Data released by the UK car industry throughout the pandemic has shown the negative impact of Covid-19 on sales of new and used vehicles, but new research shows the figures could have been worse. A study for Kwik Fit indicates that as 3.8 million drivers said Covid-19 caused them to put off a planned car purchase. However, this was partially offset by the fact that 3.2 million drivers were prompted by the impact of the pandemic to buy a new or used car.
Surging demand for new hybrid cars is also being reflected in the used market, with the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk reporting its highest-ever proportion of hybrid customers. But a gap is emerging between brands when it comes to the popularity of hybrid as a consumer choice over diesel or petrol, BuyaCar analysts say.
According to the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk, record sales of used cars online this year signals that motorists are itching to splash out on desirable cars as Britain eases out of lockdown. BuyaCar.co.uk posted an 88 per cent increase in the number of cars sold year on year in March – dwarfing the 11.5 per cent growth in new car sales in the same month.
Electric car sales have reached their highest ever level in the used market, according to the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk. After languishing for most of the year at around one in every hundred sales, December has seen them taking a 15 per cent share of the used market.
Analysis of online used car buying trends reveals that German brands have dramatically extended their lead in sales and searches by motorists during the second half of 2020. The online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk has found that German brands grew their share among the 10 most popular cars from 52.4 per cent in the first six months of the year to a whopping 71.7 per cent in the months since July 1.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, has published the findings of the latest ‘post-lockdown automotive retail’ survey. Through the findings, NFDA aims to assess the implications of COVID-19 on the automotive retail sector and understand how the industry is now recovering.
Figures released by the SMMT reveal that used car sales in Q2 2020 were 1,039,303 units; -48.9 per cent down on the same period last year (2,034,236). Year to date, the figures are slightly less depressing, with YtD clocking up 2,891.222 sales, as opposed to 4,054,380 for the first six months of 2019 – a -28.7 per cent fall.
Diesel used car prices rise by 31.3 per cent as demand for older vehicles in the used car market outstrips supply. Vehicle auction group Aston Barclay says it recorded its highest ever used car prices in Q2 as demand exceeded supply during and after lockdown. During Q2 older used cars were the most in demand with stock between 55-78 months rising by 20.6 per cent and stock between 79 and 126 months rising by 13.1 per cent. Diesel used cars rose by 31.3 per cent, which was an all-time high at Aston Barclay.
Retail-ready stock is becoming ever more in-demand in the post-lockdown used car market, the Vehicle Remarketing Association is reporting. VRA chair Sam Watkins explained that dealers were trying to make the process of acquiring and retailing stock as straightforward as possible at a time when the ongoing effects of the coronavirus crisis meant that key services such as transportation remained erratic.
As evidence mounts that many people intend to avoid public transport in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, new figures reveal that buying a car instead can be a budget-friendly solution for many. The online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk has published a list of ten cars that could cost less to buy, fuel, insure, tax and service than a range of rail season tickets.
The used car market in Q1 2020 saw a fall of -8.3 per cent in comparison to Q1 2019, with 1,851,919 transactions taking place. In Q1 2019, that figure was 2,020,144. However, in January and February, the market had grown by +2.9 per cent and +4.0 per cent respectively compared to their figures in 2019, showing the used car market had a strong start to the year. The COVID-19 outbreak, and subsequent halt of auction transactions however meant March sales fell -30.7 per cent, causing the quarter overall to indicate a reduction of sales.
Consumers are gearing up to spend more on their next car than they were planning to before confinement began in March. Data from the online car marketplace BuyaCar.co.uk reveals that the average price of cars being reserved for purchase when lockdown is eased has shot up to a record level.
“Following the past few months of strong volume growth, respondents to the survey are expecting volumes to stabilise during March,” said Louise Wallis, head of the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA), commenting on the latest figures from NAMA’s market attitude survey.
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.