Since returning to showrooms and used car sites reopening, sales have been extremely buoyant as customers who did not wish to buy online came out in force.
Stocks were already lower than normal as the result of the lack of new car sales since the lockdown in November.
Manufacturers have been affected by closures over the Christmas period and the shortage of semi-conductors, and production has not been at capacity levels as demand in Europe has also been reduced with the second wave of the pandemic.
For a number of reasons used car sales online have continued at a higher rate than new cars over the lockdown period at around 70 per cent and this has added to the shortage.
Auction prices have, and continue to increase, as dealers look for stock and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the right stock at a reasonable price.
March is normally the largest month of the year for new car sales but this year with showrooms closed were well down on the average therefore not providing dealers with their normal volume of used car part-exchanges.
If you are considering a change or your lease expires in the next few months contact your dealer now and you are likely to receive a better-than expected price for your part-exchange.
Also, if you are looking for a high specification car, deliveries will be longer than normal until semi-conductor production returns to normal, so talk to your dealer to ensure they can meet your required delivery date.
Business buyers have also been attracted by the Government incentive to move to pure electric, and plug in hybrids.
Sales of battery-powered vehicles more than doubled last year and the number of plug-in hybrids grew by more than a third.
In spite of this, Lisa Brankin, managing director of Ford of Britain and Ireland told Radio 5 listeners that many customers were sceptical about buying an electric vehicle.
“We did a survey looking at customer attitudes and we saw that just over ten per cent of customers were actively considering a battery electric vehicle as their next purchase.
"Most other people were concerned about a number of things – range, the charging infrastructure, the lack of information available to customers and obviously the price as well.
"We do recognise that this is an issue and that is why we’ve been calling on Government to continue to support the whole range of battery electric vehicles.”
There are an increased number of new models due for release over the next 12 months with increased range and as sales rise prices are expected to come down.
New larger capacity chargers are also expected to appear on forecourts, at dealerships, supermarkets and services allowing an 80 per cent charge in as little as 15 minutes.
The Government has said it is investing £2.8 billion to help the car industry to make the switch to electric and allow them to reach their objective of phasing out new combustion engine sales by 2030.
Watch this space!
We wish success to all local businesses as the good weather arrives, along with the influx of visitors who will visit Devon and Cornwall over the next few months.
Stay safe and keep smiling. I look forward to next week.
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