Nearly everyone who is looking to buy a car would be happy to visit a showroom when the lockdown is lifted.
That’s according to new research by What Car? which said 95 per cent of 2,823 in-market buyers polled for its weekly industry study said they’d feel comfortable going into a dealership as soon as it’s allowed.
The same proportion of buyers also believe that dealerships and retailers can be run in a Covid-secure way, guaranteeing staff and customer safety – up from 89 per cent in October 2020.
Of the five per cent who weren’t comfortable about visiting a showroom – some 140 people – more than a quarter (27 per cent) of them said a booking system with timed appointments would make them more at ease.
Meanwhile, 21 per cent of them wanted to see evidence of regular disinfecting of vehicles and waiting areas, and 14 per cent wanted clear space dividers for staff and customers.
Dealerships were obliged to meet new Health and Safety Executive guidelines to reopen last June following the first lockdown, including social distancing and hygiene measures.
More than nine-tenths (92 per cent) of the 2,823 respondents said they reckoned that franchised and branded dealers would take the most precautions.
What Car? managing director Rachael Prasher said: ‘With 95 per cent of in-market buyers ready to step back into showrooms, our research shows the high level of confidence the public has in retailers being able to operate safely.
‘The research also shows how significant retailers are to buyers, despite the various online platforms now available to them.
‘It is disappointing for the industry that customers will have to stay away from showrooms for the next few months – especially as March is such a significant month in the year for new car sales.
‘But the sector has already shown that it can meet strict health and safety guidelines, and it will be ready to do so again once the restrictions ease.’
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