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New car buyers expect bigger discounts after COVID-19 crisis

Haggling

Consumers are expecting dealers to give them an even bigger discount on a new car after weeks of paused sales due to the coronavirus lockdown, according to What Car?

It publishes the What Car Target Price for consumers shopping for cars, and claims its research shows that what consumers perceive as a good deal has changed significantly as a result of the lockdown.

"This has the potential to set buyers and retailers on a collision course," said What Car? and Haymarket Automotive managing director Rachael Prasher.

Its analysis of more than 6,100 in-market consumers found that 71% of those wanting to buy a new car expect to negotiate for a bigger discount because of the coronavirus crisis.

For used car buyers that figure falls to 58%.

"It perhaps underlines that new car buyers can sense greater desperation from manufacturers whose factories were shuttered for so many months," said Prasher.

One in three prospective buyers said they would delay their purchase outright if they felt they weren't offered a better deal than those available before lockdown.

Its poll found 28% of respondents want to buy within the next four weeks.

"With supply still restricted, and manufacturers and retailers looking to extract maximum value from sales, the conundrum is clear. More than ever, buyers are expecting to drive away with a sense of having achieved a strong deal, and dealers’ ability to convey that feeling as part of the buying journey is going to be a crucial lever in securing sales," she added.

The findings from What Car? echo similar claims by Desperate Seller that haggling has increased as consumers perceive that dealers and carmakers need to liquidate stock that has been in storage for many weeks. 

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