What Car? is predicting a surge in new car demand this September as it received record numbers of enquiries on its New Car Buying platform.
Up to August 8, What Car? users made 26% more enquiries year-on-year through New Car Buying - with enquiries last Sunday hitting an all-time record for the platform, up 84.6% on the corresponding day last year.
The platform, which connects in-market buyers to nearby dealers, saw enquiries from customers ramp up from late July, reaching 13.3% above the annual average.
What Car? says dealers are set for a “surge in demand” ahead of the September plate change.
Interaction between customers and dealers via the platfrom grew by 8%, in August, demonstrating that those making enquiries are more engaged.
Rachael Prasher, managing director, What Car?, said: “Despite the difficult trading conditions for manufacturers and dealers, customer demand has increased markedly in recent weeks - even compared to last year's strong trading conditions.
“While stock shortages may mean that not all of that demand can be satisfied now, the challenge is for dealers and manufacturers to manage customer expectations and build pipelines for the coming months. Those that are most switched on have a golden opportunity to build momentum not just for the coming weeks, but many months ahead too.”
Futher evidence of a boom in demand for new cars comes from What Car?’s weekly polling of visitors to its website.
Based on feedback from 1,836 in-market buyers last week, 38% are looking to buy a car within the next four weeks – a near doubling in readiness to buy compared to the past three months.
A further 28% said they are looking to buy within one to three months, suggesting a steady stream of customers will continue to the end of the year.
Nearly a third of all buyers have already got in touch with a dealer about a potential purchase, while 21% have already booked or undertaken a test drive. What Car?’s research also found most buyers (55%) are looking to choose between one and three models.