Used car classified website Auto Trader saw a noticeable increase in traffic as showrooms reopened last Monday (April 12).
Its latest update revealed that users on the platform increased by 38.8 per cent compared to the same week in 2019, seen as normal trading pre-pandemic, up to 2.2m daily visits.
By the weekend, this figure had risen to 2.4m daily visits on the website.
It also found that shoppers were spending more time online, up 35 per cent compared to 2019 with an average 20.3m minutes spent each day on Auto Trader.
Auto Trader also noted a 5.7 per cent increase in used car values for the week, compared to the same period last year, which was the 49th consecutive week of growth.
Supply fell by 4.3 per cent while demand far outstripped this at 39.2 per cent up on 2019.
Auto Trader’s director of data and insight Richard Walker said: ‘Despite most retailers making a huge success of online retailing during the lockdown, it’s extremely satisfying to see last week’s full reopening of forecourts being met with such strong levels of consumer demand on our marketplace.
‘Along with the anecdotal feedback from our retailer partners of a very busy week it gives us great confidence in the outlook for the rest of 2021.
‘And with the new car market down just four per cent on 2019 so far in April, this bounce-back shouldn’t be limited to just used car sales either.’
He added: ‘However, retailers mustn’t fall into the trap of thinking we’ve returned to a pre-Covid retail environment.
‘Consumer behaviour and expectations have evolved, and so to really make the most of this potential, businesses must continue to utilise their buy online infrastructure to create a blended online-offline experience.’