Dealers will face pent-up demand when they reopen their showroom doors on April 12, What Car? has said.
New research carried out by the firm has tracked various market indicators to gauge how active buyers will be when showrooms reopen.
New car leads to retailers using What Car?’s New Car Buying platform have risen 11.8 per cent week-on-week, while traffic to its website has seen a similar growth, says What Car?.
The number of visits to the company’s new car deals pages has grown by 18.1 per cent compared to the first 14 days in February, showing buyers are increasingly starting to move from the research phase to the purchase phase of the car buying journey, What Car? said.
Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (22.9 per cent) of participants taking part in What Car?’s weekly industry study of 2946 in-market buyers are now looking to make a purchase in the next three months, while 15.2 per cent are set to buy in the next four weeks – only 19.5 per cent are looking to buy in more than six months’ time.
What Car? said these purchase timeframes are very different to the first week of February, when just 10 per cent of active buyers were looking to make a purchase in the following four weeks and 28 per cent were set to buy after six months or more.
Our metrics are once more pointing towards healthy demand building in the market
Earlier in February, when the government announced it would seek to open non-essential retail by April 12, What Car? found 59 per cent of in-market buyers said they were delaying their purchase until at least that date.
Rachael Prasher, managing director at What Car?, said: ‘We saw similar trends emerge as we neared the end of the first lockdown, last June.
‘Buyers began moving their purchase decisions forward, shifting from the research phase to the active purchase stage by contacting dealers on our New Car Buying platform.
‘Our metrics are once more pointing towards healthy demand building in the market. This will be very positive for the industry, as it looks to recover from a poor first quarter.’
The research backs up an investigation carried out by Car Dealer that revealed car dealers were experiencing ‘near normal’ levels of sales activity so far in March, showing the 21-plate has not been a total write-off.
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