05 Nov 2020
Lockdown across most of the UK “holds fewer fears” for the used car sector the second time around, says Startline Motor Finance.
CEO Paul Burgess explained that car dealers and motor finance companies knew much more about what to expect from the next month or more, and were much better prepared.
He said: “So much has happened over the last few months that it is sometimes easy to forget but, in March and April, we didn’t know what the impact on the industry would be or the extent to which coronavirus would affect our lives.
“We now have a better idea of the depth and width of the pool in which we are swimming. A new lockdown is deeply unwelcome from a business perspective but holds fewer fears. We all know that our market is very resilient.”
Paul said that the entire industry had gained a huge amount of expertise since the start of spring that would place them in good stead.
“Firstly, and most importantly, we all now know how to work safely, how to minimise the chances of spreading infection through our business activity to staff and to customers. This removes a large element of the fear factor.
“Secondly, we know how to trade within these conditions. While we’re not expecting November and December to be anything like as busy as the summer months, we also don’t think we’ll be back to anywhere near the levels experienced in April.
“What we now know is that people will continue to buy used cars in lockdown conditions. Yes, many or most would rather be able to come into showrooms but a sufficient number will use the online click and collect model.”
It was also important to remember, he said, that the months since the relaxation of the first lockdown had recovered some of the lost trading.
“Each business is different, of course, and many will not be having the year they hoped for at the start of 2020 but dealers, on the whole, look as though they will weather this storm and it remains fairly easy to identify many who are now really doing quite well.”