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Covid-19 Pandemic: All you need to know if you are planning to buy a used car, insights from Car Analytics

Time 10:24 am, April 6, 2020

The current Corona Virus outbreak has wreaked havoc globally. In consequence, the UK’s auto industry is one of the hardest-hit sectors, facing falling demand and delayed or halted production of new cars.

So, what does the ongoing pandemic mean for the used car market in the UK, and what do you need to know as a potential buyer? Let’s find out.

Current situation


A large chunk of the UK’s population is currently in self-isolation or practicing social distancing to contain the virus spread. This means staying home most of the time and limiting your transit and social activities.

An important point to note here is, while isolation is necessary for patients of COVID-19, social distancing is recommended for everyone in general but has room for flexibility for essential needs.

Hence, people can go out to the grocery stores, and thus they need a reliable means of transportation to do this. Using public transport or even hailing a cab under current circumstances is a nightmare, which leaves only one reliable option: having your own vehicle to stay mobile and protected at the same time.

What do the stats say? Used cars are in high demand


COVID-19’s fear began to spread around the UK in February, having an adverse impact on nationwide sales of new cars. A year-on-year comparison shows that the number of new cars sold in February 2020 dropped by almost 2.9 per cent from February 2019.

In the wake of this panic, carmakers like Fiat, Volkswagen Group, Vauxhall and Nissan, have either partially or completely shut down factories worldwide. This means potential delays in new car production and extended waiting times for customers seeking new models.

Moreover, the UK government has appealed to car manufacturers including Jaguar and Rolls-Royce to produce ventilators instead of cars.

With massive nationwide disruptions in the production of new cars, potential buyers have used cars as their best option. Consequently, the prices of second-hand cars will likely go up due to an expected surge in demand. According to a senior expert at the Autovista group, any issues in the supply of new cars often results in increased demand for used models.

Similarly, a UK forecasting expert suggests that the country’s used car market has had a good start already. During February, overall used car values increased by 1.1 per cent, the highest for February since 2012, while the five-year average for February stood at 0.2 per cent.

How is the coronavirus outbreak affecting car buying and selling?

Car dealerships across the country need to take extra precautions these days to facilitate their customers. Among these, the option of virtually signing the documents for customers in the final stages of the purchase process is useful.

Similarly, some dealers are utilising the virtual space to carry out operations. One example is the British Car Auctions (BCA Group), which has shifted its UK-wide auction sales online in view of prioritising customers’ health and well-being. Yet another example is of UK-based platform Carwow, through which you can buy new and used cars from franchised dealers.


Carwow has recently launched remote-buying features that help to minimise or even eliminate contact between buyers and other parties when buying a car.

Trusted dealers on the Carwow platform are also ensuring that their new and used car stock undergoes a thorough cleaning and disinfection process before delivery. You may even negotiate pricing over emails and lock-in a price without leaving your home at all.

You can check which dealers have a contact-free buying process, e.g. offering video tours of cars, home delivery, and home test-drives among other things.

Used car buying tips in the current situation

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There are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for a used car in the current situation. The home-shopping model for buying used cars is the best one and simple to follow once you have decided what you want. Search around for local dealerships that have the model you are interested in, and conduct a background check online. Some dealerships are offering delivery services during this time, especially for key workers.

Caranalytics can help here. Simply enter the vehicle’s registration plate and you get an instant car check report. The full vehicle check includes mileage history, Ministry of Transport (MOT) check, advisory and failure notices, and performance data among other things. This will aid you in deciding whether you should go for a particular car or keep looking. … Read full article on Car Analytics website

This article was sponsored and produced with the help of Car Analytics. Click here for more used car buying guides from the firm.

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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