FOLLOWING news that showrooms can start to open, dealers can boost consumer confidence by offering buyers contactless transactions, test drives adhering to social distancing rules and ensuring cars are disinfected.
Research by eBay Motors Group has found that buying confidence under the current lockdown measures would increase with the right to return a car free of charge after a 30-day period was the highest rated.
This was followed by the offer of a “safe or solo” test drive and home delivery services, reflecting consumer desire to reduce their exposure to potential infection where possible.
eBay Motors Group’s COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Survey polled the views of 693 car buyers visiting or registered with Motors.co.uk between 17-24 April with respondents asked to select which three dealer services would increase their confidence to buy a car under the current circumstances.
Other important considerations were more attractive finance options, buy-back guarantees within six months and comprehensive car cleaning to ensure disinfection, as well as detailed information about how retailers were planning to deliver a safe in-dealership experience.
Marc Robinson, head of external sales at eBay Motors Group, said: “When it comes to what services consumers value when buying a used car, hygiene now plays a new role in boosting confidence as buyers prepare to return to the market and dealers examine new ways of transacting with them.
“Our research shows the importance buyers attach to being able to adhere to social distancing with unaccompanied test drives, a requirement made easier by the DVLA’s recent clarification that buyers may now test drive vehicles on trade plates, without the trader license holder being present.
The Top 5 services that respondents said would increase their buying confidence were
- Free return period offered by the dealership (e.g. 30 days)
- Ability to have ‘safe’ / ‘solo’ test drive
- Home delivery
- Comprehensive car cleaning to ensure it is completely disinfected
- More attractive financing options (e.g. 0% interest for the first 12 months)
MotoNovo Finance said it is lifting the lending restrictions that have been in place during the lock-down period with immediate effect to help dealers re-start their businesses.
Chief executive Mark Standish said: “We must all recognise that we have to find ways to re-start the economy. Peoples livelihoods, mental well-being and health for those unable to seek treatments during the lock-down must be factored into the need to establish a new operating normality.
“The continuing need for social distancing means that access to a car will be crucial for many. For this reason, we have mobilised our resources. We are ready to help dealers to adapt to the critical social distancing needs and the essential need for many consumers to access finance safely and with confidence.”
As well as re-starting all lending activities, MotoNovo is rolling out a package of support tools to guide dealers on how to manage their business in the new climate. These include social distancing and distance selling guides.
Since finance has such a key role to play in helping dealers and customer to come together, MotoNovo is committed to highlighting the availability of www.findandfundmycar.com as a tool that not only promotes dealers’ stock but as a way of enabling customers to access dealer finance safely from their homes to minimise social contact.