Some car dealers have moved quickly to respond to what is being described as a ‘surge’ in the number of people browsing online for a new or used car during the lockdown.

can report this week on how two high-profile motoring groups are dealing with strong online interest – some cars have been bought and paid for already.

As an anecdotal aside I can attest to the level of interest in cars from the number of people contacting our Independent Advice Desk.

The Joeduffy.ie digital dealership platform is “open for business” 24/7 across the group – including ZuCar, its used-car supermarket business – according to chief executive Gavin Hydes.

He outlined to ‘Independent Motors’ how the system is set up for anyone wanting to view, or buy, a new or used car.

You can also get a part-exchange valuation for your car via a special app.

And there’s a live chat-line to handle questions.

There is a strong level of enquiry, I’m told.

They say that a number of new and used-car orders have already been placed – with deposits paid.

They are describing it as a “fundamental shift in consumer buying behaviour” as people are browsing and asking about future purchases, getting finance quotations and valuations etc.

“In summary, customers can now take their online viewing a step further and receive a valuation if they are trading in a car, request a finance quotation, pay a deposit and eventually have their car moved to a Joe Duffy location near to them or delivered to home,” a spokeswoman said.

The Windsor group says it too is making it possible for customers to buy cars online from home – and to arrange for contactless delivery.

Yes, everything you’d normally do, except from a distance.

Peter Nicholson, managing director at Windsor, says every car dealer is going to have to adapt to online selling and contactless delivery when sales activity resumes in the coming weeks and months.

He says people are spending a lot of time online during the lockdown and there is a ‘surge’ (there’s that word again) in web traffic.

“In light of the current conditions we have added a contactless delivery service for our online buyers for when the market reopens,” he says.

Are you thinking of buying? Let us know at: ecunningham@independent.ie.

Irish Independent

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