The UK 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, 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. Given that it’s impossible to santise a bus or train on the move, and every handle, seat, door etc has been touched by countless people, the sensible option is to buy a cheap car – unless you can cycle 5-6 miles to work, or walk.
For many commuters who cover 20 plus miles per day, cycling in the pouring rain is not an option, but a used Toyota Yaris, Ford Ka, Citroen C1, Suzuki Swift or a Nissan Micra might do the job at a reasonable cost. A small engined car will return 40mpg or more even in busy traffic, and a low insurance group could mean that you only pay about £250-£350 a year insurance, depending on your job, postcode, convictions, NCD etc.
A season ticket on the train could cost you £3000 per year, so the maths does kind of break even. Buy a car for £1000 with a year’s MoT, insurance, fuel and servicing – say £2500 total. You could even put a folding bike in a small city car and cover the last two or three miles that way, assuming there’s somewhere secure to park in the `Burbs of course. Then again, maybe it isn’t about the money – perhaps avoiding Covid-19 is worth spending another 2K a year and buying a nice used vehicle for £3000-£4000 instead?
A CarGurus 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.