The past few months have seen used car dealers rushed off their feet as demand soars, and it’s been no different for Derbyshire-based Car Quay.
However, its delivery drivers have also been kept even busier, with a quarter of cars leaving the showroom to be delivered to customers’ door.
Car Quay owner Jamie Caple said: ‘Lots and lots of customers are getting deliveries. I joke about Cazoo but we did a lot of deliveries before.
‘How we work, with a very descriptive advert, lots of pictures and video if they want it, people have got the confidence with our hundreds of five-star reviews to just deliver it to their doorsteps.
‘I think in 500 deliveries over the last few years we’ve had two come back because they probably had unreasonable expectations.
‘We’re probably delivering more now. Probably 20 per cent to a quarter of what we’re selling is being sent out on a truck or plate driver and away they go.’
Demand for used cars also seems to be dropping as inquiry levels are starting to dip – but that’s no bad thing says Caple.
He said: ‘I think we’ll sell as many cars this month as we did last month but with less inquiries coming through.’
Appearing on Car Dealer Live with James Batchelor, he explained that the team were finally able to give more attention to every lead.
‘It’s been ridiculously busy. May was just click and collect and it was a massive month – June was bedlam. I think we delivered over 150 cars including trade.
‘It was by far the best month in business we’ve ever had.
‘July was just as busy and it felt like we were wading through mud a bit.
‘August was massive. We’ve had another guy called Jack start with us, but I think we’re starting to cope with the volume.’
He added: ‘August felt easier than July but it was the same sort of result. September has seen the inquiry level drop slightly, but I don’t think we weren’t dealing with them particularly well.
‘When you’re that busy and a customer emails, you ring them and they don’t answer so you move on to someone else.
‘I think a lot of leads we haven’t pushed or taken to the nth degree. Now, as the inquiry rate is dipping, we’re getting more organised.’
The team at Car Quay haven’t stopped for months, said Caple, who was even getting calls from customers throughout the show.
He added that while they were having to pay more for cars, it did have some added benefits for customers.
‘Because used car prices have gone up, customers who bought off us not too long ago are coming back with a trade-in.
‘There’s always that fear when a customer comes back for a part-exchange after seven or eight months and you’ve got to tell them what that car is now worth trade.
‘Because the values have gone up, customers who bought off us recently and come back, they’re not getting back what they paid but that gap has shrunk.’