Online motor retail specialist iVendi has seen motor finance applications rocket by 53 per cent since just before lockdown.
Chief executive James Tew said the figure was based on transactions made via its online platform between the start of March and end of June, and demonstrated how rapidly dealers had switched their business model to digital-first as they emerged from lockdown.
‘Clearly, the retail motor sector has undertaken a heroic and successful scramble to move from its old model to the new norm of online-with-reserve-and-collect in a matter of weeks. These figures show the extent of that change.
‘We believe that around one in four car, van and motorcycle buyers are now applying for finance online, which shows the speed of digitisation. Essentially, these customers have entirely chosen and financed their vehicle online. It’s a major shift.’
He said the safety measures imposed on dealers because of coronavirus meant the ongoing trend towards online vehicle buying had jumped forward.
‘I’ve heard it suggested more than once that the coronavirus crisis has pushed forward the digitisation of the motor industry by five years, including motor retail, and that seems like a fair assessment to us.’
He added: ‘Our view is that once a vaccine or other advance is implemented, there will be some people who want to go back to buying a car in the showroom. However, for others, the change to thinking of car buying as an online activity will be permanent.’
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