More Malaysians look to buy cars post-Covid

57% of Malaysians say they need a car urgently within the next 1 to 6 months to carry out their daily routine, says survey


MORE Malaysians are looking at the prospect of purchasing a new car within the next six months, as people become more cautious of using public transport for fear of contracting the Covid-19 virus, according to a recent survey.

A Carsome Consumer Survey released yesterday indicated that 57% of Malaysians surveyed said they needed a car urgently within the next one to six months to carry out their daily routine.

To compare, only 48% of Indonesians surveyed said they wanted to purchase a car post-lockdown, while 52% of Thais gave the same response. Those who said they did not intend to buy a car over the next six months cited financial constraints. Others said they were car owners and were satisfied with their car’s condition.

The survey found that over 80% of locals said the risk of the virus spreading in vehicles was high despite the many preventive measures in place.

Malaysian respondents who preferred to keep their existing cars said the instability in income caused financial constraints.

“The other reasons given for Malaysians not wanting to purchase a car included existing cars being in good conditions and using funds for other commitments. Indonesian respondents said besides the lack of budgeting and focusing on other priorities, the large-scale social restrictions implemented by the government prevented them from going out, while Thais added that the uncertainty of economic future held them back from wanting to purchase a new car,” Carsome said.

The survey also showed an increase in the number of people who want to sell their cars post-lockdown, with Malaysians leading the way at 133%, followed by Indonesians at 52% and Thais at 15%.

“Malaysians have expressed the need to have cash on hand as one of the main reasons for selling personal cars, while Thai respondents expect better deals when the economy stabilises,” it said.

Meanwhile, the survey also noted that used-car selling platforms gained popularity both in Malaysia and Indonesia, increasing by 55% and 34% respectively.

Carsome said the significant increase of preference in used-car selling platforms indicated the accelerated digitalisation in the used-car market due to the ease of selling through online platforms.

The platform added that some of the main challenges included dissatisfaction with prices offered and financial difficulties in settling loans.

“In the pre-lockdown era, 29% of Malaysians said they were unhappy with the prices offered, 20% had financial difficulties, and 17% experienced delays in car ownership transfers. During the lockdown, 35% were unhappy with prices, 34% had financial trouble and 26% had issues with car transfers,” it said.

The survey also showed the usage of public transport and e-hailing services reduced significantly in all nations, with 68% of Malaysians stating the two services were not used at all during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“Twenty-three percent said the services were used up to twice a week during the MCO, while only 2% said the services were used more than seven times a week,” Carsome said.