New Delhi: As the COVID-19 restrictions ease, more customers are looking to buy pre-owned cars with average selling price going down as compared to that in the pre-lockdown period, according to used cars buying and selling platform CARS24.
The preferred top five models in pre-owned cars continue to be Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai Santro Xing, Hyundai Grand i10, Honda City and Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire.
CARS24 had conducted a customer survey when the lockdown was imposed to find how the COVID-19 pandemic was likely to impact consumers with regards to owning a car in the post-lockdown era.
“In that research what actually came out was in favour of the auto industry with 40-45 per cent customers saying they would want to commute via their own cars after lockdown is over, primarily because of the fact that they would feel safer and avoid infection,” CARS24 Co-founder and CMO Gajendra Jangid told PTI.
The company then asked customers who were planning to buy cars before the lockdown was imposed and how their decision has changed post-lockdown.
“We found that 23 per cent of respondents have changed their preference of buying a new car to a used car. That was primarily driven by the fact that their budget has decreased, they have a crunch and they don’t want to spend that much money. There is a shift in car ownership in favour of used cars as well,” he added.
Now one month into easing of lockdown restrictions, Jangid said, “I could clearly see what we have predicted in our research is actually panning out as well in reality.”
“What we started observing is that the buyer side traffic was increasing more than the seller side traffic. I am seeing better recovery of buyer traffic on our website than the seller traffic, which kind of indicates that buyers are showing more and more interest,” he said.
As of the first week of June, Jangid said,”Our buyer side traffic (recovery) is already complete. We are right now already at pre-corona level from the buyer side.”
CARS24 had clocked around 2 to 2.5 million visits per month on the buyer side and the seller side traffic was around 2 million before the lockdown.
The average selling price of used cars has also gone down to Rs 2.25 lakh in “post-lockdown” as compared to Rs 2.6 lakh in pre-lockdown period, according to CARS24.
Explaining the trend, Jangid said,”Post lockdown, the need of owning a car is not aspirationally driven. It is more need or utility driven, to move from point A to point B, unlike before when a customer wanted to feel good and show presence in the society.”
He further said,”When you are going for a need-based purchase you will always go for best value for money, which used-cars always give.”