With less than a month to go until showrooms in England are set to reopen, What Car? suggests there is growing evidence that dealers will face pent-up consumer demand following months of closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

What Car?’s latest weekly industry research of 2946 in-market buyers found that 22.9% are now looking to buy in the next one to three months, while 15.2% are set to buy in the next four weeks, and 19.5% in more than six months’ time. Its website has seen an 11.8% spike in leads week-on-week, followed by uplifts in traffic to their website, “showing that buyers are increasingly starting to move from the research phase to the purchase phase of their car buying journey”.

Consumers’ purchase timeframes are very different to the first week of February, when just 10% of buyers were looking to buy in four weeks and 28% after six months or more.

When the Government announced it would aim to open non-essential retail in England on 12 April, What Car?’s weekly industry research found that 59% of in-market buyers decided to delay their purchase until at least that day.

“All these signs point towards a busy second quarter for the sector”, What Car? concluded.