Four-fifths of car buyers still want to take their potential purchase out on a test drive, new research shows.
A What Car? poll of 8,300 in-market buyers last week for the new car buying platform’s latest Insight report found 80 per cent of them reinforcing how important test drives were, which What Car? said reflected the ongoing importance of dealerships.
What Car? said: ‘It is clear that the willingness from the majority of buyers to test-drive is driven by the work that has been done to demonstrate that coronavirus-safe practices are in place.
‘Seventy per cent of our in-market buyers told us that the measures dealers have taken to reduce the risk represented by the Covid-19 virus are either important or very important to them.
‘Customers are greatly reassured by seeing the effort dealers have put in to protect both staff and buyers.’
The survey also showed, however, that nearly one in five (17 per cent) of buyers were LESS inclined to have a test drive than before.
Potential customers were also still impatient with retailers who wouldn’t respond to inquiries – giving little or even no allowance for dealerships being short-staffed because of furlough, or for time taken to work round the current restrictions.
‘The trend that 68 per cent of buyers tell us that they wouldn’t chase a dealer over an inquiry at all continues, with 45 per cent rating dealer response time as “very important” to their decision on where to purchase from.’
What Car? said that was even more important at the moment, since almost 20 per cent of buyers were saying they were going to showrooms – virtual or real – with the aim of changing their car, and were working from longer shortlists of possible purchases than before lockdown.
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