Dealers have ‘a golden opportunity’ to cash in on a rising demand for vehicles ahead of next month’s plate change.
That’s according to What Car? which said today (Aug 11) that buyers were contacting sellers at record levels across its New Car Buying platform.
Inquiries from customers ramped up from late July, it said, reaching 13.3 per cent above the annual average to make it the biggest full month of the year to date, continuing to grow into August.
As of August 8, What Car? users had made 26 per cent more inquiries year on year via New Car Buying, which connects buyers and nearby dealers, hitting an all-time record for the platform – up 84.6 per cent on the corresponding day last year.
That was despite a surge in New Car Buying inquiries after the end of the first lockdown in 2020.
An extra eight per cent year-on-year surge in interaction between customers and dealers in August also underlined that those making inquiries were more engaged, said What Car?, giving retailers and manufacturers a better chance to convert them to sales if they could get round the current supply issues.
Based on feedback from 1,836 people last week for What Car?’s weekly poll of visitors to its website, 38 per cent are looking to purchase a car within the next four weeks – a near-doubling in readiness to buy versus the past three months.
Meanwhile, another 28 per cent said they were looking to buy within one to three months.
Nearly a third of all buyers have already contacted a dealer about a possible purchase, while just over a fifth (21 per cent) have already booked or had a test drive.
Most buyers (55 per cent) were also looking to choose between one and three models.
What Car? managing director Rachael Prasher said: ‘Despite the difficult trading conditions for manufacturers and dealers, customer demand has increased markedly in recent weeks – even compared to last year’s strong trading conditions.
‘While stock shortages may mean that not all of that demand can be satisfied now, the challenge is for dealers and manufacturers to manage customer expectations and build pipelines for the coming months.
‘Those that are most switched on have a golden opportunity to build momentum not just for the coming weeks but many months ahead too.’