Research has shown that dealers worked hard to convert enquiries in February and saw a 3.4% increase in the number of test drives. However, sales fell by 7% and handovers by 27%.
The data from iTrackLeads also showed that the number of enquiries for new and used cars received by dealers increased by 2.7% against the same month last year.
The study sampled data from 300 dealers nationwide and showed the number of lost sales declined by 30%, pointing to greater efficiency in lead management by dealers.
iTrackLeads is advising dealers that it is essential that all enquiries are dealt with promptly. Response times to enquiries increased from around 14 minutes in February 2022 to 18 minutes last month.
Adrian Favill, director of iTrackLeads, said: “While it’s heartening to see that demand is remaining relatively stable with an uptick in the number of enquiries and a decrease in the number of lost sales.
“However, it’s clear that sales conversion is getting harder as buyers are more careful with their money and finding good quality used stock remains an issue for many.”
Sales of new and used cars fell by 13% in a “conflicting” January, when compared to the same month last year.
eBay Motors Group recently said that dealers may have to “work their marketing harder” to reach car buyers earlier and maintain leads until potential customers are ready to buy.