Nissan has pooled the resources of its UK dealer network to offer the free use of more than 100 cars to NHS staff. More than 30 dealer sites are taking part in the initiative, which is designed to help frontline health workers should their normal mode of transport be “compromised” during the Covid-19 crisis.
Dealers capable of staying open during the lockdown are offering NHS staff use of their Micra, Juke, Qashqai and Leaf demonstrator vehicles, while they cannot be used for customer test drives. For those NHS workers offered the all-electric Leaf hatchback, the dealer will provide free access to its vehicle charging facility.
Apart from fuel, the vehicles will be provided at no cost with insurance and roadside assistance thrown in. However, for the insurance cover, those seeking to use a vehicle must be over 25 and have no more than six points on their licence.
“At a time when our healthcare workers are under immense pressure, Nissan wanted to offer its support in enabling their journeys to be trouble-free and more convenient,” said Andrew Humberstone, managing director, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd. “For the NHS worker who might rely on public transport and would prefer a car to drive instead; or for those whose car has experienced a breakdown and don’t have the time to arrange its repair; or there’s any other impact on your personal mobility, then please get in touch with Nissan and we will try to help you access one of our vehicles for free.”
To apply for use of a vehicle, NHS staff are asked to register their interest via an online registration form hosted on the Nissan UK website. Their details will be relayed to their local dealer who will be in contact to arrange the vehicle loan. Applicants will be contacted if a car is available from a dealer within a 20-mile radius of their home.
However, because there is a limit on the number of cars available, Nissan has urged those most in need of transport to get applications sent in quickly. The application system can be found at https://www.nissan.co.uk/covid-19/nhs-car-loans.html.
This scheme is the latest in a host of Nissan initiatives to help frontline workers. At the start of the lockdown, a dealer in north-west England promised cut-price servicing for NHS workers, before the company announced free roadside assistance for key workers. The company has also turned its Sunderland factory into a distribution centre for NHS face masks.
But Nissan isn't the only company to have promised vehicles to NHS staff. Chinese-owned MG also pledged up to 100 electric ZS models to NHS trusts across the country.