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Almost half car buyers plan to purchase before end of 2021

Almost half of in-market car buyers expect to make a purchase before the end o the year, according to research from What Car?.

The consumer magazine found that 46% of in-market buyers expect to purchase a vehicle before the year is over it its most recent survey, which gauged responses from 1,596 car shoppers.

More than half of all used buyers (52%) said they were going to buy a vehicle, and 42% of new car buyers.

The data feeds into insight from Auto Trader and BCA which suggests retailers are likely to continue to experience buoyant demand, but also highlights a requirement to manage customer expectations, with vehicle supplies still scarce due to shortages of semiconductor microchips and other components.

What Car? editor Steve HuntingfordWhat Car? editor, Steve Huntingford, said: “Our research suggests a busy end to the year, with buyers still active in the market, and a relatively steady period of demand for the first three months of the year.

“After a tumultuous 2021 that’s been compounded by the microchip shortage, this should be welcome news to the sector.”

This week Suzuki GB director of automobile, Dale Wyatt, told AM that his brand would be operating at “half power” in the first half of 2022 as a result of the current new car supply crisis.

He said that he had sought to give certainty of dealer incentives – incentivising sales staff on orders, rather than registrations – in a bid to mitigate against the issues.

The What Car? survey indicated that car buyers continue to be active despite the ongoing chip shortage, however, underlining that new car buyers continue to plan ahead and are ready to fill pipelines for the most proactive dealerships and manufacturers.

It backs up Autovia's findings that car buyers’ brand loyalty is “vaporising” in the current “pressure cooker” of high demand and stalled new vehicle supplies.

Those looking to purchase a fully electric vehicle were most likely to postpone their purchase until 2022, What Car? found, with 59% stating they will wait until next year to buy one.

Petrol and diesel buyers were most likely to purchase a car before the year is out, with 53% set to do so.

What Car? also asked those who have postponed a purchase until 2022 when they expect to buy a vehicle next year, with 34% set to purchase in the months between January and March, and 23% expect to buy between March and June.

While 14% are looking to buy after June 2022, another 28% also told What Car? they’ve yet to decide when they will buy.

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