DRIVERS are buying more affordable used cars than they did last year, new data from Imperial Cars reveals. 

The car supermarket brand has seen sales of cars costing less than £5,000 rise by 36 per cent on average so far in 2020, compared to the same time last year. 

In June, sales of cars in the sub-£5,000 bracket rose by 95 per cent alone compared to June 2019. 

While in April, sales of cars at this price point accounted for 31 per cent of Imperial Cars’ total sales for the month – the first time the sub-£5,000 price bracket has led the company’s sales chart.

As April fell in the middle of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, Imperial Cars puts the huge rise in the popularity of affordable cars down to people shunning public transport and instead buying an inexpensive used car, believing it to be safer. 

Between March and the end of June, Imperial Cars sold more than 80 cars despite being in lockdown for the majority of that time, and saw traffic to its website rocket by 80 per cent.  

Bosses ensured customers weren’t left disappointed thanks to a raft of measures put in place.

During the pandemic, Imperial Cars launched helpful services such as ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ finance offers that delayed monthly payments by up to three months. They also delivered cars for test drive, as well as purchased cars to customers right across the country, while safely implementing contactless delivery. 

Neil Smith, Operations Director at Imperial Cars, said: “This growth in the sub-£5,000 category would usually be very surprising, but with many people concerned about using public transport or who are wishing to downsize into a more affordable car because of coronavirus or features of an economic downturn, it’s an understandable switch in the market.

“The increase in sales of this price bracket reflects the traffic numbers we have been experiencing on our website. Customers are very keen to buy affordable cars in the present climate, but, as shown by an increase in our sales, customers are still savvy – they want quality cars on reasonable payment terms.”

Smith added: “The big question now is, how long will this trend for affordable cars continue? Whatever the answer, it’s important not to get distracted on market trends and ensure we have the right products for the right customers at the right time.”