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40% of potential car buyers less likely to visit a showroom

Social distancing at a JCT600 Porsche Centre

40% of UK drivers say they are now less likely to visit a showroom while researching the purchase of a car, as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, research by Marketing Delivery, has found.

However, the nationwide research study found that almost a third (32%) of UK drivers are more frequently browsing dealer and classified websites for new or used cars during lockdown.

Furthermore, 33% say they are now more seriously considering the purchase of a car, due to reduced household expenditure in 2020.

This figure is higher among drivers living in London, with over half of respondents (54%) now more seriously considering the purchase of a car.

Among 18 to 30-year-olds, almost two thirds (59%) said they were more seriously considering buying a car due to reduced financial outgoings during lockdown.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced car showrooms will reopen on December 2, as England returns to a three-tier system. 

Jeremy Evans, managing director at Marketing Delivery, said: “This new analysis gives a sense of scale to the unique sales and marketing opportunities – and the challenges – faced by dealers as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Dealers should be considering how best to implement an ‘always on, immediate response’ approach to their enquiry management function, with a view to converting as many enquiries as possible.

“Buyers have high expectations of dealers, even during periods of local or national lockdown, and many will take their enquiry elsewhere if they don’t get a quick enough response from sales staff.

“This means the onus more than ever is on dealers to reply swiftly to potential buyers, providing the information they want, when they want it. Some dealers may even want to consider employing an out of hours response team to ensure potential buyers always get a response.”

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