Cancelled holidays mean higher demand for cars

  07 June 2020

It’s clear there’s pent up demand for new and used cars. Having spoken to a few retailers in the past seven days, it’s a case of so far, so good.

Yes, there are mid-term fears about the economy and how this will impact car sales in the UK, but right now, there are customers looking for and buying new and used cars.

Two retailers, completely unprompted, mentioned the same factor; because the public haven’t been able to go on holiday, but still want to treat themselves, they are using the money as a deposit on a new (or used) car.

Nor was I told this just by two retailers, but also from the other side of things, by some friends in this exact scenario. They have a secure income and still want to spend the holiday money on something for themselves.

We’re not talking about the same level of windfalls seen from PPI, but there is a definite sector of the population where this applies.

I don’t think this is the only reason Auto Trader is reporting a 75% increase in leads on the same time last year, but it’s got to be one of the factors. The other is that pent up demand.

One retailer told me he’d seen a few people who’d had their cars written off during lockdown and were now looking to buy, plus some that had simply come to the end of their finance agreement during lockdown and now wanted to go into their local showroom to see what to buy next – not something they wanted to do online.

There’s also the continued message from the Government that public transport should be avoided. Couple this to a seriously strong marketing push by manufacturers with a wide spread of offers and this too will help push people toward a car, even if the Government would rather people bought a bike.

However, the question remains about how long this early demand will last. As many are saying, the plate change in September will be the first proper test of the market.

Fingers crossed the recovery stays strong.

Tristan Young

Editorial director

Auto Retail Network

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