With dealers in England reopening showrooms to the public from Wednesday, the industry is hoping for one last month of strong sales before the year is over.

What Car’s latest weekly industry study of 2,122 in-market buyers found that 66% said the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t affect their car buying decision, while one-in-five said they had delayed buying a car due to Covid-19.

The research also found that three percent of buyers brought forward their decision to buy a car, while five percent bought a car during the pandemic with no intention of buying one before.

This indicates that demand in the market is healthier than the current Year-to-Date sales figures suggest (-31%)– an impression backed up by sales data from months in which dealers were allowed to operate. In October, only retailers in Wales were forced to close their doors, with the market down by only 1.6%.

Another indicator of demand stabilising in the market can be found in What Car’s latest study found that 16% are still aiming to buy a vehicle before the year is over, while 22% are looking to buy in the next three months. Another 22% are also looking to purchase within the next six months.

“So, while the industry has experienced one of the toughest years in its history, the evidence suggests retailers can look towards 2021 with a hint of optimism”, What Car? said.