Heycar has vowed to foot the bill for vehicle deliveries to customers until the end of 2020 as part of a bid to support car dealers’ online retail efforts during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
As CarGurus and Auto Trader moved to remove their December advertising fees, the rival online marketing platform took the decision to support ongoing trade by facilitating continued sales through the funded delivery campaign.
In a statement published this week, heycar said that it will also continue to provide “access to unique OEM stock” and “instant online finance approval” on VW products thanks to the recent launch of a new online application journey from Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS).
Heycar said that it remained “on the front foot” to provide extra support to the 3,400 dealerships in its network, with its delivery and collection offer available on all 110,000 cars currently advertised via its online platform.
Karen Hilton, heycar’s chief commercial officer, said: “We are supporting our partner dealers in every way we can. Early indications of the second lockdown show that marketing spend in the category is reducing as many similar online portals take a cautious approach.
“However at heycar, we’re holding firm – we all feel more ready to weather this lockdown period and one of the main reasons for this is that dealerships are better set up for online customers.
“We have helped many dealerships change the way they operate so they can engage with and nurture the leads that come their way while showrooms have been forced to close.
“Now as the largest source for cars with free delivery, we will see greater consumer engagement – this supports our dealers by allowing the entire car buying process to happen remotely.
“We’ll continue to work closely with our dealers to deliver the best leads to them and help them adapt to this ever-changing situation.”
John O’Hanlon, the chief executive of Waylands Automotive, said that being able to engage meaningfully with customers online was vital to trading in the current climate, adding: “The reassurance of contactless collection and free delivery is such an important step for customers.”
Tom Cummings, creative director at Vertu Motors, said: “This has been a year for trying new things and it’s great to work with a partner that is finding different ways to stimulate demand in the market through the introduction of new propositions.”
Volkswagen Financial Services and heycar last month strengthened their partnership, allowing customers to apply and be approved for finance fully online.
The platform is also offering an ‘Only from heycar’ range of 48 Mercedes-Benz and Volvo cars available via a ‘virtual showroom’.
Customers can choose which dealer they’d like to collect the car from once they’ve purchased.