What Car? is to refund all fees to dealers and OEMs using its New Car Buying online sales platform for any time their area is in lockdown from October onwards.
The move is part of the award-winning lead generation service’s back-to-business pledge, which it launched when the national lockdown was announced in March.
It froze payments for customers and made its platform free for all franchised retailers and OEMs, as it looked to help the automotive industry during and after the crisis.
Dealerships were allowed to trade online by the government and then reopen their doors nation by nation from June 1, which coincided with record website traffic for What Car?. More than 100,000 sales inquiries were given to more than 1,000 retail and OEM partners for free.
New Car Buying will be chargeable again from the end of September, but What Car? says it will refund all fees for retailers who find themselves in lockdown again, meaning they’ll never be charged if they can’t do business.
Kate Hannam, director of sales and commercial partnerships for What Car?, said: ‘Throughout the crisis, we have looked to do everything we can to support the industry, moving quickly and decisively to introduce a free period and then extending it after lockdown eased to help businesses get back on their feet.
‘On top of that, we maintained our investment in our product, development and editorial teams to keep growing the number of in-market car buyers visiting our website, as well as launching new sales functionality, including a new system to sell stock cars online, plus an improved messaging journey to ensure that using our product to talk to our ready-to-buy audience is as simple as possible.’
Users of What Car?’s New Car Buying service pay a fixed monthly fee to publicise their offers to buyers and aren’t charged extra when they sell cars. More than 1,000 retail outlets are currently using the platform, including Ford Retail, JCT 600, Hendy Group, Marshall Motor Group, Pendragon, Robins & Day, Snows, Vertu Motors, Vindis and Waylands Automotive.