Cheaper Cars Centre Stage      

The ongoing cost-of-living crisis is having a significant impact on the type and cost of new cars that consumers are enquiring about, according to new data from carwow, the UK’s leading independent portal for new car sales. 

During August, interest in more affordable cars rose sharply, with enquiries for new cars costing less than £20,000 climbing by 13.5% – more than for vehicles in any other price bracket. 

While the cost-of-living crisis is impacting the types of cars that consumers search for, overall demand remains strong, reports carwow. September is traditionally a peak month for enquiries due to the plate change (the new ‘72’ signifier is available for cars registered from 1 September), and carwow has reported very high levels of interest.

“During the first few days of September we saw a very dramatic rise in the number of tangible leads that carwow was able to pass on to our  dealer partners,” comments carwow Commercial Director, Sepi Arani. “These leads – where an in-market consumer has a firm intent to buy and is actively engaging a dealer via carwow – increased by 59.5% compared to the August average, and the volume has been higher than at any point since January. 

“Recent news has been dominated by the cost-of-living crisis, and it comes as no surprise that consumers are being more cautious when assessing purchase and ownership costs for their next vehicle. While the new registration figures released by the SMMT earlier this week point to a mixed pattern of sales over recent weeks, our enquiry data gives cause for optimism about what lies ahead for the motor retail sector,” he concludes.

During the year to date, there have been 36 million visits from potential car buyers in the UK on carwow’s platform – using the new-car configurator, conducting vehicle searches and placing enquiries with dealer partners.