance providers to offer “exceptional and immediate support to customers facing payment difficulties” due to COVID-19 coronavirus.

In draft guidance to the sector published this morning the regulator outlined temporary measures in a bid to help motorists which it said might be having temporary difficulty in making their finance or leasing payments due to a loss of or reduction in their income, or those who expect to experience such difficulties.

The guidance states that finance firms should agree to three-month payment deferrals, reduced payments or a rescheduled term to help customers “without delay”.

Read full article at AM Online

SMTA Coronavirus Weekly Update for Members
16 Apr 2020

Each week we will be producing an update for our member's of the week's news relating to fiscal measures relating to the motor trade in Scotland.

Update at 16.4.20

HMRC - Help to claim – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
16 Apr 2020

Update from HMRC:

We are now writing to tell you how and when to access the system with some more information about what you will need to have ready before the system goes live.

We are also updating you on an important change to the scheme relating to employee eligibility:

you can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying us of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020

employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to us on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

More information on this can be found on GOV.UK.

How to claim

As you prepare to make a claim, please note:

the online claim service will be launched on GOV.UK on 20‌‌ April 2020 – please do not try to access it before this date as it won’t be available

the only way to make a claim is online – the service should be simple to use and any support you need available on GOV.UK; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim

you can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent

claims will be paid within 6 working days; you should not contact us unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or our webchat service

we cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with you, as their employer, directly.

Information you will need before you make a claim

In addition to the information in our previous email, you will need to have the following before 20‌‌ April 2020:

a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'HMRC services: sign in or register'

be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'PAYE Online for employers'

the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:

  • Name.
  • National Insurance number.
  • Claim period and claim amount.
  • PAYE/employee number (optional).
  • if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee
  • if you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; we will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

If you want an agent to act for you

Please note:
agents authorised to act for you on PAYE matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password
you will need to tell your agent which UK bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.

You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims.
Guidance on GOV.UK is being regularly updated so please review it frequently.

A fifth of consumers to buy cars 'immediately after' coronavirus lockdown
15 Apr 2020

Almost a fifth of car buyers are poised to make a purchase as soon as the current COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown is lifted, according to survey data published by What Car?.

The automotive consumer publication surveyed nearly 3,000 active online car researchers and found that 18.2% said that they intend to buy their next car immediately after the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

It also found that 36% of in-market buyers feel that retailers should respond to their online enquiries within 24 hours, despite the ongoing crisis, with a further 13% expecting contact within half that time and 6% want it within an hour.

Read the full AM Online article here

Getting ready for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
10 Apr 2020

Update from HMRC:

We want to help you get ready to make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

If you’re eligible for the scheme, there are things that you can do now to be ready when the system is up and running later this month.

You’ll need to provide the following to make a claim:

  1. The bank account number and sort code you’d like us to use when we pay your claim.
  2. The name and phone number of the person in your business for us to call with any questions.
  3. Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  4. The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.
  5. The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf, so please speak to them now.

However, if you use a file-only agent (files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you in other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim for you and you’ll need the information listed above from them to make the claim yourself.

For more detailed advice, please visit GOV.UK. This guidance is being regularly updated, so please review it frequently.

You may also find this recorded webinar helpful, 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme', available on HMRC’s YouTube channel.

An email from HMRC will be sent in the next few days with more details on how and when to access the online system – please do not try to do this until we let you know it is available.


DVLA Contact Centre Opening Times over Easter
10 Apr 2020

The DVLA contact center is now only taking calls from key workers.


Please do not to call the contact centre unless you are a key worker directly involved in the response to the COVID-19.   Key workers only can contact DVLA  here

The contact centre Easter opening times :



Opening hours

Thursday 9 April

10am to 4pm

Good Friday 10 April


Saturday 11 April


Easter Sunday 12 April


Easter Monday 13 April


Tuesday 14 April

10am to 4pm

All other customers should please use their online services, which are all currently available.

Government furlough portal set to open amid car retail fraud allegations
09 Apr 2020

Some franchised car dealers have been accused of abusing Government’s Job Retention Scheme (JRS) as businesses across the UK prepare for the opening of the HMRC's portal to register for the salary support.

HMRC chief executive Jim Harra outlined details of the application process and revealed that the opening date for applications would be April 20 in a letter distributed yesterday (April 8).

But as many car retail businesses were poised to take advantage of the scheme in a bid to safeguard their business during the current COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown, it was alleged that others with furloughed staff were attempting to exploit the scheme.

Ian Ferguson, the founder of car retail dispute resolution business, said that he had uncovered evidence that the JRS scheme was being abused by some car retail groups whose furloughed staff have continued to work in direct contravention of the scheme’s rules.

Read full article at AM Online here

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders
08 Apr 2020

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is available for SMEs through more than 40 accredited lenders across the UK.

Visit here for more info

Employment Law Update including furlough information
08 Apr 2020

Please find a Q&A document for employers from Just Employment Law that you may find useful.

Coronavirus update for Employers

DVLA Update - contact centre open for urgent key worker assistance
07 Apr 2020

Update from DVLA to all SMTA members:

Due to the reduced number of staff that DVLA have available to work on site in the DVLA they are having to prioritise their work and services to focus on critical workers and the services that they are providing to deal with the pandemic and to keep the country going.

The DVLA Contact Centre is now available from Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm. In order that we can focus their available resources on those in most need they are now prioritising their resources to handle urgent calls from those who are directly involved in the nation’s response to COVID-19 as a key worker. Their staff will not be able to respond to other queries at this time.

Please can we ask that any members, who meet the above criteria, to use one of the following links which will provide them with up to date contact details for drivers and vehicles related issues. These links will be kept up to date with the latest information.


Vehicles Information: Click here

Drivers & Medical Information: Click here
For updates and advice please go to 

Ben - here to help
07 Apr 2020

Coronavirus help | Ben Support for Life

There’s no doubt that we’re in unusual and difficult times. The Coronavirus is affecting everyone’s lives – both home and work. In this section you can find information on how we can help and tips and advice for specific areas of your health and wellbeing that may be affected as a result of the current situation.  

Ben are sharing some important information to help people understandhow they can help in these extraordinary times.

To help Ben manage and prioritise urgent cases, we ask that you check Ben's website first for information, tips and advice and then, if you need additional help, to contact their helpline.

Coronavirus: apprenticeship programme response
07 Apr 2020

Update from UK Government:

This is a difficult time for apprentices, employers and providers of apprenticeship training, assessment and external assurance. The government is committed to supporting apprentices, and employers continue to build the skills capabilities the country needs now and in the future.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is responding by taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, despite any break they need to take as a result of COVID-19, and to support providers during this challenging time.

The support we are providing includes:

  • introducing flexibilities to allow furloughed apprentices to continue their training as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for their employer

  • encouraging training providers to deliver training to apprentices remotely, and via e-learning, as far as is practicable

  • allowing the modification of end-point assessment arrangements, including remote assessments wherever practicable and possible in order to maintain progress and achievement for apprentices

  • clarifying that apprentices ready for assessment, but who cannot be assessed due to COVID-19 issues, can have their end-point assessment rescheduled

  • apprentices whose gateway is delayed can have an extension to the assessment time frame

  • enabling employers and training providers to report and initiate a break in learning, where the interruption to learning due to COVID-19 is greater than 4 weeks

  • clarification on how to record breaks in learning so that funding is not unnecessarily disrupted

  • confirming that, where apprentices are made redundant, it is our ambition to find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks

Visit Gov.UK for more information here

Drop of 48.65% in car registrations as Coronavirus crisis hits the Scottish car market
06 Apr 2020

Rough passage ahead! The new car registration activity in Scotland for March mirrored that of the rest of the UK in returning a huge drop of 48.65% against 44.04% for the other nations combined, this meant that as a whole the UK experienced a 44.00% decline in registrations against 2019 and has very significant impacts for the remainder of 2020.

The reason for the drop off does not need confirming, we as an industry, consumer groups and media are all very well aware of what the problem has been in this instance and that it will continue to blight every sector of our economy for some time to come. That said there are fantastic efforts being made by many to find a cure and a vaccine for the virus so we can fight off this current crisis and return to doing what we all can to ensure a speedy recovery for everyone.

Our sector is doing their bit in often very challenging situations to ensure essential workers can continue to travel to and from their place of work, supplying labour, parts and often supplying vehicles to help with the common fight, The SMTA is very proud of its membership playing their part for their communities across the nation.

Sandy Burgess SMTA Chief Executive commented “There is no real point in trying to analyze the figures for March beyond what they are, the key critical consideration we all have is for the safety of our staff, our business partners and our customer base be that rural or metropolitan it’s the space we are all in right now.”


For further information, please contact:
Sandy Burgess or Karen Thompson

SMTA Ltd, Palmerston House, 10 The Loan, South Queensferry, EH30 9NS

Claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
06 Apr 2020

Update from UK Government on commission payments included in the 80% of wages (up to a £2,500 limit) employers can claim for their employees: 
You can claim for any regular payments you are obliged to pay your employees. This includes wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. However, discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments should be excluded. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update
06 Apr 2020

Update from HMRC:

The employer guidance and guidance for employees have been further updated in line with some of the main queries we have received from stakeholders. Whilst all the guidance has been refreshed, the main areas I would draw your attention to are:

  • the more detailed information on scheme eligibility
  • further information on how to calculate a claim
  • clarification of what constitutes wages.

HMRC Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
03 Apr 2020

Update from HM Revenue and Customs

At Budget 2020 the Chancellor announced details about a new coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay to their employees.

Today HMRC has published new online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.

HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Details about when the new Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme can be accessed and when employers can make a claim will be announced as soon as possible.

We will continue to update you and the new GOV‌.UK guidance when these details are available.


SMTA Coronavirus Weekly Update for Members
03 Apr 2020

Each week we will be producing an update for our member's of the week's news relating to fiscal measures relating to the motor trade in Scotland.

Weekly Update as at 03/04/20

Furlough - common questions we are being asked you may find helpful
02 Apr 2020

We note below a few common questions and answers that may help you with regard to furloughing your employees. Please be sure you are aware of the rules of furlough and that your employee is aware also.

Can a furloughed employee work elsewhere?

Yes, providing they had that job prior to 1 March 2020. It remains to be clarified if a furloughed employee can take up new employment elsewhere whilst on furlough.

Can a furloughed employee take annual leave when on furlough?

This may be possible but again awaiting clarity on this point. In the meantime, in case HMRC does not permit furlough and annual leave to be taken at the same time it is recommend that an employee does not take annual leave (including any public holidays) during the first three weeks of furlough leave.

If an employee takes a holiday after having at least three consecutive weeks of furlough leave, no further holiday should be agreed until they have been back on furlough leave for a further three weeks, if applicable.

Whether you are topping up the furlough payments to the employee or not, they should receive full pay (as they normally would) for any period of annual leave. It is not yet clear if HMRC will reimburse you at all for periods of annual leave taken during furlough leave. Nor do we know if taking annual leave will be treated as breaking a continuous period of furlough leave, hence the advice in the first and second paragraphs of this question.

Can I bring a furloughed employee back to work and then ‘re-furlough’ them?

The scheme does not appear to preclude this, provided that each period of furlough is a minimum of three weeks. However, the government guidance does not include an express confirmation that the same person can be furloughed more than once

Avoid stock liquidation, ASE warns dealers, as cashflow remains key
02 Apr 2020

Dealers will need cashflow to bridge the gap until the Government’s business and employee support funds drop in, however they must resist a fire sale of stock, ASE Global’s chairman Mike Jones has warned.  His advice came as global analysts IHS Markit predicted a year-on-year 10 million light vehicle sales decline (12.2%) worldwide to 78.8m units in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic and national counter-measures.

IHS automotive economist Peter Nagle said "If quarantine measures get extended and economic stimulus activities are not sufficient, the decline could be 18% to 20% globally to around 71m units.  Most of the world’s mature economies are suffering “historic declines” causing recession, Nagle said, however IHS forecasts “bounce backs” in 2021.

He pointed out that in China, after eight weeks of factory closures, nine cities are now introducing incentives for people to buy cars, particularly electric vehicles.

“It may take a long time for people to feel comfortable in crowds. It could take two to three years for most economies to return to where they were before,” Nagle said.  “Aversion to public transport after the crisis could help vehicle sales, but there’s limited upsides. That happened after the SARS outbreak.”

Dealers’ problems are more immediate, and Jones said during a webinar with Auto Trader that many of the UK banks and finance houses he’s spoken with are looking to provide extra support for dealers, such as sustaining their stocking loans as normal. Dealers should not be buying more stock at the moment, he said.

His advice was for dealers to maintain or increase dialogue with their banks and funders. “We should be planning for the future, looking at what the cash position will be, to tell them about potential problems and have plans A, B and C ready.”  He said dealers can be building a pipeline, to get arranged for a fast start when showrooms open again. Historically, after other crises, new car sales and service bookings once recovery begins can lag slightly but used car sales build quickly, he said.

His advice to all dealers was to “steer clear” from cashing out of stock if possible.  “The one thing people shouldn’t be doing is panic selling. It’s very difficult from a cashflow point of view, but there is no market out there from a demand point of view, so if people are looking to liquidate stock it’s a phenomenally difficult time to do that.”
Jones predicted a 40% fall in March new car registrations. He urged dealers to be cautious about their approaches in the weeks ahead, and not be over-eager to begin handovers.

Article: AM Online

Emergency volunteering leave
02 Apr 2020

Emergency volunteering leave

Emergency volunteering leave is a new concept allowing workers to leave their primary job and temporarily volunteer in the health or care sector. The following is of note for employers:

Workers are entitled to be absent from work on leave for the period specified in an emergency volunteering certificate (EVC), issued by an appropriate authority.

To qualify for this leave, no later than three working days before the first day of the leave period, the worker must notify their employer in writing of their intention to be absent from work and provide their employer with a copy of the EVC.

Workers can take only one period of leave in each volunteering period. The period of leave set out in the EVC must be either two, three or four consecutive weeks and must begin and end in the same “volunteering period” (i.e. an initial 16 week period, beginning on the date that the relevant section and schedule of the 2020 Act come into force, but further periods can be set thereafter).

Employers are not entitled to refuse a request for this leave, unless they have less than ten employees.

Employers are not required to pay workers their normal wages or salary during this period of leave.
That said, workers absent on this leave have the following rights: to benefit from their terms and conditions that would have applied had they not been absent (except in relation to pay), to return to the job that they did before the leave on no less favourable terms and conditions and to protection from detriment and dismissal for having taken the leave.

Source: Just Employment Law

SMTA members - letter confirming your need to travel to and from your garage
31 Mar 2020

For SMTA members, with the ever developing Covid-19 situation, there may be a possibility that you or your staff may be stopped and asked why you are travelling.  We would like you to refer to an email we have sent today which has a copy of a letter confirming you are exempt from closure and must be able to travel back and forward to your garage.  

If you do not have the email (please check your junk folder and add us to your safe senders list), please contact us at and we will send you another copy.

Stay safe.

SMTA Trading Partners Suppliers Update - still open for business
31 Mar 2020

Please see below an update on which of our SMTA Trading Partner suppliers are still open for business, please note that this is an ever changing situation we all find ourselves in and this list may change at any time.

Bestplate Open for business
Easityre Reduced opening hours, 9am-3pm and service vans leaving once per day at 10am.
GES Still fulfilling most orders.
Johnsons Workwear Open for business, max delay on orders would be one day
Northburn Oils Closed
Scottish Fuels Open for business, member offer now available for SMTA motor oil
Stapleton Tyres Open for business, no cash payments.
Tracker Open for business
Tyrebin Closed
Yokohama Tyres Open for business, orders via 

Advice for employers and employees - using holidays
31 Mar 2020

The government has introduced a temporary new law to deal with Coronavirus disruption.

Employees and workers can carry over up to 4 weeks’ paid holiday over a 2-year period, if they cannot take holiday due to Coronavirus.

Information on this can be found on ACAS website here

DVSA Extension of MOT tester assessments
30 Mar 2020

The DVSA has today announced an extension to the deadline for MOT Training & Assessment to the end of April 2020.

If you have not yet completed your Training and Assessment you can do this with SMTA in conjunction with the IMI.   Please email:

Furlough agreement legal update
30 Mar 2020

Please find a Q&A document on furlough for employers from Just Employment Law that you may find useful.

Coronavirus Update for Employers

Deferral of VAT payments as a result of COVID-19
30 Mar 2020

Update from HMRC, see below:

The Chancellor announced a VAT payments deferral on 20 March to support businesses with cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means that all businesses with a UK VAT registration have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 3‌0‌‌ June.

You therefore have until 3‌1‌‌ March 2021 to pay any VAT deferred as a result of this announcement.

You do not need to inform HMRC if you wish to defer payment. You can opt in to the deferral simply by not making VAT payments due in this period. If you pay by Direct Debit you should cancel this with your bank. You should do so in sufficient time so that HMRC does not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of their VAT return.

Should you wish, you can continue to make payments as normal during the deferral period. HMRC will also continue to pay repayment claims as normal. You must continue to submit VAT returns as normal.

For more information please go to GOV.UK.

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme update
27 Mar 2020

Update received from HMRC, see below:

The government is committed to doing whatever it takes to support businesses and individuals through the Coronavirus pandemic. On 20 March as part of these efforts the Chancellor announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This funding will be open to all employers with a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020, including charities. Employers can apply for grants of 80% of furloughed employees' (employees on a leave of absence) monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage, provided they keep the worker employed. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020, if applicable. 

HMRC have been working night and day to develop this scheme, and we can now confirm that we have been able to publish further details of the scheme on GOV‌.UK. We are aiming to have the scheme up and running by the end of April 2020. More detailed guidance will be published in due course and please be assured we will advise you when the scheme is open. 

Guidance for employers is available on GOV.UK. You may also find the guidance for employees helpful. 

Coronavirus: UK government unveils aid for self-employed
27 Mar 2020

Self-employed workers can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits to help them cope with the financial impact of coronavirus, the chancellor has announced.  

The money - up to a maximum of £2,500 a month - will be paid in a single lump sum, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest.  


  • Self-employed people will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month.  
  • At least half their income needs to have come from self-employment as registered on the 2018-19 tax return filed in January - anyone who missed the filing deadline has four weeks from now to get it done and still qualify. 
  • The scheme is open to those who earn under £50,000 a year - up to 3.8 million of the 5 million people registered as self-employed. 
  • Unlike the employee scheme, the self-employed can continue to work as they receive support. 
  • The money, backdated to March, will arrive directly into people's banks accounts from HMRC, but not until June.  
  • The grants will be taxable, and will need to be declared on tax returns by January 2022. 
  • Company owners who pay themselves a dividend are not covered. 

Source BBC news, read full article here

Member weekly update including Coronavirus Fiscal measures
26 Mar 2020

Each week we will be producing an update for our member's of the week's news relating to fiscal measures relating to the motor trade in Scotland.

Weekly Update as at 26.3.20

CECRA write to European Commission about the implications of COVID-19
26 Mar 2020

SMTA is a member of CECRA and are fully supportive of their action to write to the European Commission, details below:

COVID-19 : Automotive sector letter to von der Leyen

Brussels, 26/03/2020

The European associations representing vehicle manufacturers (ACEA), suppliers (CLEPA), tyre manufacturers (ETRMA), dealers and repairers (CECRA) wrote a joint letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, about the implications of the COVID‐19 crisis on the automotive sector and the measures that the European Commission could potentially take in this context.

Please, find the letter here :
COVID-19 : Automotive sector letter to von der Leyen

Update to businesses and premises that can stay open - repair shops added
26 Mar 2020

Today the UK Government provided a further update on businesses and premises that are exempt from closure and clarified that repair shops are now on the list, please see below.

All retail to close with notable exceptions:

• Supermarkets and other food shops
• Medical services (such as dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chirpody and podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services)
• Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies
• Petrol stations
• Bicycle shops
• Hardware shops and equipment, plant and tool hire
• Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
• Corner shops and newsagents
• Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries
• Laundrettes and dry cleaners
• Post Offices
• Vehicle rental services
Car garages and repair shops
• Car parks
• High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
• Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off points
• Public toilets
• Shopping centres should stay open if they contain units which are not required to close

Launch of Scottish business support grants - Find out how to apply
25 Mar 2020

Scottish Business Support Grants 

Two types of grants are available:

1. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £50,999     will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.

2. A one-off grant of £10,000 will also be available to small businesses who get: 

Applying for a grant and getting paid:

To apply, you'll need to complete an application form. Please follow the appropriate council links below:

Aberdeen City
Argyll & Bute
Dumfries & Galloway
Dundee City
East Ayrshire
East Dunbartonshire
East Lothian
East Renfrewshire
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Glasgow City
Midlothian - Apply via Edinburgh City Council 
North Ayrshire
North Lanarkshire
Orkney Islands
Perth & Kinross
Scottish Borders
Shetland Islands
South Ayrshire
South Lanarkshire
West Dunbartonshire
West Lothian


SME Fraud Awareness
25 Mar 2020

We have been made aware by Co-operative Bank of a few high value fraud cases recently whereby business customers have fallen victim to invoice diversion scams (fake email/hacked emails requesting payment and that the account details to send it to have changed).


Please find attached details of the current scams that the bank has been made aware off and a leaflet that the Co-operative Bank has produced.

Coronavirus - How criminals are preying on fears of Covid-19

SME Fraud Awareness Brochure from Co-operative Bank



Update for garages - Lawgistics
25 Mar 2020

Please see a link below to an update from Lawgistics who provide info on whether your business should be open or closed and offer guidance on the next step to furlough an employee.

Lawgistics Update

Breaking news - MOTs extended for 6 months
25 Mar 2020
MOT Assessment & Training Logging in Help
24 Mar 2020

If you are having problems logging into the system for your MOT annual training and assessment please find below a link to a document that will assist.

Remember you have until 31st March to complete your training and assessment.

MOT Training & Assessment Logging in Helpsheet


£1 billion Business Support Fund opens - Scottish Government
24 Mar 2020

Grants to help businesses with COVID-19 impact.

Read full article here

Businesses can now apply for grants to help them deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The one-off grants are designed to help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovery, and more than 90,000 ratepayers across Scotland will be able to benefit.

The grant support is additional to separate tax relief measures and is part of a package of measures worth £2.2 billion.

Small businesses in receipt of the small business bonus scheme or rural relief, as well as hospitality, leisure and retail business can benefit.

Two types of grant are now available to ratepayers:

• a one-off £10,000 grant to ratepayers of small businesses

• a one-off grant of £25,000 available to retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999

The list is not exhaustive and if businesses think they may be eligible for one of these grants, they should contact their local authority, which are administering the scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance Kate Forbes said:

“While our primary concern is for people’s health, it is clear that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak will have severe economic consequences, and we are treating it as an economic emergency.

“We are determined to help keep companies in business and support them and their staff during this difficult time.

“Local authorities are the most efficient way to deliver this and we have worked closely with them to deliver these measures – and eligible businesses can apply now.

“Local authorities will aim to make payments within 10 working days, and I’d like to thank them for their help in ensuring this support is delivered as quickly as possible.

“The COVID-19 situation, however, is both severe and fast-moving and requires a coordinated UK response: I will continue to work closely with the UK Government and the other devolved administrations.”

Garages are exceptions to closure
24 Mar 2020

Please find the latest information we have from the UK Government advising that under their list of exceptions to closure include, Garages, Petrol Stations and Car Rentals.

Guidance notes - see page 3 for exceptions to closure

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
23 Mar 2020

If you are faced with having to furlough your employees as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here are two documents that will assist.  One is a letter template to issue to your employees and guidance on what it means to furlough employees.

Furlough Notice - letter template

Government Guidance on Job Retention Scheme

MOT testing to continue on cars but heavy goods vehicles MOTs are suspended (HGVs and PSVs)
23 Mar 2020

At present (23 March 2020 2pm) MOT tests will continue,  The Department for Transport continues to keep MOT testing for cars, motorcycles and light vans under review. They will provide an update in due course.

The DVSA has suspended MOTs for all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and public service vehicles (PSVs) for up to 3 months from 21 March 2020.  All HGV and PSV vehicles with an MOT will be issued with a 3-month certificate of temporary exemption (CTE) until further notice. 

Vehicles must be maintained, kept safe to drive (roadworthy) and operate within the terms of operators’ licence conditions.


The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders
23 Mar 2020

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now available to UK businesses experiencing cashflow disruptions or increased costs during the Covid-19 outbreak

Bank of Scotland's support for businesses impacted by Coronavirus

Royal Bank of Scotland's support for business impacted by Coronavirus

Guest speaker announced!
02 Mar 2020

We are delighted to announce our guest speaker for our Annual Dinner & Awards 2020 is 'Eddie The Eagle Edwards'!

Eddie Edwards, also known as Eddie ‘the Eagle’, is a British skier and Olympic speaker who was the first Briton to compete in the Olympic ski jumping challenge at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary. Born in Gloustershire Edwards made his first attempt to join the British Olympic’ team in 1984, narrowly missing out on a place in the downhill skiing team.

It was Edwards’ determination and arguably his lack of success that made him so popular amongst audiences however and Edwards has continued to feed off of this success in his work as a sports speaker in the years’ that followed. Edwards’ lack of success at Calgary inspired the instigation of the Eagle Rule at Olympic qualifications, which states that competitors must achieve a certain level of success in international tournaments before they can qualify to represent their country.

Arnold Clark wins at AM Awards 2020
18 Feb 2020

Almost a thousand motor industry executives gathered at Birmingham's ICC for the 2020 AM Awards gala dinner and ceremony to celebrate many of the best businesses, teams, individuals and products in the UK's motor retail industry.

Congratulations to SMTA member Arnold Clark who won three awards: Dealer Group of the Year – sponsored by Black Horse; Best Dealer Group (more than 10 sites) – sponsored by heycar and Best Used Car Dealer Group (franchised and independent) – sponsored by Autoclenz 

For a full lilst of all winners click the link:

Article: AM Online


CECRA latest update
06 Feb 2020

CECRA update on renewal process of the vertical block exemption

Automotive BER 461/2010:

  • Fact-finding study and the public consultation planned for Q3/2020;
  • Evaluation report: 2021;
  • The input should be on the performance of the current regime and not, at this stage, on what the post-2023 will look like.
All channels: franchising resolution (with the announced discussion in the European Competition Network), and Unfair Practices will continue to be analyzed.

DVLA changes policy on trade plate use with pre-registrations
23 Jan 2020

The DVLA has revised its official policy on trade plates following lobbying from the Used Vehicle Industry Group (UVIG) over worries about dealers using untaxed ex-demos and pre-registered cars.

Under the old policy, dealers could not use trade plates on cars were they were the registered keeper of the vehicle, such as with ex-demonstrators or pre-registered cars.

Dominic Threlfall, managing director of Pebley Beach Group and a member of the UVIG, said: "To test drive these cars you officially would have to tax them. The reality being a lot of dealerships were not aware of this, and those that were ignored it and potentially left themselves open to prosecution.

"After significant canvassing, we are now able to transfer our own cars into 'trade' and then used trade plates on them.

"It seems a small change, but it will keep dealerships legal."

The DVLA's update states that dealers should inform it online when they're transfering a vehicle into sale stock, and they'll no longer be registered as the keeper "and the vehicle will be notified as transferred out of your business, or to another section of your business, as trade stock for sale. The trade plates can then be used to test drive the vehicle by a prospective buyer."

Threlfall said the UVIG has members representing trade associations, motor auctions, dealerships and finance and leasing companies, and one of its aims is to help the industry optimise the use of DVLA systems, which are very consumer focused and can be quite an administration burden for dealerships.

He believes the DVLA will pay closer attention to cars transferred into trade in the future, as vehicles between owners might be transferred multiple times between traders and it is difficult for DVLA to know exactly where they are at any point.

If parking or speeding infringements occur that creates an issue for the DVLA and dealerships, said Threlfall.

Article: AM Online

New Renault tech links cars with homes
08 Jan 2020

Renault is developing a new connectivity service that will link its cars with smart-home devices, allowing owners to control objects in their home from their car.

The French car maker has partnered with smart-home technology specialist Otodo in order to develop the new service.

It will be available in all Renault models fitted with Easy Link infotainment systems, including the new Zoe, Clio and Captur.

With this new connectivity service, users can control various objects in their home directly from their vehicle’s dashboard, as well as send instructions from their home, using a smartphone or connected speaker, to their connected Renault vehicle to prepare or share an itinerary.

Users select the objects they want to include in the available scenarios, and the instructions associated with each object.

The Leaving Home scenario puts their home to “sleep” by switching the thermostat to energy-saving mode, closing the shutters and turning off the lights.

The Arriving Home scenario wakes it up.

Users then decide when they want the system to prompt them to activate the scenarios based on the distance between the vehicle and home.

Jean-François Labal, marketing and partnership head for Connected Cars and Services at Groupe Renault, said: “Cars need to blend into our digital lives. With this service, we’re offering our customers a trailblazing experience and a completely secure system to connect their home’s connected objects to their vehicle. The interface to set it up is very intuitive and it comes with two advantages: it’s automatic so it makes life simpler and it saves energy by switching lights and heating on and off as needed.”

The service, which is being previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), is expected to be operational in 2020.

Article: AM Online

November New Car Registrations
10 Dec 2019

“It’s business as usual” but not as we would want it to be! Sandy Burgess Chief Executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association commenting on the new car registration results for Scotland in November 2019 has highlighted the continual decline in the industry results as “disappointing but understandable” given the political turmoil of late”!

Scotland’s results for the month came in at 4.21% down on the same period in 2018, this equates to 522 less new cars being registered across the country, the largest percentage drop was in the Borders at 22.73% down and then Dumfries & Galloway at 18.73%, there was two areas of growth in Lothian up 2.43% and Central at 1.74%.

The Scottish private car market continues to show resilience against the rest of the UK which is encouraging for the future, alternative fueled vehicles continue to grow ahead of any market conditions as more and more motorists embrace the transition to electric or hybrid technology. Registrations for pure electric in November 2019 come in at 2.74% against the same period in 2018 at 0.6% and hybrids measure 6.09% against 4.98% for the month 2019 & 18 respectively.

The market is in dire need of political resolution and some level of financial stability to allow a return to a stable market, the deals are out there, the dealers are prepared, stocked and trained, there is a growing desire for transition to clean, economical and technically outstanding vehicles, bring it on!

SMTA Trading Partners - Win with Yokohama
04 Dec 2019

Purchase 24 Yokohama tyres via Trading Partners for stock during December 2019 and receive a further discount of £5.00 per tyre, (£120).  This purchase would also qualify for 3 vouchers to enter into the prize draw.

Don't miss out on our fantastic offer from SMTA Trading Partners in conjunction with Yokohama - your chance to win 2 tickets to see Chelsea FC with hospitality at Stamford Bridge courtesy of Yokohama! The prize includes full corporate hospitality, return flights and overnight accommodation! (Terms and Conditions apply please ask for details).

All you need to do is purchase tyres from Yokohama using your SMTA Trading Partners account from now until end of February (remember there's an additional special offer for the month of December!) and for our members who don’t have a Trading Partners account and wish to participate please contact one of our Territory Account Managers who will be more than happy to help.  Remember, joining SMTA Trading Partners is free. 

Contact our Territory Account Managers today!

David McNeill - Eastern Region - 07375 057560
Marcus Lawrence - Western Region - 07375 057561
Graham Bruce - Northern Region - 07766 695265

Park's open Lamborghini showroom in Leeds
27 Nov 2019

Park’s Motor Group had helped to expand the Automobili Lamborghini UK dealership network with the opening of a new showroom in Leeds.

The Scottish AM100 retail group officially opened the doors at its second Leeds supercar showroom of 2019 – it opened its new McLaren Automotive franchise last month – to take the Italian carmaker’s UK representation to 11 locations.

Park’s will look to grow the success with supercars with the opening of its first Lamborghini franchise.  Earlier this year the group’s McLaren Glasgow facility was named the British brand’s European Retailer of the Year for the third time in four years.

Ross Park said: “We are delighted to be appointed to the Lamborghini franchise and to open this new Leeds location.  “Park’s Motor Group has a stated commitment to growth through providing the best possible service to our clients, which reflects the demands of Lamborghini and its discerning clientele.  “The investment made in this new showroom and an expert team demonstrates our commitment and enthusiasm for playing a significant role in Lamborghini’s future success in the region.”

Park’s Motor Group had helped to expand the Automobili Lamborghini UK dealership network with the opening of a new showroom in Leeds.

The Scottish AM100 retail group officially opened the doors at its second Leeds supercar showroom of 2019 – it opened its new McLaren Automotive franchise last month – to take the Italian carmaker’s UK representation to 11 locations.

Park’s will look to grow the success with supercars with the opening of its first Lamborghini franchise.  Earlier this year the group’s McLaren Glasgow facility was named the British brand’s European Retailer of the Year for the third time in four years.

Andrea Baldi, the chief executive of Automobili Lamborghini EMEA Region, together with Park’s Director Ross Park, welcomed more than 200 guests to an inauguration ceremony last week where the latest Lamborghini models were presented, including the new Huracán EVO coupé and Spyder.

Article credit: AM Online

CECRA meet in London to discuss the future of independent repairers
25 Nov 2019

SMTA's Chief Executive, Sandy Burgess attended an important meeting of CECRAs Independent repairers division which took place in London on 19th November. Many points concerning the future of Independent Repairers were highlighted.

A large number of CECRA's members delegations discussed the overall future of Independent repairers during a meeting organised by CECRA's UK member, IGA.

The division especially emphasised the issues concerning the vehicle access to data and the implementation of SERMI (Security related Repair and Maintenance Information).

SMTA Annual Dinner Generous Guests Help Raise Funds for Two Worthy Charities
12 Nov 2019

We are delighted to advise that a fantastic £4,970 was raised at last Thursday's Annual Dinner & Awards.  This will be split between our two chosen charities - CHAS and Beatson.  A massive thank you to our generous guests

Meet our special guest at our Annual Dinner....
05 Nov 2019

Looks like someone is ready to attend the SMTA Annual Dinner 2019 this Thursday.  Big Ted is looking forward to meeting everyone on the 7th November and he's looking forward to meeting his new owner!


NFDA - The Consumer Attitude Survey
24 Oct 2019

Despite the increasingly important role played by the internet in the consumer buying journey, physical dealerships remain key, the latest NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey revealed.

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK, is pleased to announce the findings of consumer vehicle purchasing patterns in the UK.

The Consumer Attitude Survey was commissioned by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK, and executed by Public Knowledge, a leading market research agency. This is the 'Dealer Insight' of the seventh edition of the survey, which polled 2,000 consumers across the UK in a 15-minute online survey.

The NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey revealed that 75% of car purchases, for cars under seven years old, are made at franchised dealers; 14% are made at independent garages; 5% at used car supermarkets and 5% from private sellers. When considering only brand-new cars, 93% of them were bought at franchised dealerships.

The survey found that 50% of consumers visit a car dealership website before purchasing a vehicle. However, surprisingly, 32% of respondents bought a car from a physical franchised dealership without using any dealer, manufacturer or other car sales website before buying the car. Buyers of prestige brands are significantly more likely to visit manufacturer websites, 46%, and research in papers/magazines, 13%, than those buying volume brands, 32% and 8%, respectively.

The findings showed that 63% of consumers intend to purchase their next vehicle from a franchised dealer showroom and 9% from a franchised dealer website.

Read more of the article here

UK Auto gives reality check on ‘no deal’ Brexit, as new survey shows one in three firms already shedding jobs
21 Oct 2019

  • New survey shows escalating fears of ‘no deal’ Brexit to UK automotive sector, with a third cutting jobs and 80.3% concerned about damage to their future business prospects.
  • More than £500m already wasted on measures that will not deliver returns, rather than being invested in much-needed R&D.
  • Profitability, new business opportunities and investment all under threat as industry faces £5bn WTO tariff bill on cars and vans alone – a cost which cannot be mitigated.
  • All sides urged to agree an orderly withdrawal with sufficient transition time to negotiate an ambitious free and frictionless economic relationship between the UK and the EU.

The results are consistent and striking. One in three UK automotive businesses is already cutting jobs, up from one in eight when the survey was last carried out in November 2018. Four-fifths (80.3%) fear leaving the EU without a deal will have negative consequences for their future prospects (up from 74.1% 10 months ago).

Virtually the same number (79.6%) are worried about the impact on their profitability while two-thirds (62.2%) are saying ‘no deal’ will impact their ability to win overseas business and a similar number state that they will be unable to invest in their UK operations.

In a sign that the mere threat of ‘no deal’ has already hurt the UK, 11.8% of firms said that they had already divested from their UK-based operations and 13.4% are relocating operations overseas. Overall, three quarters (77.2%) of firms say that there has already been a negative impact on business even before the UK has left the EU.

Read full story here

Credit: SMMT

Park’s Motor Group opens new McLaren Leeds supercar showroom
14 Oct 2019

Park’s Motor Group has officially opened the doors at its new McLaren Automotive supercar showroom facility in Leeds – after 17 months trading from a temporary facility.

The AM100 retail group, whose McLaren dealership in Glasgow was named as the British supercar brand’s European Retailer of the Year for the third time in four years back in March, welcomed visitors to its new site on Aire Valley Drive, Leeds, on October 2 at an event which saw the dealership packed with classic McLaren cars.

It also marked the completion of a development which saw the dealership's workforce operate from a temporary facility after the franchise point joined the McLaren network in May, 2018.

Read the full article here

Article courtesy AM Online

Scottish new car registrations record declines in key September market across all regions!
07 Oct 2019

  • Scotland’s new car registrations market declines 11.28% in September against same period last year. There can be no doubt that the political uncertainties consumers are faced with daily is causing a drop off in buyer’s confidence.
  • Year to date figures are also down against last year by 4.67% and only two regions of Scotland are now recoding growth year to date, Tayside and Central
  • These figures equate to a drop of 3,515 units in September alone and 7,093 year-to-date.

September’s volumes did see the traditional Scottish market being held up by the private buyer recording a registration mix of 56.4% with the fleet and business sectors slowing quite significantly against previous recording declines of 11.57% and 64.39% respectively.

As elsewhere in the UK there was good news for battery electric cars (BEVs), which saw the continued growth recording 5.05% share for Hybrid and 1.79% share for pure electric during the month, as more and more manufacturers bring new variants to market this number should increase.

Sandy Burgess, SMTA Chief Executive, said, “September is one of the industry’s key critical months, such a dramatic fall of in levels of business is very concerning and the politicians must take heed of the serious consequences being recorded across our sector as a result of the continued stalemate and theatre being played out in Westminster and Holyrood!

The Scottish market has recorded a dramatic drop off when the rest of the UK has had a more modest result, this is most certainly impacted by the additional pressure we have given the 2032 ambitions of the Scottish Government, which in principle we are supportive of, but we have been calling for detail and structure to these ambitions for two years now and there has been very little detail provided for business or consumer to  take a structured decision about their future mobility purchase plans.”

Diesel decline slowing
03 Oct 2019

Sales of new diesel cars have fallen for the 29th month in a row, although the pace of decline is slowing, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

Its figures show August 2019s new car market was 1.6% behind August 2018, at 92,573 car sales.  Within that, petrol and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) rose in demand, but diesel orders dropped 12.2%.

Registrations from both the private and fleet sectors decline in the month, down 1.7% and 3.5% respectively, as demand in the small volume business segment increased by some 962 units.

Zero-emission cars grew fastest, up 377.5% to 3,147 units, as new models and some pent up demand boosted registrations, while 4,014 hybrid electric cars also joined UK roads, an uplift of 36.2%.  However, the decline in plug-in hybrid registrations continued, down 71.8% to just 907 vehicles.

Credit: Automotive Management

Arnold Clark to install defibrillators at dealerships
23 Sep 2019

Arnold Clark is to install 164 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in its network of dealerships at a cost of £150,000.

The defibrillators will be used to help staff, customers and the wider community in case of an emergency.

It said that 400 of the 12,000 staff have been trained in CPR and using a defibrillator unit.

The defibrillators provide clear instructions to allow anyone to use them, both in writing and in the form of an automated voice.

Once the pads have been correctly attached, it assesses the heart rhythm and will only administer a shock if it is needed.

Arnold Clark has also embarked on an information campaign within the communities they work in, sending leaflets to local businesses to let them know that there are defibrillators on site should they be required.

Last year Pendragon agreed a deal with St John Ambulance to install ZOLL AED Plus defibrillators at all dealerships, service centres, accident repair body shops, and preparation centres across the group’s network (AED: automated external defibrillator)

Arnold Clark CEO and group MD Eddie Hawthorne said: “Hundreds of people visit Arnold Clark every day, our employees, our customers, our suppliers, our manufacturers and just general visitors to our sites.

So we are taking a stand in our local community to make sure we provide a service that’s valuable – and that’s to make sure there’s a defib machine in our garages. Even when we are closed, there are still 21 external defibs available to the wider community.”

Recently the British Heart Foundation visited Arnold Clark’s GTG Edinburgh training centre in order to provide training to a number of employees.

(Article courtesy

Automobile industry values in the EU
18 Sep 2019

- 13.8 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.1% of all EU jobs.
- 11.4% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the automotive sector.
- Motor vehicles account for €428 billion in taxes in the EU15 countries alone.
- The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €84.4 billion for the EU.
- The turnover generated by the auto industry represents over 7% of EU GDP.
- Investing €57.4 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe's largest private contributor to innovation,
   accounting for 28% of total EU spending.

Member success - Mobityre & Autocare
12 Sep 2019

SMTA members - Mobityre & Autocare based in Kilmarnock were proud wiinners at Ayrshire Business Awards 2019 and won the award for 'Best Service Company' - recognising the best in business held earlier this year at Ayr Racecourse. 

Congratulations from everyone at the SMTA!

Workplace parking levy
09 Sep 2019

MSPs have backed plans to introduce powers for local councils to implement a levy on workplace parking spots.

SMTA will continue to discuss the workplace parking levy with Transport Scotland and challenge them to give us a hearing for the motor industry to be given a blanket exception against this scheme.  More updates on this matter will follow.

Scottish New Car Registrations buck the trend
05 Sep 2019

New car registrations in Scotland for the month of August rose by 1.66% against a drop in the rest of the UK by -1.88% meaning the result for the whole of the month of August was -1.62%.

Stronger business registrations (up by 72.35%) and fleet (up by 7.51%) compensated for the marginal drop in private registrations of (-5.47%) when measured against August 2018. The private results are no real surprise given that private buyers are more plate conscious than the business operator and the up-coming September 69 plate launch.

Fuel mix sees continued growth of the electric vehicle sector in both hybrid and pure electric formats, the latter showing the greatest growth.

Overall year to date the Scottish market continues to out perform the rest of the UK albeit they are both in decline on last years results, Scotland down by -2.97% and the rest of the UK down by -3.40% respectively.

Sandy Burgess, SMTA Chief Executive, said “With all the uncertainty around supply and the dreaded Brexit situation I am delighted to confirm that our market is continuing to hold its own at these very challenging times for private consumers and businesses across Scotland.  The new September 69 plate is now starting to be seen across the county and with a number of very strong retail and business incentives available in our members showrooms I would be confident that our industry will rise above the general noise in the market place and deliver a strong result for the month ahead.”

MOT fails due to exhaust issues drop despite stricter tests for diesel vehicles
02 Sep 2019

Fewer cars are failing their MOT test for exhaust issues, despite the introduction of new, more strict, regulations.

Data from Protyre reveals that there has been a 21% decrease in the proportion of cars that failed an MOT test in the last year.

The DVSA introduced new legislation on May 20, 2018, affecting diesel cars with diesel particulate filters. These cars will fail the test if any visiable smoke is seen coming from the exhaust tailpipes.

David Sholicar, Protyre’s national retail operations manager, said: “The fall in the proportion of MOT fails attributed to exhaust issues at first appears surprising as the new MOT test includes stricter regulations on emissions from diesel cars. The test changes also mean that it is now law that any car with a diesel particulate filter automatically fails its MOT if smoke is visible from its exhaust.”

Analysis from Protyre shows that only 7% of diesel vehicles that failed their MOT test did so because of issues with the exhaust - compared to 11% of all vehicles overall that failed their MOT test because of exhaust issues.

These new figures come despite overall increases in the raw number of MOT tests that failed because of exhaust issues shown in the most up-to-date DVSA figures.

“One reason for this reduction is down to the reduced popularity of diesel cars and nationwide year-on-year decreases in sales of new diesel vehicles in recent years of up to 20%. However, the data also shows that the decreased proportion of MOT fails (despite an overall increase in numbers) is likely down to stricter criteria on other components,” Sholicar added.

The data also shows a 7% year-on-year increase in the proportion of MOT tests that failed because of warning lights and a 7% year-on-year decrease in the proportion fails because of faulty brakes.

The proportion of MOT test fails attributed to failed suspension compontents decreased 11% and the proportion attributed to faulty car lamps also decreased 8%.

The new MOT test includes new testable items related to braking device performance, the daytime running of lamps and the Engine Malfunction Indicator Lamp.

In the year since the changes to the MOT test, faulty suspension was the most common reason for a test fail, followed by brakes, lamps, tyres and obstructions to drivers’ view of the road.

Article courtesy AM Online

July data shows rising demand for electric cars in Europe
29 Aug 2019

Electric vehicle registrations in Europe totalled 96,000 units in July, as the fuel type's share of the monthly market reached 7.4%.

The growth - 29% up year-on-year - was driven by Tesla – the top-selling brand – and Renault, which saw a 103% volume increase after its Zoe model became the top-selling BEV during the month. Other notable results included Volkswagen, where volume was up by 64%, Hyundai, where volume was up by 334%, and Audi, which sold 1,735 units of the E-Tron.

“Even if they still makeup a comparatively marginal part of the overall market, electric vehicles are definitely becoming the industry’s bright spot during these challenging times,” said Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst.

The increase in EV’s market share came as a pure electric cars (BEVs) volume rose 98% to 23,200 units.

Hybrid vehicles also performed well in July, as demand increased by 27% to 56,800 units.

Read full article at AM Online

Former Volkswagen boss Ferdinand Piëch dies
28 Aug 2019

Ferdinand Piëch, one of the architects of today's Volkswagen Group, has died aged 82.

Piëch became Volkswagen CEO in 1993 when the company was in financial difficulty, and by the time he stepped down as chairman in 2015, just months before news broke of the group's diesel emissions cheating, it had become a global automotive giant, with eight brands.

He turned around the business after backing a modular construction technique which allowed the Audi, Skoda, Seat and Volkswagen brands to share up to 65% common parts, helping Volkswagen Group to attain greater economies of scale.

And it bought Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini to expand into the ultra wealthy end of the car market.

Developments and innovations during his reign included the Audi A2, dual clutch transmission, the Bugatti Veyron and the iconic Audi Quattro.

Read full article at AM Online

Government doubles funding for on-street electric car charging
12 Aug 2019

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has welcomed a Government decision to double its funding of electric vehicle (EV) charge points in residential streets.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps announced this morning (August 12) that an additional £2.5 million would be added to fund more than 1,000 new chargepoints on residential streets. 

“It is positive to see that the Government has announced additional funds for chargepoints on residential streets”, said Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced an additional £2.5 million to fund the installation of over 1,000 new chargepoints. The allocation of funding for on-street residential chargepoints is part of the £1.5 billion investment underpinned by the Road to Zero Strategy.

The strategy will also deliver £37 million of Government investment into British engineering to develop electric chargepoint infrastructure that could rapidly expand the UK chargepoint network for people without off-street parking and put the UK on the map as the best place in the world to own an EV.

Shapps said that it was vital that electric vehicle drivers “feel confident about the availability of chargepoints near their homes, and that charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone”.

Additionally, in July, the Government announced that all newly installed rapid and higher powered chargepoints should provide debit or credit card payment by spring 2020.

Read full article on AM Online:

Government will remove BIK company car tax on EVs from 2020/21
10 Jul 2019

Company car drivers choosing a pure electric vehicle (EV) will pay no benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax in 2020/21 following a Government review which looks set to boost sales of emissions-free cars.

In its response to its review of the fallout from the roll-out of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) introduced on September 1 last year, and its effect on vehicle taxes, HM Treasury has binned the previously published BIK rates for 2020/21, AM’s sister title Fleet News reported.

The changes will be a huge boost to EV retailers and manufacturers with a strong alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) offering keen to embrace corporate sales but could prove a blow to those yet to fully embrace zero-emissions technology, including the likes of Suzuki, which recently announced the launch of its own business partner programme.

In place of the old taxation system it has now created two new BIK tables for company car drivers; a table for those driving a company car registered after April 6, 2020, and one for those driving a company car registered before April 6, 2020.

HM Treasury has said that for cars first registered from April 6, 2020, most company car tax rates will be reduced by two percentage points.  That means for a pure electric vehicle with zero tailpipe emissions, company car drivers will be taxed at 0%, paying no BIK tax at all.

Furthermore, the zero percentage rate is also extended to company car drivers in pure electric vehicles registered prior to April 6, 2020, who were already looking forward to a much reduced rate of 2% for 2020/21.

The 0% rate will also apply to company cars registered from April 6, 2020, with emissions from 1-50g/km and a pure electric mile range of 130 miles or more.

For the BIK tables and full article from AM Online visit:

SMTA Members listed in AM100 2019
09 Jul 2019

AM100: the largest 100 UK automotive retail groups by turnover includes six SMTA members

Ranked No. 2 is - Lookers with a turnover of £5,131,300

Ranked No. 4 is - Arnold Clark with a turnover of £4,316,700

Ranked No. 18 is - John Clark Group with a turnover of £829,102

Ranked No. 19 is - Park's Motor Group with a turnover of £770,000

Ranked No. 22 is -  Eastern Holdings with a turnover of £700,000

Ranked No. 59 is - Peoples with a turnover of £274,411.

June delivers marginal .22% decline in Scottish car registrations
04 Jul 2019

  1. Scottish new car registrations decline by marginal .22% against same period last year, meanwhile the rest of the UK experience 5.28% on same period.
  2. UK overall records decline in alternatively fuelled vehicle demand as registrations fall for first time in 26 months.
  3. Rise in battery electric car registrations in UK but plug-in hybrid decline continues, falling -50.4%, as hybrids also take a hit.
  4. Scottish half year market falls 3.39% with 98,416 new cars registered in first six months, roughly in line with market expectations.

Scottish new car registrations declined by .22% across Scotland with differing fortunes in regions, Tayside recording a fantastic increase of 10.78% and at the other end of the scale Dumfries and Galloway falling by a massive 18.75% in the same period!

Demand grew across Scotland within the private sector, registrations seeing an increase of 12.42% equal to a whole private market return of 8,987 new vehicles, however the larger fleet and business registrations fell, down 7.42% and a massive 33.50% respectively.

The month saw growth for petrol and battery electric registrations.

Sandy Burgess, SMTA Chief Executive, said, “There is no doubt that any negative number is hard to accept, however there is some salvation in the growth of the private sector, regrettably this is not enough to balance the decline in the fleet and business sectors. We have too much uncertainty in the market place for far too long and the law makers and politicians must act quickly and collectively to bring an end to this by making decisions for our futures!”

The SMTA is happy to support the SMMT’s call for measures to be introduced to aid a smooth transition to zero emission transport, the SMMT recognize the need for world-class, long-term incentives and substantial investment in infrastructure. Fleet renewal remains the quickest way to address environmental concerns today and consumers should have the confidence – and support – to choose the new car that best meets their driving needs, whatever the technology, secure in the knowledge that it is safer and cleaner than ever before.”

Knockhill trackside sign manufacturer launches bespoke automotive interiors and seats range
03 Jul 2019

Award winning Scottish Company takes car interiors to a whole new level at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed 2019

After years of development, both in-house and externally, a unique method of bespoke customisation for car interiors and seats has its initial launch at Goodwood – Festival of Speed.

The special print faux leather has undergone vigorous testing including rigorous friction tests to meet the criteria of British Standards.

John Young, of John Young Signs and John Young Group, based in Cowdenbeath has developed a unique process for printing on car interiors developed from his sign making business (almost every trackside sign at Knockhill Racing Circuit has been manufactured by John).

Camat™ Design will be launching their automotive bespoke interiors and seats range with Golf bags and Harris Tweed Furniture to trigger your imagination and desires at  Stand No. 242 Goodwood Festival of Speed on 4th July 2019.

SMTA hand over cheque to RNLI
13 Jun 2019

Official cheque handover by Sandy Burgess, SMTA Chief Executive to the RNLI Lifeboat Station at Portpatrick.  The RNLI is one of SMTA's charity partners.

A big thank you to SMTA member, Glasgow McLaren (Park's Motor Group) for the use of the stunning car!

SMTA hand over cheque to Beatson Cancer Charity
11 Jun 2019

Guests at SMTA Annual Dinner 2018 raised a fantastic amount of money which was split between our charity partners - British Heart Foundation and Beatson Cancer Charity. 

The official cheque presentation for £3,000 was given in Glasgow to Beatson Cancer Charity's Director of Philanthrophy, Ian Murray along with some of his colleagues.

Thank you to SMTA member McLaren Glasgow for use of the 570S for the photo.

Scottish new vehicle registrations down 9.8% in May
10 Jun 2019

The Scottish new car market declined by 9.8% in May with 14,281 units registered, according to the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) using figures provided by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). As with the rest of the UK these results continue to reflect the level of uncertainty and confusion over the purchase of diesel fuelled vehicles and the on-going activity around the introduction of ultra-low emission zones (ULEZ) across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee.

This is further exacerbated by the UK Governments unexplainable recent removal of the financial support incentive programme for the purchase of plug-in hybrid vehicles. There can also be no doubt that the underlying economic and political instability around Brexit and the current upheaval in Westminster amongst the two main political forces continues to affect consumer and business confidence alike.

Declines were recorded across fleets and business sales types in the month, declining by 14.5% & 70.3% respectively with registrations by private consumers growing by a most welcome 4.48%. This growth pushed the private registration share of the total market to 54.51% for the month, it was still however not enough to make up the growing shortfall to date.

Petrol registrations accounted for 68.67% of the market with Diesel at 25.24% and alternative fuels delivering 6.09%, fully electric still only represents less than 1% of the total market. Continued anti-diesel sentiment and the forthcoming introduction of ultra-low emission zones continues to affect buyer confidence. However, thanks to significant industry investment in new technology, the latest diesels are safer and cleaner than ever before and will not face charges or restrictions anywhere in Scotland or the UK.

Sandy Burgess, SMTA Chief Executive, said, “Recent confusing massages regarding potential for changes to UK Government policy and continued lack of detail around the soon to be introduced ULEZ areas in Scotland’s cities continue to affect consumer and business confidence, causing drivers to keep hold of their older, more polluting vehicles for longer. New vehciles are safer, cleaner and more advanced than ever and, with sophisticated safety, efficiency and comfort features as well as a host of attractive deals on offer, there has never been a better time to invest in a new car whether for business or on a personal basis.”

22 May 2019

SMTA has decided to take up full membership of CECRA - the voice of European vehicle dealers and repairers.  Their manifesto has common goals with our own ambitions and we intend to play a very proactive role with our membership of CECRA, ensuring that the voice of all our members, both franchised and independent are heard across Europe.

CECRA have four key agenda items:
  1. Monitoring policies affecting the automotoive distribution and repair sector;
  2. Advocating the interest of authorised dealers and repairers before the European regulatory bodies;
  3. Building up alliances with other European stakeholders and
  4. Identifying and sharing new business opportunities, practices and trends.

CECRA represents 336,720 enterprises of automotive trade and repair businesses.

April new car registrations grow by .74%!
09 May 2019

Sandy Burgess SMTA Chief Executive commented “April has returned the Scottish market to a degree of growth with a small increase on last year at 12,562 units versus 12,470 for 2018. This is by no means a turnaround as 7 of our 9 reporting regions have recorded a decline in the month with only 2, Strathclyde and Central recording the growth that has tipped the balance.

Petrol registrations have continued to lead the way, but diesel is showing some signs of recovery with the rate of decline slowing, this is indicative of the need for rural Scots to have access to cheap, reliable and more importantly clean efficient vehicles that are practical for the current fuel landscape.

The alternative fuelled market continues to grow at a significant rate, however we are now seeing clear evidence of the ill-timed and quite remarkable removal of the subsidy on hybrids by the UK Government as the registrations for these vehicles start to slow.

There remains a lot of work to do for the market place to evolve at the rate required to reach the utopia position as per the 2032 ambitions of the Scottish Government!”.

Ultra Low Emission Zones - SMTA meet with Transport Scotland
02 May 2019

SMTA's Chief Executive, Sandy Burgess and Company Secretary Moira Gaynor met with Transport Scotland discussing the future skills requirements for the Alternative Fuelled Vehicles and the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zones in Glasgow and potential impacts on membership as a result of this plan.  The plan is to role this out across Scotland’s largest four cities Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee between 2018 and 2020.

What is a low emission zone?

Low emission zones set an environmental limit on certain road spaces, allowing access to only the cleanest vehicles and can help to transform towns and cities into cleaner, healthier places to live, work and visit.

Vehicles that do not meet the emission standards set for a low emission zones will not be able to enter the zone. A penalty charge will be payable by the vehicle’s registered keeper where a non-compliant vehicle enters unless it is exempt.

Low emission zones will be introduced into all other Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) by 2023 where evidence shows they are the appropriate option to improve air quality.  These actions are based on the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2017/18 commitments.

Over 10 million pounds (a 300% increase in air quality funding) is being invested in 2018/2019 to help establish low emission zones.

This is in addition to the £1.6m made available in 2017-18 to the Bus Emission Abatement Retrofit Programme (or BEAR) to support the bus sector in preparing for low emission zones. A one million pound air quality action fund has also been established to support local authorities in delivering a range of transport-related actions aimed at improving air quality.

The Scottish Government is working in partnership with local authorities to introduce low emission zones. This includes engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including transport organisations, businesses and members of the public.

Low emission zones set an environmental limit on certain road spaces, allowing access to only the cleanest vehicles and can help to transform towns and cities into cleaner, healthier places to live, work and visit.

Vehicles that do not meet the emission standards set for a low emission zones will not be able to enter the zone. A penalty charge will be payable by the vehicle’s registered keeper where a non-compliant vehicle enters unless it is exempt.

Citroen C1 Cup in association with the SMTA
25 Apr 2019

The opening round of the Scottish Motor Racing Championships saw the inaugural races of the new Citroen C1 Cup take place on Sunday 7 April at Knockhill. Despite some rather challenging weather conditions, there was some fantastic action with over 100 cars entered in total and 10 different race winners across the 16 races.

There were 11 cars on the grid and 9 of these were driven by complete newcomers to car racing, which is exactly what the championship was intended to do. The entrants included two College car teams, with Edinburgh College fielding a car for Tom Denham and West College Scotland fielding a car for Glenn Alcock.  Newcomers Ryan Smith and Finlay Brunton monopolised the top two steps of the podium in both races, taking a win and 2nd place finish each. The 2 races were competitive with both races seeing groups of 3 to 4 cars scrapping away throughout the race. Third in race 1 was Steven Morrison, and in race 2 it was Ross Dunn.

It looks like we could be welcoming more of these little cars to the grid for round 2, in May! 

Douglas Robertson Obituary
24 Apr 2019

Douglas Robertson former Chief Executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association died on the 16th of April at St John’s Hospital in Livingston surrounded by his family.

Douglas joined the SMTA in 1997 as Finance Director and became Chief Executive of the Association in 1999 until his retirement from that role in 2015 and at his time of death Douglas was a Director on the SMTA Board.  Douglas played a pivotal part in the development of the SMTA in his 16 years as Chief Executive and during his time in charge of the organisation he worked with seven Presidents.  His challenge was to match the ambitions of each President with the ability of the business to meet the expectations of the membership whilst maintaining a sustainable working relationship with governments in Westminster and Holyrood, ensuring sustainability for the future was by no means an easy task!

The current SMTA President, Graham Greenwood commented “Douglas always brought his own style of guidance and commentary to the daily operation of the Association and we are most grateful for his years of service at SMTA.  The thoughts of all those associated with the SMTA are with his wife Susan and family at this very difficult time”.

Auto Skills Scotland Competition Winners
04 Apr 2019

The 2019 Auto Skills Scotland competition, sponsored by SMTA, took place recently with apprentices and students from across the country taking part in the live practical events in Automotive Technology at GTG Training in Glasgow and Body Repair New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell campus.

After a keenly fought contest where the competitors demonstrated their skills and knowledge in a variety of repair processes, the worthy winners emerged.

Harry Chaundy from Arnold Clark took top place in Automotive Technology and Sam Meheux, also from Arnold Clark won the Body Repair competition. Harry and Sam will now progress to the WorldSkills UK National competition run by the IMI under the Skill Auto banner.

SMTA Annual Dinner - Guest Speaker Announced
28 Mar 2019

We are delighted to advise that our guest speaker at our Annual Dinner is Bonita Norris!

Bonita is an inspirational guest speaker and is the world’s youngest person to climb Everest and she’s also the youngest person to reach the North Pole!  Bonita will inspire and captivate you at our event as she tells us her stories of her adventures!

Visit our events page to find out more about our Annual Dinner and how to book your ticket!


MOT Seminars record attendance for 2019!
26 Mar 2019

SMTA members attended in record numbers to our five MOT seminars across the country in March.  Just over 700 people attended our seminars this year in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. We would like to thank Dingbro and Yuasa Batteries for their support.

SMTA's Chief Executive wins award at IMI Annual Dinner
11 Mar 2019

Congratulations are in order for SMTA Chief Executive, Sandy Burgess who has won the award 'Contribution to the Motor Industry' at the IMI Annual Dinner recently held in London.  The award (sponsored by Autotech Recruit) was presented by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

The award was judged by an independent panel of judges who unanimously agreed that Sandy was this year's winner!  The IMI Annual Dinner held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane was attended by 350+ attendees including UK and European industry chiefs.


A very special motor themed racing legends evening held to raise funds for Children with Cancer UK
07 Mar 2019

SMTA Members Leven Specialist Cars & Knockhill Racing Circuit helped raise funds for Children with Cancer UK.  A quality array of Scottish rising stars of Motorsport, that included current stars and racing legends assembled in Leven Specialist Cars Edinburgh showroom for an “Evening with the Stars” all in aid of Children with Cancer UK.

Almost £4000 was raised as the assembled 200 guests were entertained and amused by all the racing stories and anecdotes of the racers from the car and bike world as well as the rally world. Topping the bill were John Cleland, twice BTCC champion, Jimmy McRae, multiple rally champion and Gordon Shedden, three time BTCC champion.

Within the Leven Specialist Cars showroom filled with sports and supercar exotica, the star car was the 2019 Honda Civic BTCC car of Cobra Sport AMD with Autoaid /RCIB Insurance Racing Rory Butcher who has high hopes for the championship this year.  The evening was instigated between Kwik Fit and Knockhill Racing Circuit as Kwik Fit have pledged to raise £1 million for Children with Cancer UK in 2019 and with their title sponsorship of the British Touring Car Championship, it was a perfect fit to combine resources and contacts to host an evening for such a worthwhile charity.


Group photo: Back Row – Gordon Shedden, Stuart Louden, Jimmy McRae, John Cleland, Duncan Vincent, Graham Davidson, Rory Butcher.  Front Row – Aiden Moffat, Rory Skinner, Seb Melrose, Colin Noble Jnr, Dean McDonald, Graham Carroll


SMTA membership now stands at over 1,300 members and continues to grow - the highest number of members in over 50 years!
13 Feb 2019

PRESS RELEASE              

Wednesday the 13th February 2019

SMTA membership now stands at over 1,300 members and continues to grow -  the highest number of members in over 50 years!

Sandy Burgess, Chief Executive is delighted to advise that SMTA membership now exceeds 1,300 members, the highest number of members the SMTA has had in over 50 years.  Mr Burgess commented: “It is fantastic to see our membership continue to grow, significantly in the SME/Independent sector and it is encouraging to see that in these challenging times that the motor industry is facing, we are able to expand our membership base across Scotland and many of the islands.” 

He continued “SMTA has much to offer the Scottish motor trade including our unique buying group Trading Partners, Skills Solutions our modern apprenticeship scheme soon to be supported by an exciting IMI fully certificated online training programme, our in-house industry leading MOT QMS product, as well as our market leading fully Scottish based used car warranty company Scotsure and access to our industry specific SMTA Digital marketing service.

SMTA is member owned and member driven and has been ever since our inception in 1903.  Our motto is and always will be to ‘Encourage, Promote and Protect’.”

06 Feb 2019

On 18th December 2018, Sandy Burgess CEO and Moira Gaynor, Company Secretary, met with Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. The purpose of the meeting was to ascertain the Scottish Government’s aspirations for a 2032 target date for electric vehicles and what involvement the SMTA will have in this. Rebecca Campbell, Skills Lead Low Carbon Economy and Andy Robinson, Head of ULEV Delivery, both with Transport Scotland were also in attendance


Mr Matheson was very coy when asked how the 2032 date came about and what thought process had been used in the decision. However, the announcement in September 2017 that the Scottish Government had pledged to phase out new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 came under the tenure of Humza Yousaf, the then Minister for Transport and the Islands so perhaps it is a little unfair to shine the spotlight on Mr Mathieson. Regardless of how the date was arrived at, a target date of 2032 has been set and it is this we need to work towards.


Mr Matheson did indicate that the Scottish Government were taking time to reassess what would actually be required, and that this would involve more than just ensuring there were enough charging points to satisfy a perceived anticipated level of demand! It is clear from speaking with Mr Mathieson that he is well aware that this is an issue that will affect all areas of the motor trade in Scotland from Franchise dealers to small independent repairers. He was very receptive to the request that the SMTA be heavily involved in any developments and that the views of industry be taken into account. SMTA is well placed to be a major player in this and we welcome the news that the industry will have a voice, though remain sceptical as to how loud a voice we will be allowed.


Both Sandy and Moira voiced their opinion that training was a key element of this shift to electric vehicles and the safety of technicians working on these vehicles was paramount. Sandy went as far as to say that perhaps some kind of recognised qualification, as with MOT testers, should be required before technicians can carry out work. Rebecca indicated that  consideration was being given to adding an additional level to SVQ qualification for electric vehicles which would then give new technicians that additional qualification. Although this is a step in the right direction, we have stressed that funding needs to be made available for training for current apprentice technicians and also for qualified staff who will still be making up the workforce in 2032. Asking these people to pay for additional training without at least some help would be unreasonable. We have also asked that private training providers be able to access funding via the apprentice levy, which currently is only available to colleges.


In all we remain quietly confident that Mr Matheson will take on board the points we have brought before him and will afford SMTA the chance to work together with his office and Transport Scotland to deliver the best possible outcome for the Scottish Motor Trade and Scottish motorists.

Scottish Motor Club Racing Awards
12 Dec 2018

The annual Scottish Motor Racing Club awards night took place on Saturday the 17th November at the prestigious Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh. As sponsor of this year’s Hot Hatch and Fiesta ST championships the SMTA’s Chief Executive Sandy Burgess was in attendance to present the awards to the winners and top podium drivers for the seasons racing.

Congratulations to winners Wayne MacAulay, ST Champion and Chris Milford, Hot Hatch Champion. (Pictures show Blair Murdoch ST Runner Up and Chris Milford Hot Hatch Champion.

Guests at SMTA Dinner raise funds for British Heart Foundation Scotland
27 Nov 2018

Guests at SMTA Annual Dinner 2018 raised a fantastic amount of money that was split between our charity partners - British Heart Foundation and Beatson Cancer Charity. 

The official cheque presentation for £2,500 was given to BHF's Gizem Fowler who accepted the cheque from Chris Sainsbury DP at Rolls Royce Edinburgh.

Huge thanks to all who contributed to these two amazing charities.

SMTA Buttons4Ben Design Competition
27 Nov 2018

Sandy Burgess was delighted to hand over a cheque to Marianne Steel, Partnership Development Manager at Ben for £500 at SMTA's Annual Dinner 2018.

SMTA Annual Dinner & C.A.R Star Awards a huge success!
06 Nov 2018

On Thursday 1st November the SMTA held their Annual Dinner & C.A.R Star Awards 2018 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow. The event was very well attended by just under 400 guests from all areas of the motor trade in Scotland.

Congratulations to all our Community Activity Recognition (C.A.R Star) award winners on the night, highlighting the fantastic efforts of our members who contribute to their local communities and charities by doing amazing things to raise funds for charity and give back to their local community. We also had an additional two awards for our first ever Auto Skills Scotland event which was held at Motherwell College; this was in partnership with the IMI and supported by The Pettigrew Charitable Trust. Lastly, we also ran a design competition where SMTA teamed up with Energy Skills Partnership to create a fun to enter competition for all of Scotland’s colleges to create a livery design for a car.

This year’s winners were:
The Garage (Whitburn) Ltd • Adam Purves Mitsubishi • I&K Motors • Allied Vehicles Group • Dicksons of Inverness • John Clark Motor Group • E A McCarroll • Gerry Facenna – winner of our Special Recognition Award • Stuart Cochrane – winner of the first Auto Skills Scotland event • New College Lanarkshire – winner of our design competition

A huge congratulations to all our award winners on the night, and we will be featuring individual articles on each of our amazing award winners over the coming editions of Scots Auto Scene.

Our guest speaker was Adam Conlon, a former front-line British Army Captain who served two tours in Afghanistan as well as being part of Team Rubicon UK which unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to deploy emergency response teams in the UK and around the world. Adam entertained our audience with his stories and added a touch of humour as well, a very informative and entertaining speaker!

We were also entertained by Neilston & District Pipe Band which as a little surprise for our guests as a homage to the haggis, this was a great addition to the night and thoroughly enjoyed by all our guests.

Our guests raised money on the night for our charity partners ‘British Heart Foundation Scotland’ and ‘Beatson Cancer Charity’, SMTA Annual Dinner guests are known for their generosity and they did not disappoint!

Thanks to all our sponsors on the evening, the main sponsor being Northridge Finance, with supporting support from Arnold Clark, Car Care Plan Insurance, Dingbro, Energy Skills Partnership, Fueltone Pro, Jelf Clark Thomson, Lateral Line, The Pettigrew Charitable Trust, Reynolds & Reynolds, Santander Consumer Finance and Viking Wholesale Tyres.

Thanks to all who attended!

Scottish Motor Racing Club at Rockingham Enduro!
27 Sep 2018

After being built on a stand at Knockhill last weekend, the Scottish Motor Racing Club’s Citroen C1 has successfully completed its motor racing debut in the three hour Rockingham Enduro!

The wee car gave us a couple of challenges but the drivers Steve Burns, Malcolm McNab and Rory Bryant put up a good fight to gain 12 places in the race and finish a credible 24th.

All drivers had a great time, really enjoyed driving the car - with close clean racing, these cars are going to be awesome at Knockhill next year!

Big thanks to all our partners for helping us to make this possible; SMTA, Sign Co, The Covey Agency. Also special thanks go to MiniMax Motorsport for their efforts building & preparing the car and to Paul Curtis for making the trip to spanner for us today.

2018 C.A.R Star Awards

The SMTA Annual Dinner and C.A.R. Star Awards event turned out to be yet another fantastic evening! Not only was it a great opportunity to network with other like-minded folk from the Scottish motor trade but it’s also where they celebrated the amazing work their members do for their local community and charities close to their hearts.

This year we introduced our Skills Stars Awards identifying the best young talent in Scotland’s automotive industry.

John Graham, Brownsburn Garage

Automotive Technology Winner – Harry Chaundy


Body Repair Winner – Sam Meheux


Special Recognition Award

Douglas Park, Park’s Motor Group (award accepted on Douglas’ behalf by Ian Mackay)


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