Almost one in 10 drivers has bought, or considered buying, a used car without seeing it in person first during the pandemic, according to a survey of 19,000 drivers from AA Cars.
The findings come as an increasing number of dealerships have launched Click and Collect services throughout the pandemic, growing by 30% since the start of 2021 alone.
Of those drivers who have bought a car without viewing it during the pandemic, 84% said they would do so again in the future.
Some 51% of respondents said an inspection by a trusted company would increase the likelihood of them buying a used car without seeing it in person first.
Drivers rated having no charge for returning a car if they decide to cancel as the second highest incentive which would make them likely to buy a car unseen, and having clear information about their right to cancel was third.
Almost half (47%) of drivers said knowing the dealer was associated with a trusted body would make them more likely to buy a car without seeing it in person first, and 45% said they would want a Click and Collect option where they could choose to cancel if they don’t like the car when they go to pick it up.
James Fairclough, chief executive of AA Cars comments: “Dealerships were forced to innovate like never before during the pandemic, and many offered Click and Collect and home delivery services for the very first time.
“Our data shows this appears to have been a positive experience for an overwhelming majority of drivers, with more than 80% of them saying they would do the same again in the future, suggesting that dealerships would benefit from continuing to offer their new digital services once the pandemic ends.
“However, there remains a high number of drivers who say they would never buy a car without seeing it in person, indicating there is still enduring demand for forecourts that people can visit.”
Separate research from AA Cars revealed that demand for used cars was almost three times greater in the post-Christmas lockdown, when compared with the first national lockdown in April.