Warranty sales by volume for the last six weeks across the RAC Dealer Network are now 21.4% up on the same period in 2019, new figures show.
Sean Kent, RAC director of sales at Assurant, which partners with the RAC in the aftersales sector, added that business generated from the network’s 1,500 retailers now almost exactly matched pre-lockdown levels seen in February and March.
“We have seen a dramatic bounceback since used car and van sales resumed at the beginning of June and there are no signs of it abating yet.
“2020 was already proving to be a record year for warranty sales across the network before the coronavirus crisis took hold and the resumption of momentum that we have seen over the last few weeks has been little short of astonishing considering the circumstances.”
He explained that feedback from across dealers who were members of the network had been that buyers were keen to re-enter the market but were also looking for a very strong used car and van proposition.
“The psychology of the moment is interesting. There are clearly relatively large numbers of people who are keen to buy, but they are notably more cautious about their purchase than before lockdown.
“Certainly, we are seeing an increased emphasis on the proposition being offered and it is noticeable that, for example, an ongoing trend to offer six months of standard warranty rather than three appears to have accelerated.”
Sean added that extensive time and effort had been expended during lockdown to help members of the RAC Dealer Network ensure that they entered the ‘new normal’ in the right shape to maximise sales – and that dealers had continued to join the network.
“We provided a number of methods of support – from a series of e-workshops through to advice from our account management staff and a range of new point of sale material and RAC digital assets designed to be used on websites, e-mails and social media.
“The latter are extremely important from our point of view. Clearly, more sales are being originated and completed entirely online, and it is important to help dealers maximise the impact of the RAC brand and the confidence that it inspires.
“Customers know that the RAC would only allow its name to be applied to a dependable and trustworthy retailer, and our pre-lockdown research showed that more than two out of three car and van buyers felt more confident thanks to its presence.
“We believe that this is potentially even more marked in the current used car and van sectors and the fact that 22 new dealers joined the network in June alone is a testament to the positive effect that retailers feel the brand delivers.”