Is the new car sales rise a result of the pandemic? 

Torbay Weekly

There have been many reports since the return of new car registrations in May suggesting a rise in new car sales is due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initial and subsequent lockdowns have certainly made people less happy about using public transport and the necessity of having your own transport available immediately have certainly been a factor in ensuring your car is in tip-top condition and possibly pulled forward sales but this has been a bonus for used cars rather than the new car market.

Journeys have probably become more local particularly for business where such internet communications such as Teams and Zoom have removed much travelling for meetings, training, and client or customer contact.

However, as controls eased, the desire to meet with relatives or take holidays have resulted in longer journeys for many families, couples and individuals.

The South West is very aware of the increase in holidaymakers in the region and this has moved forward with not only new hotels but investments in fixed and mobile homes, motor and caravan parks and camping at all parts of the scale.

Now with increased restriction on foreign travel, and the prospect of periods of isolation followed by expensive quarantine on return to the UK, has led many to decide to holiday in their own country rather than risking these issues.

To draw the conclusion that this has affected the new car registrations in any significant way goes too far, in my opinion.

Of course, there will be some who feel this is an added reason to update their car and perhaps change to one which allows leisure equipment and increased comfort on board but again I do not believe the numbers are enough to have an effect.

So why do people change their cars more often?

I pose this question as some reports hint the general public have lost their love of the motor car and this will lead to less individuals feeling the desire to have a car in the future.

This is fuelled by the possibility of hire by the hour, day, week or month but the costs involved do not make this attractive.

The undeniable fact is the car has become a necessity, not just to provide personal and family transport whenever required, but to have the flexibility to give freedom of movement, subject to restrictions, for general day to day living where public transport is inadequate.

Also, technology has provided increased safety and will continue to allow the driver to concentrate on fewer things as traffic continues to increase.

The autonomous car may be some time away but for some automatic devises will give more pleasure, better economy, and assistance for safety and information to improve the journey.

New variants will continue to arrive to satisfy demand for leisure, comfort and additional flexibility to add to the challenge of the change to zero emission vehicles by 2030.

Finally, related to my final point, I would like to comment on the success of having the G7 conference in Cornwall bringing world leaders, and the world’s press and their coverage, which raised the awareness and profile of the region.

Many future opportunities on the horizon for us all.

Stay safe and keep smiling and I look forward to joining you next week.