Motoring: Safety is our number one priority

Used car sales continued their strong performance despite the coronavirus pandemic

Used car sales continued their strong performance despite the coronavirus pandemic - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As we approach half-term week the message to us all is ‘take more care’.

The rise in the number of coronavirus cases is of continuing concern and it is apparent some of us are not taking enough care.

Next week we are likely to see more people visiting Devon and we need to change things or the Government has made it clear more restrictions will be placed upon us.

They have the unenviable problem of looking after the health of the nation and balancing that with the difficulty of keeping the economy and jobs going.

Some of the press headlined last month’s car sales results as ‘the worst September this century’ but this was unrepresentative of the detail.

Sales to private individuals were almost the same as last year and this was in spite of certain manufacturers running out of stock and failing to deliver cars to their dealers before the month’s end.

Once again cars with some electric power increased their share to over 30 per cent of the market, although the biggest rise was in mild hybrids.

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Diesel cars dropped again and their share is now less than 30 per cent.

Used car sales continued their strong performance and prices have remained stable even with the influx of part exchanges.

Although sales of business and fleet cars fell more dramatically van sales were up 26.4 per cent over last year.

The rental companies are renewing less cars and larger businesses are moving around goods rather than people.

Many of these people continue to work at home and this will not change when we control the virus.

Also many local small businesses are updating to fuel-efficient vehicles using attractive leasing deals to manage their costs without major cash outlay.

Online sales in many sectors continue to grow and shops are still avoided where large groups of people make it difficult to meet the space requirements and some still fail to wear masks.

At Vospers, we issue all our team with masks, many with two per day, to avoid passing infection to one another and our customers.

New and improved air cleaning and sanitisation equipment is being used and we collect and deliver cars where customers are vulnerable or extra cautious.

Safety is our number one priority.

Meanwhile, to add to these important issues, Brexit raises concerns as we move to the deadline and motor vehicles become an important bargaining tool.

Most of our new cars come from Europe and as its second biggest market the UK is vital to many of the big manufacturers.

The last thing they want is a ten per cent tariff added to their prices and further pressure will be on them following the UK’s deal with Japan which may see their products become more competitive in the future.

The EU has reputedly said they will not allow Japanese or Turkish parts fitted to vehicles assembled in the UK to be exempt from tariffs which would increase the pricing of Japanese vehicles from manufacturers like Nissan and Honda who have assembly plants here.

I advise all of you who are considering a change in the near future to do it now.

Finally, congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Grand Prix wins. I am sure there are more to come.

In the meantime stay safe and keep smiling. Please join me next week.