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Opportunity for dealers to stand out by offering contactless transactions, safe test drives and disinfected cars

  • Ability to return a car without charge within 30 days and safe test drive top buyer choice list
  • High standards of hygiene to play important role in boosting consumer confidence
  • Also strong demand for home delivery services

07 May 2020 Dealers can boost consumer confidence by offering buyers contactless transactions, test drives adhering to social distancing rules and ensuring their cars are disinfected, according to new research by eBay Motors Group.

When asked what type of services would increase their confidence to buy under the current lockdown measures, the right to return the car free of charge after a 30-day period was the highest rated.

This was followed by the offer of a "safe or solo" test drive and home delivery services, reflecting consumer desire to reduce their exposure to potential infection where possible.   

eBay Motors Group's COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Survey polled the views of 693 car buyers visiting or registered with Motors.co.uk between 17-24 April with respondents asked to select which three dealer services would increase their confidence to buy a car under the current circumstances.

Other important considerations were more attractive finance options, buy-back guarantees within six months and comprehensive car cleaning to ensure disinfection, as well as detailed information about how retailers were planning to deliver a safe in-dealership experience.

"When it comes to what services consumers value when buying a used car, hygiene now plays a new role in boosting confidence as buyers prepare to return to the market and dealers examine new ways of transacting with them," said Marc Robinson, head of external sales at eBay Motors Group.

"Our research shows the importance buyers attach to being able to adhere to social distancing with unaccompanied test drives, a requirement made easier by the DVLA's recent clarification that buyers may now test drive vehicles on trade plates, without the trader license holder being present.

The Top 5 services that respondents said would increase their buying confidence were as follows

1)    Free return period offered by the dealership (e.g. 30 days)

2)    Ability to have 'safe' / 'solo' test drive

3)    Home delivery

4)    Comprehensive car cleaning to ensure it is completely disinfected

5)    More attractive financing options (e.g. 0% interest for the first 12 months)