Used car market ends 2019 with increase in Q4

The used car market saw a growth of 2.4 per cent in the last quarter of 2019 with 1,804,343 transactions. Overall in 2019, the used car market finished almost on par with the previous year with a marginal decline of -0.1 per cent and a total of 7,935,105 sales. Used petrol declined by -0.3 per cent, diesel -0.6 per cent, while combined alternative fuel vehicles grew by 23.4 per cent. Transactions of Euro 6 diesel models were up 32.5 per cent.

“It is positive to see that the used car market grew in the last quarter of the year, up 2.4 per cent”, said Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK.

Robinson added, “Petrol and diesel performed well and, positively, there was an increase in transactions of Euro 6 diesel models, which remain the cleanest diesel and most suitable vehicles for a number of motorists. Also, with the growth in sales of new alternative fuel vehicles, consumers will benefit from an increased range of models available in the used sector over the next years.

“The used car market will continue to be an important business area for franchised dealers in 2020. However, we must address the uncertainty that has been affecting consumers and, as a result, new car sales.

“Overall, used car transactions remain at high levels and it is encouraging to see retailers’ optimism for the year ahead”.

NAMA comment

Commenting on the latest used car figures, Louise Wallis, head of the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA), said: “It is pleasing to see the end of 2019 showing a growing used car market, after the first half of the year was slower.”

The combination of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles witnessed a massive 23.4 per cent increase to 135,516 sales, accounting for 1.7 per cent of the market in a continually upward trend of low-emission vehicles sales. Both petrol and diesel cars felt a slight downturn in 2019, with a reduction of 0.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent, but this generally displays a stable market.

In line with the new car market, superminis were the most sought after with 32.8 per cent of the market. The Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa topped the transactions for the year, with 351,767 and 299,791 respectively, with the Ford Focus following just behind with 293,276 sold.

Wallis continued, “Demand remains strong from dealers looking for forecourt stock, in order to satisfy the consumer demand for used cars.

“We expect that the used car market for the rest of February and March will remain strong, with supply being likely to be boosted by March part exchange vehicles coming into the market.”

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