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Car buyers ready to buy despite concerns about pandemic travel restrictions

Travel restrictions put in place by state governments to fight the spread of COVID-19 is a key concern for car buyers in the largest Australian states, however, two-thirds say that they are prepared to purchase a car.

These are two of the main results from carsales’ recent car buying consumer sentiment survey conducted last month, August 2021.

The study polled carsales buyers and highlighted that with strict lockdown measures implemented in NSW and Victoria, travel restrictions were the key issue concerning buyers in conjunction with affordability, face to face meetings and the difficulty of arranging a test drive.

NSW and Victorian buyers’ attitudes were mostly impacted by the recent growth in case numbers and the reaction of state governments to said climbing cases.

NSW concerned most about travel restrictions

When it comes to purchasing a vehicle, NSW respondents said that travel restrictions were their biggest concern (27 per cent), which is further ahead of whether they could afford it (12 per cent).

The second factor that concerned NSW buyers was sorting out the logistics of taking a test drive (20 per cent) followed by face-to-face dealings with the seller (12 per cent).

Whether or not a buy was able to secure finance for the vehicle was of the lowest concern at 4 per cent.

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Victorians more concerned with affordability

Like NSW buyers, travel restrictions also topped Victorian respondents’ concerns when purchasing a car (21 per cent), however, 18 per cent were also worried about affordability. Organising the logistics of a test drive was third with 17 per cent.

Confidence was higher in Victoria as 19 per cent of respondents said that they did not have any COVID-related concerns compared to 15 per cent of NSW respondents.

Ready to purchase

Buyer confidence has not faltered during the implementation of lockdowns and increasing restrictions as 64 per cent of survey respondents said that they are still ready to buy a car in the next month.

Queenslanders are most ready to buy as 68 per cent said that they were ready to purchase within one month.

Changing car buying behaviour

As we continually adjust our lives and routines to fit in with COVID, the way we shop has also been affected. With many car manufacturers offering contactless click and collect delivery for new cars and being able to track stock on certain models from certain carmakers, it’s no surprise that consumer confidence hasn’t waned drastically.

With work from home applying to many buyers and stay at home orders in place, survey respondents stated that they were spending more time researching cars (62 per cent) and a small number had utilised virtual vehicle inspections or dealer video calls.

There was an increased number of buyers taking advantage of home test driving opportunities.

Australian car-buying habits have changed because of COVID as more buyers (over 70 per cent) will increase their online research. The data indicates that there will be a more than 50 per cent increase in demand for home test drives, video calls and digital interaction with dealers.

For the report, please read it here.

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