The UK reopened car dealerships to the public in April 2021, and the industry has since seen a boost in figures compared to April of 2020, when the first lockdown was set in place. Registration of vehicles stood at 141,583, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which is a staggering increase from last year. Looking back, buyers had to resort to buy car batteries online and even risk purchasing cars without test driving them due to the restrictions. However, car battery online sales have seen an increase, showing that people can adapt to new ways of purchasing as well.
April 2020 saw the first national lockdown in the country, with only 4,321 cars getting registered for this month. It was also the lowest recorded figure in the UK since February 1946. But even with this boost in car registrations, it is still 13% lower than the average of registrations throughout the last decade.
Retail demand had the biggest recovery, at 61,935 registrations. Click and collect was also a great help to the industry when dealerships were still closed to the public.
The SMMT calls the boost an 'artificial' increase because of how much it dwarfed the record from last year. They also said that the figures do not fully reflect reality due to a delay of several weeks between a customer visiting a showroom and deciding on a model to buy to the final delivery of the new vehicle.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said that the boost in registrations is a light at the end of the tunnel. But he added that people have to be aware that a full recovery is still some way off.
People are more confident, and the market is improving. It can be expected that 2021 will finish in a slightly better position than anticipated in February, Hawes added.
This is largely because of the confidence given by the rolling out of vaccines. The easing of lockdowns is also one factor that plays a big role in improving these statistics.
The SMMT revised its previous forecast based on a snap poll in February. It estimated that by the end of the year, more than 1.83 million cars would be registered - a 13.9% increase from 2020 and a 20.2% decrease - compared to average registrations from 2010 to 2019.
Petrol cars registered the highest number of registrations at 71,173, compared to just 1,553 in 2020. This was a 4,482% increase. Diesel cars, on the other hand, registered 14,012 compared to 1,079 registrations in 2020. It was a 1,198% increase.
Vans showed the highest registration figures to date at 30,440, which was a 23.2% increase compared to the average registrations in the last five years.
Buyer Engagement Increase
In March 2021, AutoTrader, one of the leading car sellers in the country, said that it is expected for the UK car retail sector to quickly return to health because it has seen a 12-month consecutive rise in car prices and high engagement from buyers. They said that the average value of a car rose by 7% year on year.
Director of Data and Insight for AutoTrader, Richard Walker, said that this finding is a positive indication of what to expect in the year to come. Prices are also expected to remain buoyant for some time, which can improve the profit margins for car retailers.
People who buy car batteries online are not so affected by these because of the different warranties that dealers give for every product.
A Leap In Used Car Sales
Used car sales also leapt nearly 30% when dealerships opened - a resounding answer to the question of whether the industry would see a release of pent-up demand for cars. This result ended the speculation about the bounce-back of the industry, as retail car outlets were deemed non-essential and were forced to close.
The level of demand came as a surprise to some retailers because it was quite low compared to the 80% increase that they were anticipating.
Online-only retailers, who saw an increase during lockdown periods, may see a significant decline as consumers are now allowed to test-drive and visit showrooms.
Used car retailers were reminded not to offer too much of a discount because, while it may yield results in the short term, it will pose difficulties in sourcing replacement stock. This is because the wholesale market is still struggling to get back up to meet the demands.
The increase in sales suggests that people who were not comfortable buying cars online have visited reopened showrooms to test drive and purchase vehicles.
This is an opportunity for retailers who lost revenue during the lockdown to make up for lost sales. However, as previously warned, offering large discounts is not wise when the market is buoyant and people are ready to purchase cars at their regular prices.
To reach the pre-pandemic levels of sales, the SMMT says that there should be around 8,300 new cars registered every day for the rest of the year. In context, around 7,400 sales were made every day in the past decade, and at current levels, they are closer to 5,600.
Hawes maintains that nobody can expect the statistics to return to pre-pandemic levels overnight. The past year has been very tough and has been one of the most difficult situations the automotive sector has faced in modern history. However, with these boosts, there is much greater optimism for the market.
Looking For The Best Online Car Battery Dealer?
Other statistics show that more and more people have witnessed the importance of cars in their daily lives because of the lockdowns. But it should also be noted that car ownership also entails responsibilities and regular maintenance. One thing that can help new car owners is finding a reliable car battery online dealer.
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