Car buying in a post scrappage world

Motor Trade Insider continuously listens to the market and in doing so we hopefully equip our legion of readers with the type of high quality information and helpful hints which could provide them with an advantage, and a competitive edge, in their dealings with anyone and anything car related.

Whilst we attempt to maintain a balanced view of proceedings and offer helpful advice to both buyers and sellers alike, it can nevertheless occasionally be a challenge to keep up with an ever changing market. For example in conversation with a dealer recently we were informed that whereas in years gone by the weekends were where the magic happened i.e. when the majority of cars were sold, it is now turning out to be a thing of the past.

In the modern round the clock world of immediate and continuous information consumers do no longer have to use their precious weekends to make car buying decisions. They are showing us that they want to complete as much of their research as possible online and acquiesce to the last little bit actually involving being physically in the dealership. What this means is they can spare the time during the week to complete a deal which allows them to keep their Saturdays and Sundays free for more enjoyable pursuits (more enjoyable presumably than parting with thousands of pounds).

In terms of new car activity the consequences of the conclusion of the scrappage scheme are already being experienced, according to our sources sales are down by as much as 50% in the first month without scrappage and even though this might be a post March blip it has undoubtedly got dealers scared and fearing that this might be a lasting problem.

Naturally it is a little early to panic and although it will be intriguing to find out the post scrappage figures, it must be remembered that cars were sold before scrappage and they will be sold after, it just requires a great deal of focus and effort to ensue prospective buyers feel confident enough that they’re still very likely to get a great deal in a post scrappage world.

All this, according to our dealers, points towards success in selling used cars where the burdens of showroom tax and extra VAT have no effect and where there is more price choice for customers who are buying in the midst of an economic downturn.

An additional positive aspect is that dealer finance appears to be far more readily available for buyers than perhaps on the high street and rates remain competitive, so when the election is over and we have a new government (or indeed the old one) it will be amazing to see the impact all of this has on the industry which, let’s face the facts, doesn’t get much of a mention in the priority lists of politicians even during an election campaign.

Unless, of course, there is a crisis.

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