Press release

New car registrations | February 2021

April is the new March; Auto Trader’s Ian Plummer, comments on February’s new car registrations

Given the current restrictions, last month’s sizeable drop in new car registrations comes as little surprise. And confirmation from the Prime Minister that forecourts will have to remain closed during the key sales month of March was disappointing, particularly amongst those that feel car dealerships have retail environments which are at least as safe as other that have been permitted to remain open. With UK car production down nearly 30% due in part to the closures, the government needs to recognise the value in driving car sales as well as local production, both of which contribute major tax revenues the Treasury can surely ill afford to curb.

 “However, the strong metrics that we’re recording on our marketplace, which in February resulted in a 100% increase in the number of new car leads being sent to retailers, point to very healthy levels of demand in the market. What’s more, several wider economic factors point to another period of strong retail demand once forecourts reopen in April. This includes the latest Bank of England findings indicating average household finances are better off than they were pre-COVID, as well as our own research which revealed that consumers' confidence in being able to afford their next car remains very high.

 “It’s important to note however, that online sales are still permitted, and the fact most retailers are currently performing at around 70-80% of normal new and used car volumes, not only highlights the success retailers have made of their digital channels, but also that there are still sales to be made this month. Therefore, instead of waiting until 12th April, retailers must use this time effectively; to either close those willing to complete their purchase online or at least at a distance; or to ready those currently researching and negotiating the best deals in preparation of being able to see or test drive their chosen car. Either way, there remains huge opportunities available.”

With forecourts in England and Wales set to open next week, our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience insights revealing how we are seeing buyer behaviour change as lockdown measures ease. https://t.co/yIMnXbLtn0
Performance Rating helps you quickly understand how well your adverts are performing vs competing adverts and know whether your adverts are winning buyers’ attention. Plus we’ve improved how you can track performance improvements over time. https://t.co/4IhSUpEV81
Following 4 months of price growth slowing, due to the record levels of demand in the market, last month not only saw the 12th consecutive month of price growth but also the first monthly increase in the rate of growth since October 2020. https://t.co/aQQ27H6QOl
A reminder from @stuart_trader to login to Portal to let us know if you offer admin fees. 92% of retailers already have. https://t.co/TkUEpnyx5p
When we look at vehicle pricing by age bands we can see strong growth for all vehicles, with those vehicles in the 5-10 year old and 10-15 year old age bands seeing the strongest like-for-like price growth. https://t.co/0PvxqEjLvZ
Our Data & Insight Director @therickw returns for his ever popular audience update, revealing that visits to our marketplace are up by 89.4% compared to the same period in 2020 and up by 27.5% when compared to the same period in 2019. #RichWalkerfanclub https://t.co/NR8mywkxCE
Just 15 minutes until today's webinar. You can still register to watch live or stay tuned right here for the highlights > https://t.co/Foqq4rVl2N https://t.co/my9knVy7eL
For the first time since August, new car registration numbers grow with the @SMMT reporting a welcome year-on-year growth in registrations of 11.5% in March. https://t.co/WAPeT02wou
As forecourts reopen, we look at reasons to be optimistic for April and share some practical advice for retailers looking to keep up with the industry as it moves forward beyond the pandemic. https://t.co/BwGEsCm9Kj
Register for next week's webinar where @Lusky91 of Luscombe's Leeds will reveal how they have advanced their digital retailing during lockdown and how they’re going to use these learnings to make more efficient sales in future > https://t.co/Foqq4rVl2N https://t.co/7opxnTlSdV

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