December saw UK dealers enjoy a 9.5 per cent rise in orders for new vehicles against the same month in 2019.
That’s according to lead management experts at Dealerweb, after looking at data from 800 dealers.
Used vehicle orders sank by 10 per cent – although the average price went up from £18,682 to £20,900.
Meanwhile, inquiry levels for new and used vehicles fell by 7.7 per cent and 12.6 per cent respectively.
James Hill, pictured, MD of the showroom management systems provider, said: ‘Dealers showed remarkable adaptability through 2020 and navigated the shifting retail landscape of national lockdowns and regional restrictions.
‘A focus on giving customers a truly personalised experience online and in the showroom has supported both new and used vehicle sales.
‘December’s result shows a marked increase in conversion as dealers focused on nurturing each lead.
‘There is anecdotal evidence that there was a rush to buy before the Brexit deal was done due to concerns around tariffs.’
Independent research commissioned by Dealerweb also showed that more than two-fifths – 42 per cent – of buyers are likelier to complete a purchase if they get a response to an online inquiry within 30 minutes.
The national survey of 1,500 people by research agency TLF also showed that one in three buyers preferred to have contact by email or text.
Figures for December’s new car registrations will be released by the SMMT at 9am tomorrow (Jan 6) and will be reported by Car Dealer, including a special edition of Car Dealer Live.