How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect car wreckers in general? The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Auckland was evidently negative, but that didn’t come off as a surprise to anyone. Needless to say, car wreckers in Auckland have also been affected by this.
Just a heads up, these are just my humble opinion and findings – so don’t take it seriously. I started this article while we were in lockdown but didn’t finish. You know, all the COVID things and computers are quite prone to viruses.
In this article, I will discuss the impacts (both positive and negative) of the pandemic on the car wrecking industry. You will also get some idea of what we went through.
COVID-19 restrictions and us (a bitter love story)
As you know the government imposed several restrictions, our industry included. Since the rise of cases in the first half of 2020. One of the major restrictions was the closing of business in the level 3 COVID-19 alert. And it caused a huge downfall in the finances of the industry.
Currently, as of March 12, 2021, the whole country including Auckland is at alert level 1. Therefore, dealerships have reopened and all the services are running normally following the health guidelines. However, it’s recommended for us to continuously use the NZ COVID tracer app, “with Bluetooth enabled”.
What do car wreckers normally do?
A car wrecking team’s job is to identify, buy, and collect any usable parts from an unusable vehicle and responsibly get rid of scrap. It is simple as that. Anyone who has a junk car left unused in the garage for a while can call us and we get rid of it for them. Because no one usually privately buys or trades junk, accident-damaged, or very old cars.
But how was the condition of this service sector during this COVID-19 pandemic?
Since car wreckers usually come to the customers and haul away their scrap car. The lockdown literally put our industry on hold. Since the start of the pandemic, two things affected us the most. First, the restrictions, and second the reluctance where customers would rather not sell and wait than be out of their bubbles.
Let’s talk about some noticeable impacts
- Fewer write offs: We do buy a lot of written off vehicles. Due to the restrictions there were not a lot of driving which means lesser broken, accident damaged vehicles.
- Lack of business partners: Car wrecking is not a one-person / one-business job. A car wrecker deals with tens of other businesses such as mechanics, panel beaters, part suppliers, scrap metal buyers, oil disposal companies and so on. All our partners had either stopped operating or were available for emergencies only.
- Reluctance from selling usable cars: During the pandemic, public transportation had become a huge threat. Everyone prefered to have their own private vehicle and travel using it because that was the safest option. Earlier, many people sold their old and used cars to car wreckers at their earliest convenience. However, during the pandemic they are reluctant to sell it, for various reasons. This led to car wreckers getting lesser calls.
I must say, there were positive impacts as well. Not on the business but as a nation we did unite against COVID. The best thing I love about the impacts is hygiene. I washed my hands, I don’t know, maybe 30 times a day.
We are following all the government-instructed health guidelines. We canceled games and concerts and didn’t fuss about it. We made it through as a nation.
So what is happening now?
Things are getting back to normal. We are collecting cars and still paying top cash (sorry had to sell). We have measures in place if a customer feels uncomfortable dealing with one of our collection agents face to face. We organise a no-contact car collection and pay via bank transfer.
On site, we have a COVID tracer QR Code and encourage visitors to scan when they visit us. We have hand sanitisers available and clean the premises on regular basis. I, as the business owner, put the customers and my staff health and safety as the top priority. So if you want to visit us, be rest assured it is well prepared.
How does the future look for the car wrecking industry?
As New Zealand moves towards the future with the hope of soon seeing a post-COVID world, the question of how the auto industry, specifically the car-wrecking industry, will change after the pandemic arises.
The impact of the pandemic is bound to stay even long after it ends. For the car wreckers, the future is hopeful but uncertain. If you ask me, I am hopeful and see a better future for our industry.
I will conclude this article by saying as a nation we did deal with COVID in a way that no other nation could. Well done!