Auto retailers have reported a rebound in sales during the first week of car showrooms being open in England after being shut since the last week of March. Several retailers reported a positive week with pent up demand seeing sales do better than cautious expectations.

Auto Trader agreed with the trend and reported record visits in the past week with two million visits a day to its site representing a week-on-week increase of more than a third.

Data and insight director Richard Walker said buyers were sending an increasing amount of leads to retailers. “We used to talk about buyer just turning up at forecourts, but now that’s not possible.”

Last Monday, online and telephone enquiries were up 88% year-on-year, he said.

Meanwhile, the Scottish government has confirmed all auto retailers north of the border can open for click and collect handovers. Showrooms, however, remain closed. The next review is due on 18 June when the Government could move to Phase 2 of its pandemic plan, allowing up to 800 sq. m of showroom space to reopen. Retail areas larger than this will only reopen in Phase 3.