Almost 300,000 motorists have had applications for car loans rejected during the past six months, according to research by online financial comparison site www.moneyexpert.com.
That’s equivalent to 1,600 people every day. It is the best indication yet that there is ample demand for new and used cars, but dealers have to encourage these potential buyers to visit the showroom and consider point-of-sale finance instead of approaching the banks.
In addition, training firm Martec Europe reports that its dealer clients received, on average, two more telephone enquiries a day in January compared to a year ago.
“There are prospects out there,” said Martec’s Neil Pursell.Several retailers have contacted AM on the back of the Buy A Car campaign to report immediate success as a result of interviews and promotions with their local press, outlining why there has never been a better time to buy a car.
Volvo/Jaguar retailer John Cleland in Galashiels, Scotland, resorted to placing an advertorial in his local paper after reporters decided a good news story was of no interest.
“As a consequence we have never seen as much Saturday showroom traffic,” he said. “We need to get our motor trade bodies to lobby the press and media to stop putting a downer on life – we know we are in recession, help us all climb out of it.”
Daksh Gupta, chief executive at Marshall Motor Group, an early supporter of the AM Buy A Car campaign, reports that during one week in January the company had its third best order take since it started keeping records.
Marshall also sold 70 Land Rovers, Jaguars and Volvos over one weekend from nine sites.
“The campaign has definitely helped in terms of getting our sales people to be positive by reminding them of all the reasons why customers should buy now,” Gupta said.
BCA UK managing director Andrew Hulme believes the industry should consider March 1 as ‘Christmas Day’ and tailor all its publicity towards the plate-change.
“A compelling, co-ordinated advertising and marketing programme supported by all interested parties is a must,” he said in a letter to AM.
“The availability of finance is a fundamental part of the equation and AM, along with others, must continue to lobby Government to encourage the banks to return to more normal levels of lending.
“Christmas in March is an opportunity too good to miss and BCA will offer its full support.”
The message is getting out. Consumer group Which? has issued a press release detailing some of the offers that are available.
Richard Headland, editor of Which? Car, said: “You could say there’s never been a better time to buy a car. The downturn has thrown the car industry into turmoil and that means there are some amazing car deals available – whether you’re looking to buy new or used.”
- To download a copy of the AM Buy A Car campaign poster 10 reasons why there’s never been a better time to buy a car, click here.
Buy a car campaign supporters
Leading motor finance providers Black Horse fully support AM’s Buy A Car Campaign. Black Horse Managing Director Chris Sutton said:
“This campaign is a step in the right direction in helping to restore customers’ buying confidence. Black Horse dealers can further help to stimulate sales by giving their customers access to credit at the point of sale.”
Leading Dealer Systems provider DMS fully support AM’s Buy a Car Campaign. Simon Verona of DMS said :
“This campaign demonstrates to the consumer that now is the best time ever to make a car purchase. Users of DMS’s system – Navigator - can use the system to assist in targeting this message to existing and new dealer prospects”
BCA is delighted to support the 'Buy a Car campaign'. As the UK's largest vehicle remarketing company, healthy new and used car markets are critical to our business and the myriad others that service and support the car retail and wholesale sectors.
But more than that, new and used car sales combine to make a sizeable contribution to the UK's economic well-being. Thanks to this and similar campaigns, motorists are becoming increasingly aware just what good value deals are out there for them to enjoy.