Evidence continues to mount that dealers should brace for a car-buying 'gold rush' as Covid-19 restrictions are eased further, according to the online car supermarket buyacar.co.uk.
Despite a slow start to the normally busy new car month of March, the latest market research suggests that more than one in 10 motorists are bringing forward plans to change their car.
The depressing effect of anti-coronavirus restrictions on car sales is also revealed by consumer sentiment analysis which shows that one in four motorists have been reluctant to buy a car during lockdown regardless of the availability of 'click & collect' services which remove the need to visit showrooms.
Buyacar.co.uk asked 422 'in market' motorists* about their car purchase plans and found that 12.9% are bringing forward their plans to buy. The reason is unclear, but buyacar analysts have previously speculated that buying a new car or planning a major purchase may be among the activities that have brought some cheer to consumers during the hard times of the coronavirus crisis.
It is potentially one of the reasons that many of buyacar.co.uk's own customers have been spending more over the past 12 months on higher quality cars with higher specifications than previously.
Meanwhile, almost one in four motorists have held back from buying during times of coronavirus restrictions, even from dealers or online car suppliers who offer the safety and convenience of delivery or click & collect services. In the latest market research 24.4% of would-be car buyers said they were uncomfortable with stepping back into the market until general restrictions have been lifted.
This latest research supports a growing consensus among industry experts that dealers will be overwhelmed with demand when they reopen their showrooms in April.
With pent-up demand building to such a peak, some believe that the rush to buy cars will even be sustained until the summer.**
Christofer Lloyd, Editor of buyacar.co.uk, said: "All the evidence that we - and other experts - are seeing points to something like a gold rush for car sales when coronavirus restrictions are lifted further and car dealers are again able to open their doors to the public.
"Only last month we predicted a car sales boom as soon as conditions improve, based on our research revealing that an overwhelming majority of drivers intend to use their own cars more, in preference to car-sharing or public transport.
"The latest data from our investigations supports a growing consensus that the release of pent-up demand next month will see perhaps the busiest time in memory for new and used car sales.
"Although dealers' click & collect services and home deliveries from specialists such as buyacar.co.uk have been very successful during the darkest days of the coronavirus crisis, the symbolic power of dealer showrooms reopening on April 12th will doubtless spur thousands of previously reluctant buyers to jump back into the market.
"Our own experience last year, when the first national lockdown was lifted, suggests that demand will explode and we expect the gold rush for replacing cars will be even stronger this time.
"Indeed, we are already seeing signs of motorists straining at the leash with the busiest first-half-of-the-month since the record sales period we experienced last summer."
*Article Source www.buyacar.co.uk