Is now a good time to buy a brand-new car? All your questions answered

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Buying a new car Griffin couple car showroom

What has the coronavirus pandemic meant for those people thinking about buying a new car? Motoring expert Wayne Robbins of Boundless partner Griffin gives you the lowdown

In the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, the government instructed the British public to stay at home for all but the most essential of purposes. All of a sudden, millions of people who'd been preparing to head off on day trips and holidays found themselves having to leave their cars on the driveway.

As you might expect, the government guidelines had a massive impact on new car sales, with an 89% year-on-year slump reported in May. However, with many UK travel restrictions being lifted in early July, the automotive industry witnessed a remarkable recovery, and the number of new car registrations for that month was actually 11% higher than for the same time last year.

So, as the UK continues to step tentatively forward in its battle against the coronavirus, what do you need to know about buying a new car? Is now a good time? And if so, what should you be looking out for? To give you a better idea, Wayne Robbins, managing director of car sales company and Boundless partner Griffin, gives us his take on the current situation.

As we go into September, what's the state of play with the new car industry?

Buying a new car Griffin new cars

Wayne Robbins: New car sales may have dropped by 89% in the early stages of the lockdown period, due to the uncertainty around people's jobs and the government banning non-essential travel, but everything has got back to normal very quickly, and the industry is beginning to make up the numbers.

That said, nothing really changed for us here at Griffin. The vast majority of our customer base are public sector or civil service workers, who are not in fear of losing their jobs and are still being paid. On top of that, the nature of their jobs means that they have had to carry on commuting to work each day – and our cars provide a reliable way of doing that. We sold 340 cars last month alone.

• Read our pick of the best new cars for autumn

How can you see things going in the coming months?

Wayne Robbins: I think we'll start to see an increase in car sales generally over the next few months, as people who have not been able to go on holiday this summer may use their ‘holiday money’ to buy a new car instead. 

There's obviously a bit of a risk with buying a new car at the moment, though, as the country could easily go into another lockdown over the winter.

How has the coronavirus affected the price of new cars?

Wayne Robbins: Generally speaking, prices have gone up slightly. However, Boundless members can get a hefty discount on new cars from Griffin, and despite our positive sales figures over the lockdown, we still have some available stock.

• Watch: Top Gear expert Dan Read answers your motoring questions

Due to the restrictions on overseas travel at the moment, people in the UK are likely to explore the home nations more. That could see an increase in SUV sales. Are there any that you recommend?

Buying a new car Griffin Renault Captur

Wayne Robbins: Personally, I think the SUVs to look out for at the moment are the Renault Captur (pictured above), the Nissan Juke, the Skoda Kodiaq and the Skoda Karoq. The biggest-selling car among Boundless members is the Renault Captur Iconic Auto, which is a great little SUV for the money. The tech is outstanding.

• Read our guide to the 50 greatest British road trips

What are some of the best deals available at Griffin at the moment?

Wayne Robbins: Our deals on the Renault, Nissan, Skoda and Mazda ranges are exceptional when you look at what the normal retail prices are for those cars. I strongly encourage Boundless members to take a look for themselves.

Do more Boundless – save up to £10,250* when you buy a new car with Griffin

Buying a new car Griffin man driving car smiling

Looking to buy a new car at the moment? As a Boundless member, you can enjoy generous discounts when you buy a car through our partner Griffin. To find out more about this amazing offer, click here. *Terms and conditions apply.

All photos: Getty Images

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