Mixed results in the January new vehicle registrations

a rent bus is drive by highway

Businesses able to continue working are renewing their vans at record levels. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There were some interesting statistics in the January figures with the new car market down by almost 40 per cent but the van market under 3.5 tonnes up by one per cent. 

The car market was affected by the continued fall in diesel sales at a rate one-and-a-half times worst than the whole.

Also small businesses who use cars and are in lockdown at the moment are not buying until they are able to return to work when restrictions are eased.  

The Government will be encouraged by the continued growth in the electric market with all pure electric, plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids all up strongly as more choice arrives and range and infrastructure improves. 

In contrast to the car demand small businesses who are able to continue working are renewing their vans at record levels.

Those involved in the building trade, home improvements, garden centres, DIY manufactures and retailers, florists, and fast food deliveries, to mention a few.

The internet business also needs vans for deliveries to customers and many people either prefer or have no choice but to shop online. 

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Devon and Cornwall, like many holiday regions are already taking a high level of bookings from holidaymakers who are looking for somewhere to get away and relax in the UK, with as little hassle and chance of cancellations as possible.

The key to this is to continue to follow the rules and bring new cases down to minimum levels while vaccinations are given to more and more of the country with over 12 million people already having had their first jab by the first week of February, and the prospect of the majority of the British public vaccinated by the start of summer. 

The leisure market also continues to grow with motorhomes, van conversions and vehicles such as the Ford Ranger in demand, as we prepare to enjoy active pastimes in our beautiful country.  

Orders are also being taken for the new 21 plate registration in March by which time many hope restrictions will be eased.

In the meantime those who know what they want are talking to their local dealers to find out how and when  they can test drive some of the new products I referred  to above.

If you are already a customer of the dealer it is possible you will be able to have an unaccompanied test drive arranged for you.

Also if you are worried about delivery of your new car and lockdown is still in place, home delivery can be arranged, or if desired, postponed. 

The used car market continues at between 70 to 80 per cent of last year with record levels of customers inspecting vehicles online, talking to sales advisors and watching videos before completing the transaction and either using 'click and collect' outside the premises with all safety procedures in place or home delivery. 

Vehicles can be sanitised and many motor businesses are not only exceeding Government rules but some like Vospers are testing their employees regularly for the virus for increased safety and to give more confidence to both the employees and customers. 

Optimism is slowly returning but keep up the good work, stay safe and keep smiling. 

See you next week.