Auto Trader records 10,000 new car views every hour in January
Despite the current restrictions across the UK, Auto Trader is currently tracking record levels of consumer engagement for new cars on its marketplace. In January, there were 7.4 million advert views of brand-new cars on Auto Trader, which not only marks a 69% increase on pre-pandemic January 2020, but also the highest number of views recorded in a single month. It equates to almost 10,000 views of a new car every hour.
January also saw a sharp increase in the number of individual users viewing a new car on Auto Trader, growing 14% year-on-year (YoY) and 19% on December. This very strong level of consumer engagement resulted in a 98% YoY increase in the number of new car leads being sent to retailers last month.
Reassuringly, this strong performance has continued and even accelerated into February. Despite still being in a national lockdown, last week (1st – 7th February) marked the highest ever number of new car advert views (up 59% YoY) in a single week, as well as the highest number of new car leads sent to retailers (up 116% YoY).
With a typical research lead time of two-three months, the data offers a positive indicator of the levels of new car consumer demand in the market ahead of the 21-registration plate change in March. And whilst there remains uncertainty on whether forecourts will be able to reopen next month, it highlights the potential for new car sales via online retailing channels, such as click and collect and home delivery.
Auto Trader’s commercial director, Ian Plummer commented: “Although we hope dealerships will reopen soon, retailers need to plan for every eventuality and unfortunately, the possibility their doors will have to remain closed during some or all of the key month of March. From what we can see from our data, there is cause for optimism: there’s a growing level of new car demand, and the broader economic consumer confidence levels, which is typically the key driver of the new car market, remains relatively strong. In fact, our latest research shows that consumers are currently more confident in being able to afford their next car than they were pre-pandemic.
“There’s clearly an appetite from consumers to be able to do more of the car buying journey online, but for those not currently prepared to complete their journey online, although often comfortable to narrow down their final choice and even fully stacking a deal with help from their local retailer, we’re confident they’ll quickly convert to purchase once they’re able to physically see the car and drive it. The strong signs of pent-up demand we’re tracking on our marketplace should therefore help the new car market return to health as soon as retailers can reopen their showrooms.”
Most popular new cars in January
Indicative of the levels of confidence in the market, the top 10 most popular brand-new cars in January, based on the number of advert views, were made up solely of premium brands, with the iconic Volkswagen Golf taking the number one spot, with twice as many views than the BMW 1 Series in second place. In contrast, the list of most popular new electric vehicles was dominated by volume marques, however, Audi’s high-performance electric SUV, the e-tron S, topped the list, and by some margin.
January most popular new car models by advert views:
January’s most popular electric new car models by advert views:
January’s most popular new car body types by advert views:
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