November 5th may brought the introduction of another Covid-19 lockdown. But that doesn’t mean the wheels are set to come off the UK’s motor trade. We look at 5 key reasons why the motor trade industry can remain positive despite the 28 day restrictions having come into force.
Online Sales Are a Go,Go
Car showrooms might not be able to open to consumers but by now most dealers are set up to switch to digital sales and remote working. Lessons have been learned from the mad scramble to get up and running when the lockdown happened in March.
Dealers can expect to jump back on video calls and live chat to seal sales. However it’s important to note in a change to previous measures, payment must be transacted before the vehicles are collected or delivered to a home address.
High Customer Confidence Levels
We’ve seen since April that the first Lockdown didn’t dampen consumer demand. In fact we reported last month how the coronavirus crisis had resulted in used car prices increasing every month up to September. Cancelled foreign holidays and wanting to avoid public transport gave buyers the cash and appetite for car purchases. So it appears this deadly disease shouldn’t send your revenue into full speed reverse.
Some dealerships are going to the trouble of instructing all staff to wear comprehensive PPE whilst on site and a implementing extensive sanitising systems to reassure both employees and customers regarding safety levels. Though the paperwork will need to be reviewed and signed outdoors. So you might want to instruct customers to wrap up warm!
Offering money back guarantees for customers buying from home without inspecting the vehicles beforehand could be one way to help get them to sign on the dotted line or should that now be, to enter their card details?
Home Delivery No Issue
Your people are probably well trained and the processes are in place for vehicle deliveries. However, if you need to refresh your risk management systems for the collection and/or delivery of vehicles with virtual handovers you can read our guide from the original lockdown on How to Safely Deliver a Vehicle During the Covid 19 Crisis.
Support From Suppliers
Both Autotrader and the eBay Motors Group (which includes eBay Motors, Gumtree Motors and Motors.co.uk along with a network of partner websites) have issued statements declaring that classified advertising will be free in December for dealers. In what should hopefully prove a boost for many, the rival platforms are aiming to help ease the challenges presented to the trade by a second lockdown period. Online automotive marketplaces CarGurus and PistonHeads have also announced that they will waive marketplace subscription fees in December.
The Government has deemed MOT stations and garages to be offering essential services. This means they can stay open (service departments of car dealerships are covered by this decision as well.) Great news for any trader that needs their assistance to prepare a vehicle for sale.
Especially as The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have also advised that vehicles should have a valid test certificate to drive on the road with no additional extension on the MOT exemption expected to be granted.
Hopefully the above list brings some cause for optimism for those in the trade. However, we appreciate that Lockdown 2 will still bring financial concerns and challenges for many. If you would like help with reducing your motor trade insurance costs please get in touch and our expert team of advisors will do all they can.
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