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Massive surge in people looking to buy a new car, says What Car?

Time 1 year ago

Fresh research has shown a surge in consumers looking into buying a new car – with 135 per cent more in-market buyers looking for deals than at the start of lockdown in March.

That’s what emerged from a What Car? survey of more than 10,000 people for its latest Weekly Insight report (Jun 17), with new car review page views up by 139 per cent over the same period.

Those looking to buy an electric car went down from eight per cent to 6.5 per cent, though, with Rachael Prasher, pictured, managing director of What Car? and Haymarket Automotive, saying ‘the indications being that the availability, capability, cost and running challenges of such cars remain barriers for some’.


Eighteen per cent were more inclined to buy a hybrid than before the pandemic.

However, a third of consumers say they’ll still wait for news from the government on an incentive scheme before making a final decision about buying in general, and Prasher lambasted the government over this, saying: ‘Contradictory statements – or rather leaks – from the government over an incentive scheme continue to have an impact on decision-making.

‘It’s a well-used tactic now by the current administration to “test the waters” through the press to assess whether a policy would be seen as positive or negative in the eyes of the taxpayer – not just those who would actually benefit from it individually.

‘However, the lack of a concrete statement one way or the other has been an impediment to volume this month.’


Turning to deliveries versus collections, she commented: ‘The swiftness with which buyers are acclimatising post-lockdown can be seen by the near-doubling of people – 60 per cent – who are now happy to collect from a dealership rather than having cars delivered at home. Indeed, eight out of 10 are now telling us that they are comfortable kicking the tyres and buying in person.’

Nearly a third of all car buyers are delaying their car purchase in the hope the government will introduce a scrappage scheme

Surge of new car buyers predicted for June by What Car?

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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