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COVID-19 FAQs

We would like to assure you that despite the current exceptional circumstances triggered by COVID-19, Alphabet will work closely with you to mitigate any negative effects.

Our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of our people and everyone we interact with. Therefore, to make sure we do our part in this unfamiliar situation, we have gathered these helpful resources together, to make it simple to stay informed and connected to Alphabet. 

Last updated: 22 May 2020

FAQs

New Orders and Deliveries

Can I place new orders and request quotes during this time?

Yes. Alphabet will continue to provide quotations and place new orders during these uncertain times. However, please be aware that some manufacturers remain closed which may delay your order being placed.

We will keep you updated with your order status once we receive notification from the manufacturer and supplying dealer.

Will I be invited to order my new company car?

Yes. If your employer is allowing new orders to be placed, we will be in touch with you. Please be aware that some manufacturers remain closed which may delay your order being placed.

We will keep you updated with your order status once we receive notification from the manufacturer and supplying dealer.

What will happen with the vehicle delivery I have arranged within the ‘lockdown’ period?

Due to Government social distancing recommendations and to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, supplier partners and the wider public, vehicle deliveries will be delayed.

We are prioritising customers that had previously arranged for their vehicle delivery during this time. Once we have confirmation that normal business activities can recommence, we will prioritise those deliveries remaining.

We thank you for your patience at this uncertain and unprecedented time.

In the meantime if would like to discuss extending your current vehicle contract, please contact Alphabet by email on cs.alphabet@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 03700 120 392.

What will happen with the vehicle delivery I have arranged within the next three months?

It is difficult for us to confirm when we will be able to deliver your new vehicle as manufacturers and suppliers have been unable to operate during the lockdown period. We will keep you informed of further developments whenever possible and will update you with more accurate estimated delivery dates as soon as we receive notification from the supplying dealer.

We thank you for your patience at this uncertain and unprecedented time.

In the meantime if you have an existing agreement with us and would like to discuss the possibility of extending your contract, please contact us by email on cs.alphabet@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 03700 120 392.

Does COVID-19 have an impact on the move to WLTP?

No, COVID-19 does not have an impact on the transition to WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light Vehicle test Procedure) for Vehicle Excise Duty which was implemented on 1st April and 6th April for taxation purposes.

What will happen with new vehicles that have been registered earlier for WLTP but cannot now be delivered?

The vehicle will be kept at the supplying dealership and we will notify you of a new delivery date as soon as we can. Please contact Alphabet, rather than going to the supplying dealer directly.

Will all new vehicle deliveries be delayed?

Unfortunately, yes. Some manufacturers remain closed, meaning we won’t be able to deliver your car to you as planned. Alphabet remains in close contact with all manufacturers and supply partners and we will contact you with updated leads times and delivery dates as soon as we have them.

If you would like to speak to one of the team about the lead time for a specific model, please email purchasing@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 03700 120 573.

We thank you for your patience in these difficult times and we’re doing as much as we can to minimise the inconvenience to you.

Can I cancel my order?

If you would like to cancel your order, please contact your Alphabet Representative with your order number and reason for cancellation. We will then speak to the relevant dealership or manufacturer to see if this will be possible.

Alphabet will not charge a fee to cancel your order, but the dealership or manufacturer may charge a cancellation fee depending on the stage of the vehicle build and/or the vehicle specification. Any finance agreement relating to a cancelled order, will also be cancelled.

We thank you for your patience while we work through your request.

Will factory lead times be affected?

Unfortunately, yes. Currently some vehicle manufacturing locations across Europe remain closed and this is likely to impact factory lead times.

Alphabet remains in close contact with all our manufacturer supply partners in the UK and will provide lead time and estimated delivery date updates when we can.

If you are concerned about your vehicle or your finance agreement, please contact Alphabet by email on cs.alphabet@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 03700 120 392.

Vehicle Collections and End of Contract

What will happen with the collection I have arranged within the ‘lockdown’ period?

Due to Government social distancing recommendations and to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, supplier partners and the wider public, vehicle collections will be delayed.

We are prioritising customers that had previously arranged for their vehicle collection during this time. Once we have confirmation that normal business activities can recommence, we will prioritise those collections remaining.

We thank you for your patience at this uncertain and unprecedented time. When we have more clarity, we will make contact with you.

What should I do if my contract is ending and my vehicle(s) is due for collection in the next three months?

Due to the current health guidelines, as issued by Public Health England, there are limitations to our ability to collect your vehicle. To help you through this difficult time we have put in place the following three options:

Extend your contract – If your contract end date is within the next three months, we will be happy to discuss your options. Please contact Alphabet by email on cs.alphabet@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 03700 120 392. Beyond three months, please continue with your normal process.

Purchase the vehicle – If you are eligible to do so, you are still able to purchase your current vehicle. Please note, there may be some delay in receiving the V5. For more details on how to arrange this please, click here.

No longer want to keep or use the vehicle - Please remember, the vehicle must be returned to us in good condition and within the agreed mileage.

We therefore recommend that the vehicle is stored safely until we can collect it. Please note, we will require you to provide a Vehicle Condition Report (download available below) and a date stamped photograph of the mileage to vehiclecollections@alphabet.co.uk. Once the insurance is cancelled, you must not use the vehicle.

When we have confirmation that normal business activities can recommence, we will prioritise customers who had previously arranged for their vehicle collection with us during this time.

We thank you for your patience at this uncertain and unprecedented time. When we have more clarity, we will make contact with you.

Please contact us at vehiclecollections@alphabet.co.uk or on 0370 0120 301 on Option 9, should you have further queries.

Will you still collect my current vehicle when delivering my new vehicle?

Some dealers have recommenced operations, albeit at a reduced capacity. If you have already arranged to exchange your current vehicle with your new vehicle (key-for-key), please contact the dealer to confirm your appointment beforehand.

If the dealer is unable to assist during this time, we will arrange to collect your current vehicle and deliver your new vehicle as soon as normal activities recommence. We will prioritise customers who have previously arranged for their vehicle collection with us. If this applies to you we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Please remember your current vehicle must be returned to us in good condition and within the agreed mileage. We will require you to provide a Vehicle Condition Report (download available below), confirmation of the supplying dealer who is collecting the vehicle and a date stamped photograph of the mileage to vehiclecollections@alphabet.co.uk.

If your new vehicle delivery has been delayed and you need to change the collection date of your current vehicle, you can contact the Vehicle Collections team on 0370 0120 301 by selecting Option 9 to rearrange. Alternatively, if you would prefer to extend your contract, you can call Alphabet on 03700 120 392 or email us at cs.alphabet@alphabet.co.uk to arrange a formal extension of your agreement.

We thank you for your patience at this uncertain and unprecedented time. Please contact us at vehiclecollections@alphabet.co.uk or on 0370 0120 301 on Option 9, should you have further queries.

If my vehicle cannot be collected, will there be a fee?

No. There are no fees for vehicles that cannot currently be returned to us, as collections are currently running at a significantly reduced capacity.

We are working closely with our collection agencies to rearrange appointments, once restrictions have been lifted.

Please remember, the vehicle must be returned to us in good condition and within the agreed mileage. We therefore recommend that the vehicle is stored safely until we can collect it.

I'm due to leave my company and arrangements have been made to collect my company vehicle. Will this still go ahead?

In line with Government social distancing recommendations and to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, supplier partners and the wider public, vehicle collections are experiencing long delays.

We are prioritising customers that had previously arranged for their vehicle collection during this time. Once we have confirmation that normal business activities can recommence, we will prioritise those collections remaining.

We thank you for your patience at this uncertain and unprecedented time. When we have more clarity, we will make contact with you.

Can I still arrange to purchase my current vehicle during this time?

Yes, if you are eligible to do so, you are still able to purchase your current vehicle. Please note there may be some delays in receiving the V5. For more details please click here.

I have rescheduled my contract for a longer term. Can I return the vehicle at any point when lockdown ends, without being charged an early termination fee?

In these circumstances, we will review each case on an individual basis. Please contact the calculations team directly on 0370 0120 341 or email calculations@alphabet.co.uk with your registration number and current mileage, so we can discuss your options.

Can I extend my contract?

If your contract end date is within the next three months, we will be happy to discuss your options to extend. If it is beyond three months, please continue with your standard process.

Please contact Alphabet by email on cs.alphabet@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 03700 120 392 to discuss your options.

I am a key worker. Will excess mileage still apply?

If you are a key worker and feel you will exceed your prorated mileage, please contact us using the options below, so we can discuss ways in which we can help.

You can contact us on cs.alphabet@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 03700 120 392.

What are my options if you cannot collect my vehicle?

At this time due to the current health guidelines, as issued by Public Health England, there are limitations to our ability to collect your vehicle. As such, we have put in place the following three options:

Extend your contract – If your contract end date is within the next 3 months, we will be happy to discuss your options. Please contact Alphabet by email on cs.alphabet@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 03700 120 392. If your contract still has more than 3 months to run, please continue with your normal process.

Purchase the vehicle – If you are eligible to do so, you are still able to purchase your current vehicle. Please note there may be some delays in receiving the V5. For more details on how to arrange this please click here.

No longer want to keep or use the vehicle - As the vehicle must be returned to us in good condition and within the agreed mileage, we would recommend that the vehicle is stored safely until we can collect it. Please note that we will require you to complete a self-assessment form confirming the condition of the vehicle and to take a date stamped photograph of the mileage. Once the insurance is cancelled, you must not use the vehicle.

When we have confirmation that normal business activities can recommence, we will prioritise customers who had previously arranged for their vehicle collection with us during this time.

We thank you for your patience at this uncertain and unprecedented time. When we have more clarity, we will make contact with you.

Please contact us at vehiclecollections@alphabet.co.uk or on 0370 0120 301 on Option 9, should you have any further queries.

I don’t have room to store the vehicle while waiting for it to be collected. What should I do?

We would ask for your forbearance and understanding during the COVID-19 public health emergency which has caused severe disruption to our vehicle collections. We will collect your vehicle as soon as possible but it does remain your responsibility until we can arrange collection.

We recommend taking the following steps to avoid parking fines:

  • Contact your local council/permit allocators in writing to advise them of the situation and ask if the vehicle can be parked on their property without charge. Many council/permit allocators are being supportive during this period and may not charge.
  • If, however, after having taken this action, you still get charged for the permit, please send us evidence that you contacted the council/permit allocator together with proof of payment of the charge.

We will reimburse any reasonable parking fees incurred as a result of our delay in collecting your vehicle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Servicing and MOT

My car is in for repair and the repairer is now closed, what do I do?

Some Service, Maintenance and Repair Centres remain open, but only to ensure that Key Workers and essential services remain mobile. If you are a Key Worker please contact us so we can ensure you remain mobile.

If the repairer is no longer open, Alphabet is currently unable to action any repairs at that particular site. We would also be unable to move the vehicle to an alternative repairer, as we have no guarantee that the new repairer will remain open during this period of uncertainty. We will continue to monitor the situation and chase repair progress. As soon as we are notified by the repairer you will be contacted.

We would like to remind all our customers that they must follow the Government guidance with regard to non-essential travel. The guidance can be found here.

What should I do if my vehicle MOT was due before the 30th March?

Government COVID-19 legislation on MOTs state that vehicles which required an MOT before 30th March 2020 still need to be tested.

If you are unable to get an MOT due to self-isolation, please contact Alphabet by email on cs.alphabet@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 03700 120 392 and we can discuss your options.

Should I book my Alphabet vehicle in for MOT if it’s due on or after 30 March?

No, the UK Government has announced that cars or light vehicles that require an MOT on or after 30th March, will be automatically extended by six months. This means that your vehicle will still have a valid MOT certificate for an extra six months. You do not need to do anything for this to happen, however you must keep your vehicle safe to drive. This applies to all vehicles including those that need their first MOT test.

For full details please click here.

Can I book my Alphabet vehicle for service, maintenance or repair?

Some Service, Maintenance and Repair Centres remain open, but they are prioritising key workers.

If you need to book an appointment please use the online booking tools which can be found here or please use our AlphaGuide App

If your service or maintenance is covered by manufacturer’s warranty, we are pleased to say that in most cases Vehicle Manufacturers are exercising flexibility relating to warranty repairs.

Bookings for service, maintenance and repairs should only be made if absolutely necessary.

Am I still able to have tyres replaced on my Alphabet Vehicle?

Yes, Alphabet is able to provide replacement tyres to customers. To ensure we have the correct tyres available for you when you arrive, please ensure that you book your tyre replacement by clicking here or via our AlphaGuide App.

Please ensure you have the vehicle registration number and tyre size available when booking.

Will Alphabet still tax my vehicle during this time?

Yes. Alphabet will continue to tax all vehicles which have a valid MOT, including those vehicles covered by the six month Government extension, details of which can be found here.

What happens if I am in an accident?

Following an accident, if you have Accident Management with Alphabet and are able to contact us, please call 0370 50 50 133 or contact us via the AlphaGuide App.

If your vehicle is immobile, arrangements will be made to recover the vehicle to an Alphabet Approved Repairer. If your vehicle remains safe to drive, we will make arrangements to have it repaired when the current restrictions have been lifted. If you are a key worker, your repair will be prioritised.

If you do not have Accident Management with Alphabet you will need to refer to the instructions provided by your motor insurer.

General information on what to do in the event of an accident can be found here.

If I need a new windscreen, can this still be arranged?

Yes. Our glass service remains operational at this time. Appointments should only be made where essential during this time i.e. if a vehicle's integrity has been compromised or if you are a ‘vulnerable person’. In this scenario, if you have Glass Management Services with Alphabet, please contact us on 0370 0120 301 option 3.

If you do not have Glass Management with Alphabet, you will need to refer to your Fleet Manager or the instructions provided by your motor insurance provider.

General information on what to do in the event of windscreen repair, can be found on our website.

What happens if I go on an essential journey and my vehicle breaks down?

Alphabet Roadside Assistance is operating as normal. In the unlikely event that you do break down, you should call Alphabet Roadside Assistance on 0370 0120 301, Option 1.

If it is not possible to repair your vehicle at the roadside, you will be recovered to an Alphabet Preferred Dealer.

Following the Government MOT extension for certain vehicles, will my vehicle still be collected once the lockdown has been lifted?

Yes. Once the lockdown has been lifted, as long as the extension on the MOT is still valid prior to collection, we will be able to collect the vehicle.

If the vehicle is due for collection after the extension has expired, you will need to have your vehicle MOT’d to enable collection, as per the standard process.

Please note, the MOT six month extension, covers vehicles that require an MOT on or after 30 March 2020. For full guidance, please refer to the Government website.

Payments

I’m an individual customer. Can I defer my payments if I am having difficulty, as a result of the COVID-19 situation?

We understand that COVID-19 is a difficult period for everyone. If you are experiencing payment difficulties as a result of the pandemic, please do not cancel your Direct Debit arrangement with us. Instead, please contact our team of experienced advisors so we can support you with a range of alternative options based on your individual circumstances - which could include payment deferrals.

Our specialist team can be reached at financecollections@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 0370 5050 185 option 2. Please title your email with ‘COVID-19’ so that we can prioritise our most vulnerable customers at this challenging time. Please only phone us if your query is urgent.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties or are concerned about the financial impacts of COVID-19, the following not-for-profit organisations also provide free, confidential and impartial debt advice and support:

Are you offering payment deferrals to corporate customers?

We understand that COVID-19 is a difficult period for everyone. If you are experiencing payment difficulties as a result of the pandemic, please do not cancel your Direct Debit arrangement with us. Instead, you should check the UK Government websites for potential grants and business support which can be applied for during this time.

If you still feel you may have an issue with your payments, please get in touch with Alphabet to discuss your options. Our team of experienced advisors will treat each case individually and will work with you to support where we can, based on your individual circumstances.

Our specialist team can be reached at financecollections@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 0370 5050 185 option 2. Please title your email with ‘COVID-19’. Please only phone us if your query is urgent.

If I take a payment deferral will it affect my credit score?

No. If a payment deferral has been approved by Alphabet there will be no detriment to your credit score during that period.

Can I end my current agreement early?

Depending on the type of finance agreement you have, there will be different options and implications by ending your current finance agreement before its contract end date. If you feel that you may have an issue with payment please get in touch with Alphabet immediately to discuss your options.

Our team of experienced advisors will treat each case individually and will work with you to support where we can, based on your individual circumstances.

Please contact the calculations team directly on 0370 0120 341, or email calculations@alphabet.co.uk with your registration number and current mileage.

What happens if I incur a fine or a fixed penalty and don’t receive notification?

We understand that receipt and processing of fines during this time may be challenging. We are working closely with industry bodies and issuing authorities to offer our customers support and guidance on this topic wherever possible.

To discuss your individual circumstances, please contact the vehicle fines and admin team on 0370 0120 334 or via email vehicleadmin@alphabet.com.

I received a text message to ‘activate a repayment plan’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. Is this genuine?

No. During the current COVID-19 emergency we have been made aware that criminals are sending fraudulent text messages to a large number of UK consumers encouraging them to reply. We strongly recommend that our customers do not respond to them.

Alphabet will never send you a text message about your agreement. Our expert advisors will only ever contact you if you have asked us to.

I've not yet signed my finance agreement but I am concerned about my ability to pay as a result of COVID-19.

For customers who have not yet signed a finance agreement, but have concerns about their ability to make their payments for a vehicle as a result of COVID-19, we would advise you to discuss this with your Retailer or Leasing Broker prior to signing any finance agreement.

If you are still uncertain after this discussion we would encourage you to consider postponing your decision until matters become clearer and again discuss with either with your Fleet Manager, Leasing Broker or Retailer.

Rental

Can I hire a rental vehicle?

Yes. Whilst Alphabet is continuing to accept new reservations, due to the current circumstances, our customers may experience delays on vehicles. There may also be an impact on the availability of the delivery and collection of rental vehicle services.

Reservations can be placed using our Alphabet Online Rental platform, by contacting the AlphaRent team on 0370 5050101, or via email using Alpha.Rent@alphabet.co.uk should assistance be required.

Can I return or off-hire my rental vehicle?

Yes. Our AlphaRent team will be able to discuss vehicle collection requests, restrictions or concerns with you.

Please contact the AlphaRent team on 0370 505 0101, or via email at Alpha.Rent@alphabet.co.uk.

Will it take longer for a daily rental or hire vehicle to be delivered?

Unfortunately, yes. Whilst Alphabet is continuing to accept new reservations, due to the current circumstances, our customers may experience delays on vehicles. We are prioritising key workers, to help keep essential services mobile. This may lead to delays and we ask for your patience and understanding. We will keep drivers updated accordingly.

Are there any special measures for key workers who require a rental vehicle?

Yes, we are prioritising rental requests from key workers during this time to help keep essential workers and services mobile. Please contact our AlphaRent colleagues to let them know your circumstances, so we can work with you to see how we can support your travel needs.

Please contact the AlphaRent team on 0370 5050101, or via email at Alpha.Rent@alphabet.co.uk.

General Enquiries

How long will it take for my email to be responded to?

COVID-19 is an unprecedented public health emergency and like many customer-facing organisations, we are experiencing significantly higher volumes of customer enquiries. We are trying to prioritise those customers most in need at the present time, but we will respond to you as quickly as possible.

If you have emailed us, we will be in contact with you to discuss your situation as soon as we can, but please bear with us during this challenging situation. We sincerely thank you for your patience.

What is your bereavement process?

We understand that it can be difficult to arrange financial affairs after the death of someone, so we want to make this process as simple as possible for you. Please notify us by sending an original copy of the death certificate along with a covering letter confirming the executor’s details, to financerecovery@alphabet.co.uk.

Once we have received this information, we will update the account and send you a letter detailing the next steps. If you would like one of our friendly specialists to talk you through these options, please contact Finance Recoveries on 0370 0120 321.

I am a new corporate customer. Will my contract implementation still progress?

Yes. All our teams are working remotely and your Implementation Manager will still be able to carry on as normal, so timelines won’t be impacted. Please note, availability of newly implemented services could be delayed or affected due to Government guidelines. Your dedicated Implementation Manager will keep you updated of any developments.

Which operations can Alphabet no longer carry out due to the COVID-19 situation?

All of our teams are working remotely and remain contactable. We have provided this series of FAQ’s for further details on any operations that may be affected. Our customer service teams can still be contacted by phone, but we are receiving a high number of calls, so your wait time may be increased. We are continuing to prioritise key workers and vulnerable customers at this time.

Am I permitted to take my Alphabet vehicle out of the UK during this time?

Please refer to Government advice on foreign travel and ensure you also check with your motor insurer. If you still require travel documentation (VE103 form) we will provide this.

Are Service and Account Management teams operating as usual?

Yes. Alphabet recognises now, more than ever, the need for effective Service and Account Management. These teams remain operational and fully contactable, and we will strive to maintain a full service during this difficult period. Your contacts will remain the same.

What do I do if I have a complaint?

Our Customer Experience team are on hand to discuss your complaint and can be contacted via email customerexperience@alphabet.co.uk or by phone on 0370 0120 342. 

We will endeavour to resolve your complaint within three business days from your initial contact.  If the complexity of your complaint means it is not possible to resolve within three business days, you will receive an acknowledgement to your complaint explaining our next steps. 

Please click here for more information about our complaints procedure.