Press release

Huge demand for commercial vehicles remains as used prices see record growth

According to the latest data from Auto Trader, the UK’s largest marketplace for new and used vehicles, demand for commercial vehicles (CV) has been largely unaffected by the latest lockdown in England and the broader restrictions imposed across the UK.

CV specific visits to Auto Trader’s marketplace fell 15%[1] in the three days between the Prime Minister’s announcement on the 31st October and the start of the new restrictions, however it quickly returned to growth during the first weekend of the lockdown, increasing 38% on the same period last year.

Following the reopening of forecourts in June, CVs have recorded a period of exceptional levels of demand, bouncing back far quicker than other markets over the summer. In August, visits to Auto Trader’s vans platform were up 52% year-on-year (YoY), whilst there were a record 17.2 million CV advert views, which represents an additional six million compared to August 2019

CV performance continued into October, and despite the government’s introduction of the three-tiered coronavirus system and the 17-day national ‘firebreak’ in Wales, buyer behaviour has remained unphased, with visits up 48% YoY and advert views per stock item up 106% YoY. This increase in traffic resulted in a 51% YoY increase in the number of leads being sent to CV retailers in October, with double the email, text and chat leads per advert compared to pre-lockdown levels.

The sustained levels of demand, coupled with ongoing supply constraints in the market, has had a significant impact on used CV prices. In October the average price of a used van on Auto Trader was £15,482; 20% higher than the average £12,900 sticker price in October 2019. It marks 10 months of consecutive price growth for used CVs.

Despite the increase in prices, and further highlighting the strong levels of demand in the market, CVs are spending significantly less time on retailers’ forecourts, with the average days to sell reducing by 37% YoY to just 26 days.

Commenting on the findings, Leanne Thomson, Auto Trader’s Van Lead, said: “Despite the tighter restrictions across the UK, our data points to a very buoyant CV market. Not only has the huge level of demand that we’ve been tracking over the summer remained, but our latest consumer research indicates that over 50% of buyers are open to using click & collect and home delivery services. So, whilst forecourts have had to shut temporarily in England, this growing propensity for online retail means retailers are able to continue selling in a meaningful way; and with prices continuing their upward trajectory, with a healthy margin too.”

Earlier this year Auto Trader introduced new features enabling buyers to research and take delivery of vehicles without the need to visits a showroom. This was further enhanced with the launch of its Buy Online hub last week, which enables buyers to search directly for the hundreds of thousands of vehicles available via click & collect and / or home delivery on the Auto Trader marketplace. There are currently circa 4,500 (4808) retailers offering click and collect services, and circa 5,500 on home delivery.

In next week’s webinar we’ll be joined by @mikejonesase to talk through what the latest budget means for retailers. We’ll also discuss what independent and franchise retailers can learn from each other as they prepare to reopen physical forecourts > https://t.co/rKjsWxrWjN https://t.co/tTxqOKW63A
Our teams were delighted to be a part of #BreakoutForBen, raising £12,225 towards the staggering total achieved by all who took part @BenSupport4Auto https://t.co/JqHkpGF9cE
To celebrate #InternationalWomensDay on Monday 8th March, we'll be hosting a webinar centred around this year’s theme #ChooseToChallenge. Find out more and register at https://t.co/z83jRsYDtp https://t.co/Yfvh2KkK1A
Our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience data along with what we are seeing in terms of overall market and retailer performance. https://t.co/r5vdGHI1UM
In our next webinar we welcome back @mikejonesase ,chairman of @ASE_Global, to give the latest update on government financial support and answer your questions which you can pre-submit by following the instructions below. https://t.co/al6EzwaeJ3
Whilst the latest data from the @SMMT shows new car registrations were down -35.5% last month, we’ve seen a significant increase in new car engagement on our marketplace. https://t.co/NWLpyJ1j2W
Our Retail Price Index, which is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, revealed the average price of a used car in February was £14,096: a YoY increase of 6.6%. https://t.co/HrAEkAqpOV
From May 1st admin fees will be displayed on your full-page adverts. Fees will not appear in search pricing until later this year. https://t.co/ernaPgaJsL
Buyer's confidence in being able to afford their next car remains extremely high. https://t.co/ktR6FungW8
First up our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience update. Last week audience grew 8.8% compared to the same time last year, with our marketplace seeing an average of 1.4 million users each day last week. https://t.co/fNyeiSr1AG

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

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