Press release

Q1 used car transactions | May 2021

Auto Trader's commercial director, Ian Plummer, comments on the latest used car transactions from the SMMT

Commenting on the latest used car results, Auto Trader’s commercial director, Ian Plummer, said:

As you’d expect when comparing against a pre-pandemic January and February, 2021 looks to have had a slow start. However, given the context of closed showrooms, the performance of the used car market in Q1 is very positive and highlights the success retailers made of their buy online channels. Even factoring in the influence of COVID, which had only just started to be felt last year, March was incredibly strong and I doubt many within the industry would have ever believed that circa 90% of ‘normal’ sales volumes could have been achieved from online alone. There’s no mistaking, it is a huge achievement and testament to both the continuing high levels of car buying demand as well as the resilience and agility of retailers who’ve adapted their businesses so well.

 “As the data highlights, sales performance accelerated month-on-month, and following the reopening of physical forecourts on the 12th April, retailers have been able to build on their established digital processes by re-establishing the in-person benefits of seeing, touching, driving and even smelling the car they’ve seen on line and plan to buy. As a result, we have seen the trend continue into Q2, with most retailers reporting volumes above 2019 levels. This confident sales performance has been complemented with strong trading margins thanks to the exceptionally strong levels of price growth, which in April, increased 7.1% year-on-year.

 “Based on these metrics, along with wider economic factors, not least consumer confidence being bolstered by the lowering of the COVID-19 alert level and the return of indoor hospitality next week, we believe used car demand will continue apace for some time to come. However, that’s not to say the months ahead won’t have its challenges, particularly the chip shortage, which will place pressure on both new and used supply levels. It will be more important than ever therefore, that retailers get their stock in front of as many in-market buyers as possible, priced according to the live retail market, and available to buy according to their preference, whether in person at the dealership, or through the same buy online channels that served them so well during the pandemic.”

Over 75% of all time spent on UK automotive sites is spent on Auto Trader. 20% more leads were delivered to retailers in 2021 than in 2020, a sign of strong buyer intent and the ever-increasing importance of online in the buying process. https://t.co/AySv9w7RwG
Over 75% of all time spent on UK automotive sites is spent on Auto Trader. 20% more leads were delivered to retailers in 2021 than in 2020, a sign of strong buyer intent and the ever-increasing importance of online in the buying process. https://t.co/YiU38W6Vc5
Our CEO Nathan Coe will be live on next week's webinar to answer your questions. You can submit your questions to him in the comments and when you register to join the webinar live at https://t.co/rdtNiD8APu https://t.co/d99VfhPofQ
Last week saw the 89th week of consecutive used car price growth, with prices rising 28.6% year-on-year. With used car prices continuing to rise it’s crucial to keep repricing your stock inline with the market to ensure you aren’t leaving profit on the table. https://t.co/MRHJVoNvzs
2021 was a record year for new electric vehicles on our marketplace which saw a record number of advert views in 2021, with 1 in 5 new car advert views now for an electric vehicle. What EVs do you think we'll see drawing the most attention in 2022? https://t.co/niblnnJaPl
Looking to evolve your business by breaking free of outdated data feeds and enabling your customers to have a real-time view of your digital forecourt? Then check out our ‘Essentials to connected retailing’ masterclass now 👉 https://t.co/VggO5GDvFa https://t.co/hRUW9aXDTf
We’re still faced with an element of uncertainty when it comes to the pandemic which means you need to be prepared for any eventuality. So in this week’s tip of the week, @AndrewKorpela shares some top tips on how to make sure you're prepared for whatever is thrown at you next. https://t.co/9cKawLT6Q9
In his latest update, our CEO Nathan Coe shares our latest market insights, including an analysis of consumer demand and pricing, and reveals our plans for 2022. https://t.co/oyxwpJf2U1
With record numbers of new electric vehicle sales and, as we reveal in our latest blog, an electric vehicle being the fastest selling of any used vehicle in 2021, last year really was a victory for voltage 👇 https://t.co/j4Al3nByBL
In our latest Monthly Market Intelligence Report, we analyse the 3 key trends that came to define the automotive industry in 2021, record demand, the growth in used car prices and the acceleration of EV adoption 👉https://t.co/tVW6vpQjxm Will these trends continue through 2022? https://t.co/rITl15odBm

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