Used car market rebounds

The used car market rose by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2019 with 2,076,382 vehicles changing hands, 18,925 more than the same period in 2018. Plug-in electric and hybrid models showed a solid increase of 13.0 per cent. Demand for diesel grew by 1.4 per cent, petrol sales saw a slight decline of -0.2 per cent.

“It is positive to see used car sales perform well in the third quarter of the year, but lack of clarity affecting consumer confidence in the new car sector must be addressed”, said Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

Robinson added, “As new car sales continue to be affected by supply constraints, used cars present excellent opportunities to many motorists. It is encouraging to see that plug-in and hybrid vehicles experienced significant growth as these models become increasingly available to consumers in the second-hand market.

“Used and nearly new cars remain a key area of focus for franchised retailers and we expect the market to stay at high levels in the last quarter of the year.”

NAMA comment on used car figures

“NAMA is pleased to see that the overall used car market has continued to remain strong in Q3 with the market up 0.9 per cent,” added Louise Wallis, head of The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA).

There were a total of 18,925 more used transactions between July and September compared to the same period last year, with July being the busiest month in terms of volume.

Growth in the market came through sales of hybrid and plug-in hybrids, which rose 13.0 per cent so far in the year to 37,589 units. Earlier this year NAMA reported that we expect to see more plug-in hybrids and BEVs going through auctions in 2019, increasing supply and starting to normalise their price behaviour. Demand for diesel models was up 1.4 per cent in the quarter with 858,442 changing hands, while petrol sales were -0.2 per cent down.

Wallis continued, “Overall vehicle auctions are responding well to the market, however there are growing reports from dealers that it is becoming more difficult to source good quality cars at auction.

“The consequence is strengthening conversion rates and a positive impact on vehicle values.  In the alternative fuel car market, a shortage of new vehicles to sell is making used vehicles attractive for those who are unable to wait, and again this is helping support values and conversion rates.

“Even with the considerable political uncertainty of the General Election and Brexit, the wholesales market is showing a good level of resilience. We expect to see a strong used car market in the final months of 2019.”

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