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spending spree Car dealers revved up for summer spending as businesses gear up for reopening

Car premises can open for business as usual on May 17, but you can carry out click-and-collect deals from next Monday as well as conduct business outdoors.

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Car sales have bounced back from the low of the first lockdown.

Car sales have bounced back from the low of the first lockdown.

Car sales have bounced back from the low of the first lockdown.

PENT-UP demand for new cars could spark a spending spree as dealerships count down to full reopening.

Car premises can open for business as usual on May 17, but you can carry out click-and-collect deals from next Monday as well as conduct business outdoors.

There is a level of optimism within the industry that as well as pent-up demand, an increase in personal savings will have customers returning to showrooms in big numbers.

Despite the current lockdown, 7,166 new cars were registered last month.

That compares with a miserly 343 for April 2020, but the figures trail the 8,904 registered in the corresponding month in 2019.

The difference this year compared with last April has been the ability of online selling platforms and the facility of a click-and-deliver service.

Lifeline

It has been, according to The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) director general Brian Cooke, "a lifeline to the industry during this difficult time".

"The phased reopening of showrooms announced by Government last week has been welcomed by the industry, and retailers are cautiously optimistic about car sales, both new and used, in the weeks and months ahead," he said.

He emphasised that car retailing operates in large open spaces and with low footfall and showrooms are a safe environment for customers.

The latest SIMI figures also show that 55,207 new cars have been registered this year to date, compared with 50,138 for the corresponding period in 2020 and 73,030 in 2019.

Used imports continue to sell well with 5,676 registered last month, though the figures represent a decrease on the 8,887 during April 2019.

So far this year, used imports are up 36.4pc on 2020 and down 32.54pc on 2019.

There was a big jump in the number of new electric cars bought last month: 596 compared with 50 in April 2020.

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