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.”

We're excited to announce that, as of 1st July, we'll be powering the used car pages on @whatcar and its sister site, @autocar. https://t.co/H4GJLafkh7
We're excited to announce that, as of 1st July, we'll be powering the used car pages on @whatcar and its sister site, @autocar. https://t.co/H4GJLafkh7
What are the three big barriers to electric vehicle adoption and how can we as an industry help to overcome them? Find out in the latest edition of The Road to 2030 report 👉https://t.co/ho4cNqeUsQ https://t.co/qlA2IX6EiF
Are you getting the basics right? Find out in this week's tip of the week where @AndrewKorpela highlights the need to maintain your digital best practises. https://t.co/Rkm0nKu19B
One of the most recent entrants to the EV market, the @CUPRA Born, is currently seeing the most advert views of any new EV on our marketplace. With a new EV model set to enter the market every 10 days this year, what model do you think we'll see make the list? https://t.co/nOcF7YguLg
We've been working with manufacturers to get you access to the specification profile for each car and we're excited to announce that this is now available to retailers, helping you to make creating high-quality adverts easier than ever. Find out more 👇 https://t.co/lv2kLf4E77
After a slight technical glitch @therickw is live and sharing our latest market data. Demand has seen a decline but used car prices remain robust. https://t.co/lSNLB6rLrg
Over now to @MarcThornboroug who asks "is it time to reset your goals"? Last year's performance was incredibly strong across the market, being very much a seller's market. But in recent weeks we have seen it start to shift towards a buyers market. https://t.co/BVEiBdl9Dy
We're kicking off today's webinar with @marc_palmer. Right now the economy is the top issue for many people with the cost of living crisis in full swing and the spectre of a recession looming. But what does this mean for car sales? Read the thread to find out 👇 https://t.co/ZMErCURxJU

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