Advertising websites currently weighing up what support they can offer car dealers in Lockdown 3

Time 3:52 pm, January 5, 2021

Car classified advertising portals are currently weighing up how they can help dealers forced to shut showrooms under Lockdown 3.0.

Auto Trader told Car Dealer that it would be in a position to update its customers on what, if any, help it would be able to offer ‘later this week’.

Cargurus also said it was currently considering options, but had ‘not yet made any decisions’.

Car Dealer has also contacted eBay Motors Group to ask what support it is considering to offer dealers.

All three firms helped dealers out following the second lockdown.

However, the advertising portals are in a difficult situation as many car dealers have managed to switch successfully to a click and collect model. Some dealers have even reported booming sales during the tougher tiered measures that have seen showrooms close.

While sales are not the same as when showrooms are fully open, the fact car sales are still able to take place makes the advertising portals’ decision harder.

Used car supermarket boss Peter Waddell, who runs Big Motoring World and new online used car dealer Carzam, is calling for urgent action.

He said: ‘While we can sell cars via click and collect it’s just not the same and this third lockdown is tougher than the one we had in November.

‘I think dealers should be given assistance by the likes of Auto Trader and Cargurus and I have been talking to them to find out what they are going to do.

‘They have to help car dealers. Many dealers have expensive contracts with these advertising sites that are not justified during a lockdown.’

During the first lockdown, advertising websites slashed bills and extended payment terms.

In the second lockdown, Auto Trader was quick to announce free advertising for its dealers during December and extended its payment terms for November bills.

Cargurus and Pistonheads, as well as eBay Motors Group, all did the same and waived subscription fees for December and made advertising on their sites free for the month.

Many other suppliers offered similar deals and discounts.

Car Dealer will be reporting on any measures that are announced as and when they happen.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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