Press release

New car registrations | April 2021

Auto Trader's commercial director, Ian Plummer, shares his thoughts on the latest new car registrations from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

Ian Plummer, Commercial Director, Auto Trader

Given the challenges the industry has faced over the last 12 months, and the fact retailers were only able to fully reopen halfway through the month, April’s performance is a respectable result and strengthens our confidence in a solid and sustained return to market health.

 “Following the reopening of physical forecourts on the 12th, we saw levels of consumer demand on Auto Trader accelerate significantly last month, increasing 37% on April 2019. The number of visits to our marketplace saw a similar boost, growing 36%. Over 1.6 million people viewed a new car in April alone, resulting in our second highest number of new car leads being sent to retailers.

“Encouragingly, in addition to these metrics, wider economic factors suggest this performance won’t be limited to a short surge. Not only is the Bank of England set to raise its growth forecasts for the UK when it publishes its latest monetary policy report on Thursday, but in April the GFK consumer confidence index rose to its highest level since the start of the pandemic. This aligns to our own research which shows that consumers' confidence in being able to afford their next car remains very high, and significantly ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

 “It's not surprising the reopening of showrooms has had an extremely positive effect. However, whilst consumers clearly still place huge value on the showroom experience and many prefer to complete their purchase in person, most of the digital-first behaviours we observed during lockdown have continued. Most people favour a blended retail experience, which includes significantly more digital touchpoints than before. Crucially, this is something consumers appear set to continue with, so genuine success over future months will be reserved for those who embrace the digital tools that served them so well during lockdown to help deliver a seamless online-offline experience.

 “Last month also marked another significant leap forward for pure electric vehicles with more sold in April than in all of 2018; on our marketplace one in every seven visitors looked at an electric option during their car search. This huge demand has been boosted by the rapid growth in choice; the number of distinct models in the market and on our site has doubled in the last year, and equally choice of available stock of new and used EVs has tripled. Whilst conversion from consideration to purchase remains relatively low, we have no doubt the levels of adoption will accelerate significantly as they become more affordable and the required infrastructure improves.” 

Great to see DealerDesk utilising our API to enable retailers to instantly publish and update their Auto Trader adverts without the traditional wait for old-fashioned stock feeds! https://t.co/RyCrCG1fl0
August saw record levels of demand from consumers seeking out their next vehicle. But with supply issues continuing, what can you do to ensure your forecourt remains stocked to meet demand? Find out in our latest blog by @MarcThornboroug👇https://t.co/tUerFkP4Qf
Register for our next webinar where we’ll be exploring the latest in automotive logistics with special guest Thomas Mallet of Ecomotive Logistics. We’ll also be sharing our final step in addressing admin fees along with an update on the market 👉 https://t.co/GWNbgNrxVg https://t.co/SNIlt3nfcE
155,000 vehicles are underpriced on Auto Trader, meaning that there is a staggering amount of profit being missed out on by retailers. Find out more and what you can do to ensure you’re not leaving any profit on the table in this week’s tip of the week with @AndrewKorpela https://t.co/vj8Ux1Z2Jn
The popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow with the @Hyundai_UK IONIQ 5 being the most viewed new car on our platform over the last month. Will we see an electric vehicle top of the list next month and what needs to be done to sustain interest? Let us know👇 https://t.co/gNbRriDIiV
The @KiaUK Soul EV came out top among consumers looking for an EV that offers great value, taking the Best Value Electric Car at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021. https://t.co/LcVmx4kwKO
Demand for vans continues to increase with last month seeing the number of leads per new van on our marketplace grow a staggering 44% compared to August 2020, a new record. Overall van leads are also up by 30% vs 2020. https://t.co/6h2zt1D54r
On 22nd September we’ll complete our admin fees journey by adding the admin fee into the total advertised price and reflecting this in our valuations and price indicators. Find out more in our latest blog👇 https://t.co/ZVRpYhssAA
We're delighted to be supporting this year's @BenSupport4Auto Ben Ball taking place on the 8th Dec at the Roundhouse. There are now just a handful of tables left so be sure to book yours now to avoid missing out 👉https://t.co/6jC6ZaoEND https://t.co/zQCWD0JCRg
Our latest Monthly Market Intelligence report is now live. Check it out now to discover our latest new and used car market insights along a focus on EV pricing👉https://t.co/g8bPs1X6CE https://t.co/gB6Zh0p8rF

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