Showrooms reopening will cause surge of new car buyers in June, says study

A surge of car buyers look set to purchase a new vehicle in June, according to a new survey.

Under new government guidelines, showrooms and car dealers look to be able to reopen from June 1 if necessary public health criteria have been met. If that happens, thousands of buyers could be flocking to the forecourts to buy their next car.

According to a recent poll of 4,411 in-market buyers by What Car?, 18.39 per cent intend to purchase a new vehicle as soon as the coronavirus crisis ends, while 5.56 per cent are looking to purchase a new car within the next four weeks.

In recently-announced government guidelines, car dealers look set to be among the first set of non-essential businesses to reopen on June 1 – provided that public health and safety parameters set by Public Health England have been met. Not only that, but dealers will have to introduce stringent social distancing guidelines.

Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car?, said: “We know from our weekly online audience surveys that nearly one in five car buyers are preparing to purchase a new car when showrooms reopen. That pent-up demand is great news for under-pressure retailers and manufacturers.

“However, with the allowable date for dealership premises reopening pushed further back than many businesses were hoping for, it is also increasingly critical that retailers and OEMs ensure that they are responding to and nurturing enquiries now.”

It follows on from a drop of 97 per cent in new car registrations in April – the worst month since 1946. In total, 4,321 cars were registered.

However, many dealers have turned to online sales to help keep cars moving. Through contactless delivery, retailers have been able to supply new cars to key workers and other frontline workers.