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Used cars in high demand

USED cars are becoming an increasingly popular option among residents as local businesses try and keep up with demand.

Usually, Terry McDonnell Car Sales is brimming with stock and normally has 22-24 used cars ready for sale.

Owner, Terry McDonnell told The Spectator he now has just 10 cars in stock due to a supply and demand issue during COVID-19.

“The biggest issue we are facing at the moment is sourcing cars,” he said.

“There are not as many used cars going through the wholesalers and auctions and that is usually where we buy from, it is definitely a supply and demand issue.

“We still have access to the wholesalers and auction houses, and their stock levels would be at least 60 per cent less than normal, but it is more of an issue with the supply of second-hand cars.”

Mr McDonnell said despite supply being down, he was still averaging pre-COVID sale figures.

“Sales have been good over the June, July and August period, and they have been similar to what they were pre-COVID and they are not far off from what we are usually doing,” he said.

“We are still buying cars from locals at the door and we did buy four last month and we do buy them for trade in value and that gives us a chance to get another car to retail.

“We are keen to buy from the public and so we welcome people to approach us.”

Mr McDonnell said he was still filling orders and getting lots of interest from locals.

“We also get lots of people coming in and in June we sourced four cars for people,” he said.

“Locals can come in and if they want something specific, I can ring around and see if I can find something they are looking for.

“We are still filling orders although it is a little difficult due to the supply situation, but we will try our best.”

Mr McDonnell said although business looked a little different now, precautions remained in place to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

“We are practising safe guidelines such as wearing masks, regularly using hand sanitiser and social distancing,” he said.

“Anyone looking at cars can be assured we are giving the cars a good wipe and we are following the VACC guidelines - cleaning keys, steering wheels, seats, basically everything.

“We are also running a name and address book, just in case there is an outbreak, we can follow up with everyone and look after ourselves and the community.”

Moving forward, Mr McDonnell urged locals to look out for one another and keep business local.

“It’s important that we all shop local whether it is someone buying a new car or buying a second-hand car, it is so important we all shop local,” he said.  

“We want to keep money in the town and help small businesses, we can all band together and come out the other side the best we can. 

“We are pretty lucky in this little corner of the world; we have all been safe.”

Taylor Motors told The Spectator they had experienced similar trends in the market.

Principal, Adam Taylor said used cars were becoming increasingly popular.

“I have never seen a time where used vehicles have been in such high demand and that isn’t just the case locally, it is nationally,” he said.

“That can be due to a number of reasons, like people from Melbourne who usually commute via public transport not wanting to opt for that option due to COVID-19, so they are buying a used car.

“Used cars are definitely in demand here and we are seeing a significant demand in the market.

“So, it isn’t surprising, it is just a demand issue with limited supply.”

Mr Taylor said new car stock had also been limited. 

“The new vehicle stock is becoming increasingly tight with a number of factors and COVID is definitely one of them,” he said.

“With such a restricted supply and we are on the verge of lots of model updates and we have gone through a month now with not having any HiLux stock. “It just depends on the model of the car people are looking for, with some models the wait can be three to four months and now we are seeing stock starting to flow through.”

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