The assurance that cars have been disinfected by dealers is more important to boosting car buyer confidence than price reductions, according to new consumer research by eBay Motors Group. When asked what type of services would most increase their levels of confidence in dealers under the current circumstances caused by COVID-19, a third (33.1%) of buyers cited thorough car cleaning to ensure vehicles are disinfected, ahead of price reductions by 20.6%.
Also important to buyers were free return periods, the prime considerations for 8.1%, attractive financing options (including zero percent interest for the first 12 months) by 6.4%, followed by home deliveries by 5.7%. Marc Robinson, head of external sales at eBay Motors Group, said: “Our research shows just how important assurances around comprehensive disinfection services provided by dealers are to buyers; even ahead of securing a price reduction. Since being allowed to reopen, dealers have been cognisant of the need to strictly adhere to hygiene rules in their showrooms for all to see. While it is obviously important to extend these considerations to the cars they are selling, they also need to communicate this to customers through their online marketing and at the point of sale”.
Customers are increasingly using finance to buy their next car instead of paying cash up front. Just under half (49%) of car buyers intend on paying upfront for their next vehicle, down from 57% on the year before, according to research from Close Brothers Motor Finance.
The shift to subscription models for TV and music to food shops and beauty products is trickling down to the motor industry as two in five (40%) opt for car finance. Of those who intend on using finance towards their next vehicle, 13% say they prefer this method of payment it as allows them to spread the cost, for 10% it allows them to afford the model they want to buy, and 9% say it means they can purchase a relatively new vehicle model. 8% would prefer to lease their next car.
The report found that young people are less likely to be worried about the price of the car because more are keen to use finance, rather than paying in full, before driving the car off the forecourt. In fact, half (50%) of young drivers (17-24) would prefer to use finance on their next vehicle purchase, giving them the freedom to spread their payments and afford the new models they most desire. However, this trend switches direction as people get older. Whereby only 18% of those 55+ would use finance to buy their next car, with 60% keen to pay upfront – down from 64% last year.
Energy company Total has acquired Source London, the electric vehicle charging network with 1,600 on-street locations, for an undisclosed sum. The deal means Total will now take over management and operation of Source London, Blue Point London’s citywide charging network. Source London has been running for 10 years and said the network has been developed "in cooperation with London Boroughs".
Total is expecting to close the transaction by the end of the year and said current users of Source London will not be impacted by the change in ownership. Total is expecting to expand the Source London network to increase “tenfold” over the coming years due to London’s net zero ambitions by 2050. The company said it is committed to powering the charging network with electricity 100% guaranteed from renewable sources, to be supplied by its subsidiary Total Gas & Power Limited.
A new heavy vehicle scrappage scheme has been launched in London ahead of the introduction of tighter emissions standards for the Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which comes into force from March 1, 2021. The scheme offers commercial fleet operators up to £15,000 to scrap a vehicle and replace it with one that meets the news standards, or to retrofit a diesel vehicle up to the cleanest Euro VI standards.
More than 100 organisations have already pre-registered interest in the scheme, which will operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Other businesses or charities are encouraged to apply early for a greater chance to benefit from the grants as funding is limited. In total, £48 million has been allocated to scrappage funding, to support schemes for vans, cars and motorcycles, as well as the new heavy vehicle scrappage scheme.
The average car insurance premium dropped to £701 - a £53 fall since lockdown began - new research has revealed. Car cover fell to £694 in August, following gradual decreases in July and June and it means they've fallen nearly 10% since the coronavirus lockdown began, forcing drivers off the road and insurers to reflect that. On a three month rolling basis, premiums have fallen to their lowest level since summer 2016, according to Compare the Market.
BCA is launching a new ‘Retail Ready’ digital sales channel exclusively for trade customers. The channel will host vehicles prepared cosmetically and mechanically to an industry retail standard devised and delivered by BCA to meet the needs of its customers. Vehicles will be available to buy 24/7 with the channel launching 1 October. Additional sale events to include live online auctions will follow.