Why there was no rush on car dealers after the second lockdown

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

Following the first lockdown that began in March, 2020, car buyers flocked back to dealerships to pick up a new motor after three months of being unable to visit forecourts.

However, there was no repeat in this process after the second lockdown in November.

Automotive data experts Cap HPI reports that there was a small surge in sales when the lockdown ended, but this quickly dissipated.

It suggested that this was likely because dealerships put online sales and click and collect services in place earlier in the year, meaning sales were not affected so severely by not being able to welcome buyers onto their premises.

In its January market report, Cap HPI said: “While there was a degree of pent-up demand at some dealerships and car supermarkets, it was nowhere near to the same levels as in June, when lockdown one ended.

“However, activity levels were higher during lockdown two, so maybe that is unsurprising.

“Dealers and consumers are now far more open to selling and purchasing online, using click and collect or safe deliveries.”

CarDealerMagazine.co.uk reported on the findings, and noted that December is typically a quiet month for car sales, while dealers in tier four regions are being forced to close their doors, further tempering any potential surge in sales.

Cap HPI also noted that although used car prices have continued to dip throughout the year, dropping five per cent for three-year-old cars in November and 1.4 per cent early in December, prices have since stabilised.

The vehicles bucking the downward trend are aspirational models such as sports cars and convertibles. Cap HPI said this is likely because buyers have built up savings from not going on holiday and want something to cheer themselves up, while more affluent buyers have also been less affected financially by the pandemic.