Much like the rest of the world, the car industry has had to handle are rather complicated year fraught with new regulations and restrictions. Car manufacturers in the UK have suffered a double blow in the last year, with the worst recession on record and the UK finally leaving the EU customs bloc with Brexit.
Car sales and dealerships have also felt the strain. However, the announcement last year that the UK would ban sales of petrol and diesel cars entirely by the year 2030, manufacturers and dealers who specialise in electric and hybrid vehicles saw an uplift in interest from drivers.
However, the traditional sales methods are still off limits under lockdown restrictions and although the UK is working towards lifting lockdown, there is still uncertainty for the industry. Test drives and face-to-face sales have been banned at varying times over the last 12 months, but what will buying a car look like in 2021?
Virtual sales rooms
Many dealerships moved their sales online in 2020 and look set to continue virtual sales calls in 2021. While virtual sales calls do not allow the customer to test a car, it does offer the opportunity to ask all the questions they have before they decide to buy.
Click and deliver
In the past, it would have been unthinkable to order a car online and have it delivered. But just as we have moved most of our shopping habits online, so has our car buying. Many dealers now offer a click and deliver service once you have decided which car you want.
Electric and hybrid
Sales of electric vehicles and plug-in or self-charge hybrids have soared in recent years and as the UK moves toward an all-electric vehicle future, the trend looks set to continue into the 2020s. In fact, more manufacturers that ever have electric and hybrid ranges and have developed electric versions of customer favourites.
New imports vs used cars
Since leaving the EU, cars imported into the UK from the block may now be subjected to increased import duties and therefore cost more for UK customers than their European neighbours. While not many import taxes have hit yet, this could change in the future.
Opting to shop with a reputable used car dealership will save you having to pay escalated fees on new cars coming into the UK from abroad.