2019. That was the year that marked the beginning of unprecedented times, when an outbreak of a new virus began its spread across all four corners of the globe. Country leaders grappled with the struggle of maintaining safety whilst also trying to protect the economy which would undoubtedly crumble beneath stringent lockdown measures, limitIng or completely preventing the purchasing of certain goods, services and vehicles.
Many processes changed in the name of safety as cases and the death roll rose, processes which were familiar and safe to us. The change was frightening. It was unfamiliar and alien, and there was no choice left but to adapt, and find ways to keep the economy afloat while we kept ourselves and those around us safe.
We approached the year 2020 with caution, almost rendering the streets to ghost towns as no one dared to venture out other than for absolute necessities such as grocery shopping or work. The entire world had changed, imposing mask mandates, bans on gatherings, closure of public events, social distancing and city or nationwide lockdowns, but it wasn’t just personal lives that were affected. Different business sectors were hit with furloughs, temporary closure and strict guidelines such as socially distanced work environments, mask mandates, regular desk sanitization, or even working from home, blurring the line between our work and relaxation space, trapped between the same four walls all day every day.
It was a challenge for all of us, and the entire country was left with a feeling of uncertainty of what may happen and when exactly would the world return to normal without the ever-tightening noose of covid heavy around our necks.
But everybody rose to the challenge with vigor and resilience, and we at Aintree Garages did our part with sanitized work-spaces, hand sanitiser available for customers, and even digital “walkthroughs” of cars for potential buyers to view a 360 video of the interior and exterior of their prospective vehicle. Even if most of the country had come to a stand-still, we wanted to make sure we continued serving customers to the best of our ability whilst maintaining a safe workplace for both consumers and our staff.
Cars were still a valuable purchase through lockdown, for commutes to work, trips out to the shop for essentials or safely visiting family members part of people’s personal “bubble”. Understandably, many financial difficulties with job losses or furloughs, as statistics show 1 in 4 people were furloughed from employment by October 2021 to ease financial strain.
The car industry was not immune to the negative impact of our declining economy, as sales only reached 63.8 million units world-wide in 2021, a major decline from the 80 million forecasted sales.
In the UK alone, sales for used cars fell by a whopping 1,182,146, as financial troubles and the doubts as to how covid-free a pre-loved vehicle could be dissuaded buyers and forced many to batten down the hatches and wait for it to blow-over rather than take calculated risks.
And it somewhat did in the subsequent year. Sales picked up in late 2021 and have continued to steadily increase, as now people are returning to their usual work and social life, bringing back the demand for vehicles as the backlog of hesitant buyers felt more safe and confident shopping for used cars. Specifically the used car sector saw 7.5 million units sold after lockdown restrictions eased in 2021, compared to the much lower sales of 6.7 million during lockdown.
The negative impact on people’s wallets from the soaring prices due to panic-stocking on essential items made purchasing a car seem more like a pipe-dream than a realistic goal. Fortunately, our speciality is providing affordable financing options for second-hand cars, for both people with high and low credit ratings. Even during the difficult times when everybody was tightening their belts, we kept in close relations with our finance partners to ensure we could keep delivering first-rate customer service and affordable bespoke finance plans.
All of these measures have been removed from across the country as it seems we have come through the worst covid has to offer, and life has returned to a semblance of the normality we were used to. Though our garage has also eased most of our restrictions, there is still sanitizer available to those who wish to avail themselves of it, as well as our virtual walkthroughs, allowing customers to view the cars without visiting the garage in person. This process is also valuable to people we serve who live further away, as some of our customers live as far as London or Glasgow, and need to make sure the car is exactly what they imagined before traveling in person. We pride ourselves in our efficient and streamlined service even through unexpected times such as covid with our customer-focused approach to the running of our business. The knowledgeable service team and friendly sales people are always here to lend a helping hand, rain or shine, no matter what the climate may be.
And whatever the future holds, be it another wave or variant, here at Aintree Garages we will be prepared to continue serving people, and aiding them in finding the perfect car for their needs and budget. With business relations with hundreds of motor financing services, you can rest assured we will find the finance package perfect for you.
If you are interested in availing yourself of our services, feel free to visit our official website to see our full range of stock, fill out our speedy application form, and one of our customer team members will call you back as soon as possible to discuss options with you. Alternatively, call us on 0151 523 4000 to speak to one of our fantastic sales team members.