Supply shortages disrupting buying process

More than a fifth of car buyers are finding it difficult to organise test drives.

What Car? polled 1,353 buyers, with 21% of those who had got in touch with a dealer saying they had found it hard to arrange a test drive due to a lack of vehicle availability or very long waiting lists.

Despite the supply issues, demand in the market remains strong, with 35% of all in-market buyers telling What Car? they are looking to purchase a vehicle in the next four weeks, while 29% are set to buy within one to three months.

More than half (59%) expect to have their next car delivered within eight weeks of placing an order, with 41% switching to a vehicle from another maker if their delivery time expectations cannot be met.

Steve Huntingford, editor, What Car?, said: “Though demand is outstripping supply in the current market environment, test drives remain a crucial part of the car buying journey for the majority. As our research shows, buyers aren’t willing to shortcut their vehicle purchase if they can’t organise a test drive, making it important for dealers to continue trying to accommodate test drive requests, even as stock levels diminish.”