The government’s new guidance for returning to work while avoiding public transport has driven activity in the used car market, according to CarGurus.
Data from CarGurus, the fastest growing online automotive marketplace in the UK*, revealed that searches for used cars on CarGurus UK have risen by 17.5% compared to last week** after the government announced on Sunday that those unable to work remotely can return to their workplace if it is safe to do so. This growth means that searches for used cars on CarGurus UK are currently at a higher level than 1st March, which was 23 days before lockdown began in the UK.
The guidance suggested that those returning to work should, where possible, avoid public transport in an effort to continue the social distancing measures helping to combat COVID-19, which may be sparking the renewed interest in the used car market.
As buyers look for alternatives to public transport, the renewed consumer interest in the used car market appears to be genuine too, with enquiries to dealers on used vehicles through CarGurus UK having increased by 9.1%*** since last week.
Even before this most recent recommendation on avoiding public transport, a recent study by CarGurus explored how COVID-19 and social distancing practices could affect car buying and travelling habits when lockdown eases.
The study found that 44% of those who previously used public transportation expect to use it less—or stop using it entirely—when economic activity resumes. As a result, 32% of those expected to increase usage of their own car, while 32% expect to purchase a vehicle to replace their current vehicle or buy an additional car.
Wendy Harris, Vice President of European Sales at CarGurus, said: “The early signs are positive for the used car market, which appears to be bouncing back as lockdown eases.
“While it’s incredibly positive to see increased activity in the used car market, it’s crucial that the industry is able to support this new wave of customers in the safest possible way. I’m pleased to see the widespread adoption of our new tools by our dealer partners, which allows them to clearly highlight to buyers the contactless selling options that they have to offer.”
CarGurus introduced an array of new features in April, helping dealers highlight their contactless purchase options to car buyers, including but not limited to socially distant appointments, contactless purchasing and free home drop off.
For anyone looking to purchase a car during the COVID-19 outbreak, CarGurus has put together this guide on how to do so safely. Dealers that are interested in learning more about CarGurus’ contactless features for COVID-19 can read about them in depth by visiting the Dealer Resource Centre.
Founded by TripAdvisor co-founder Langley Steinert, CarGurus combines dealer reviews with comprehensive car valuation analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive marketplace, allowing buyers to quickly and easily find great deals from the best dealers.
* Among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019 (Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform®, Custom-defined list includes CarGurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, PistonHeads.com, Gumtree.com)
** % increase in total searches on CarGurus.co.uk when comparing Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th May 2020 vs Sunday 10th and Monday 11th May 2020
*** % increase in total leads submitted through CarGurus.co.uk when comparing Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th May 2020 vs Sunday 10th and Monday 11th May 2020; CarGurus defines leads as user inquiries via its marketplace to dealers by phone calls, email, or managed text and chat.