New car buyers hoping to get a discount on their next car are being advised to act quickly as a backlog of pent-up demand is expected to quickly outstrip limited supplies in the wake of factory closures resulting from the Covid-19 crisis.
Analysis of the UK new car market by Britain’s leading consumer champion and new car buying platform, What Car?, found that manufacturers are expected to react by reducing discounts on new cars as demand returns.
The commentary comes after the Government announced dealers are allowed sell and deliver vehicles remotely in the UK, spurring a spike in online leads to dealers. Manufacturers will open factories and production lines gradually in the wake of the lockdown, meaning the supply of new vehicles will depend on existing stocks and limited production, according to What Car?.
What Car?’s Target Price analysis of discounts for the first three months of 2020 up to the start of the lockdown, found Citroen offering the best deals with an average of 16% off on a new car. Seat (average of 14%), Nissan (14%), Skoda (12%) and Mercedes (11%) completed the Top 5 discounted brands.
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Pat Hoy, who heads What Car?’s team of mystery shoppers that establish and analyse Target Price, said: “While the market is frozen, dealers that remained open have been nurturing leads, making it harder to get a clear indication of what their plans are for when business opens up again. But the clear expectation is that, as soon as demand outstrips supply, they will look to reduce incentives and discounts and focus on profitability.
“Of course, there will be variables within that. Some manufacturers will sacrifice profit for market share but the likelihood is that most buyers will face the double whammy of discounts narrowing and waiting lists extending as soon as the market opens up.”