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ByDave Stopher

May 18, 2022 #Coronavirus

KEY WORKERS accounted for 42% of deliveries by the online marketplace BuyaCar.co.uk, during the first month of Britain’s coronavirus lockdown.

The figures mean almost half of £1.1 million total sales on BuyaCar.co.uk have gone to key workers, since lockdown began on March 23rd.

BuyaCar is currently delivering exclusively to key workers, tradespeople and those who can only support themselves, their family or vulnerable people by having a reliable vehicle. 

Continuing discretionary car purchases are not included in the figures, as they are currently reserved for delivery when restrictions are lifted.

BuyaCar.co.uk says its offer of national free contactless delivery and handover, plus a free two-year warranty, to key workers has proved particularly popular with hard-pressed health care staff and will continue until lockdown ends.

On March 29th the company launched a special ‘key workers offer’ worth £698 to support NHS staff, emergency services professionals and other essential service providers on the government’s list of permitted travellers.

Andy Oldham, Chief Executive of BuyaCar, said: “We are delighted to see how our key workers offer resonates in the market as we focus our business 100% on helping essential car and van users.

“Although overall sales remain a fraction of normal levels we are proud to have provided vehicles worth more than £1 million to those who most need them, since the quarantine measures were introduced.

“We are also delighted to have saved key workers, such as NHS staff in the front line of the fight against coronavirus, more than £25,000 since March 29th.

“As ever, we constantly review our operations to guarantee the safety of our staff and customers, and pledge to continue our support of essential drivers for as long as the lockdown continues.”

News of the unprecedented market share now taken by key workers is another measure of how dramatically Covid-19 has changed the shape of motor retail, coming shortly after BuyaCar revealed that vans are also forming a record proportion of orders.

Although the business is running at a fraction of normal sales volumes a skeleton team continues to maintain operations to sell, finance and deliver cars and vans to where they’re needed most. Discretionary customers – those who simply want a new car – are still able to order one, but will not receive it until the lockdown ends.

BuyaCar identified four categories of customer as soon as movement restrictions began on March 23rd and immediately suspended non-urgent deliveries, freeing the business to meet the needs of essential drivers only.

They identified ‘key workers’, tradespeople – such as plumbers or electricians – and ‘essential users’, who can only support themselves, their families or vulnerable people with a reliable vehicle. The final category was ‘discretionary’ buyers.

The business has stabilised supply, which was originally threatened by the closure of many of its usual dealer partners, with the help of smaller dealers who continue to operate vehicle preparation workshops and service facilities.