Nine out of 10 in-market car buyers are comfortable visiting retailers when researching or buying their next car according to What Car?, despite Covid-19 causing more local restrictions and lockdowns across the country.

The findings come as part of What Car?’s latest survey of 8177 in-market buyers. The research also found 91% of buyers trust showrooms to be run in a Covid-safe way.

‘This trust is built upon months of preparation and logistical work by car retailers nationwide’ says What Car?. Following NFDA and SMMT’s publication in May of the guidelines to allow dealerships to reopen in safe manner, franchised dealers have been working hard to implement safety measures including social distancing and personal hygiene.

‘From protecting staff and customers with plastic dividers and installing hand sanitising stations to applying strict cleaning regimes and introducing one-way systems, the latest measures have played a key part in helping the industry recover from the pandemic’.

What Car?’s data shows just 10.42% of drivers say they have fallen behind with vehicle servicing and maintenance due to Covid-19, showing buyers have been comfortable visiting dealers since they were allowed to reopen.

There’s more good news for the industry, as a fifth of participants in this latest What Car? research are looking to make a new vehicle purchase in the next four weeks, while 18.3% are looking to purchase a new vehicle within three months.

Importantly, 75.1% of in-market buyers also see their local dealership as an important part of the local community and economy, with nearly half of all buyers worried about their local showroom closing if the restrictions continue to hamper business.

These results coincide with a recent NFDA survey which showed footfall levels for both new and used cars remained at high levels in September.