Used car transactions | Q3 2022
Used car market feels the full impact of stock shortage
“Given the current economic backdrop one would be forgiven for equating the fall in used car sales to a similarly dramatic drop in demand from cash conscious car buyers. But whilst demand is easing on the inflated levels recorded last year, in reality, the market is simply feeling the brunt of the massive dearth in available stock, fuelled by the circa 2.5 million new cars ‘lost’ over the course of the pandemic.
“Crucially, our data shows that sales are healthy in age cohorts where the stock is available, with sales of five-year old cars up 18% on 2019, put simply; where there’s stock, there’s sales. And electric vehicles especially are flying off forecourts – there aren’t many around still, and demand for them is high so it’s encouraging to see their market share increase.
“The effects of the stock squeeze are reflected in our own pricing data, which shows used car prices up 8.1% year-on-year in October – the 31st month in a row of annual price growth. A used car changed hands for an average £17,587 last month, over £500 more than August.
“There’s no doubt that the cost-of-living crisis and rising interest rates are a potential headwind for the automotive market, and we do expect to see consumer demand ease, particularly during the traditionally quieter festive period. However, current engagement levels on our marketplace remain comfortably ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
“So, whilst the world around us is uncertain, the automotive market remains in a robust position to weather the potential turbulent months ahead.”
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