Press release

SMMT Q1 used car transactions | May 2020

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader Commercial Director, comments on the quarter one used car sales data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT):

 

“There’s no denying that the first quarter of 2020 has been a turbulent one – more so than the used car industry has felt before. The start of the quarter was looking positive, as consumer confidence had started to pick up after last year’s BREXIT uncertainties. January had started well and as a traditionally large month for used car sales boded well for the remainder of the quarter. Despite lockdown, as a result of the global pandemic, only impacting 9 days of sales, that was enough to dent the number for the overall quarter.

“Encouragingly although figures for traditional combustion engines are down, transactions of used plug-in vehicles are actually up compared with a year ago. This is good news; uptake of greener vehicles is on the rise and shows that more people are adopting more environmentally friendly cars, a trend that we could see accelerate further as we emerge from lockdown.

“Although the majority of retailers’ businesses have been halted by the UK lockdown, our research indicates that the market is paused, not stopped, as many consumers are eager to buy their next car when they can. Research we conducted recently revealed that 84% weren’t expecting affordability issues, and only 2% said that they’ve been put off buying a car altogether. There are likely to be new areas of market opportunity too as more than half of commuters previously using public transport, and who have a driving licence, expect to buy a car for their commute post lockdown as they seek safety in their own personal space. Therefore, it’s is essential that retailers are poised to reopen their doors, with enhanced health and safety measures yes, but also with the right stock at the right price. Crucially, this does not mean slashing prices; maintaining prices in line with market valuations will help the used car industry recover together as one.

“Moving forward, retailers will need to show consumers that they are adhering to the new social distancing guidelines as well as the health and safety measures to instil confidence that if they turn up to a forecourt, it’s safe to do so. Even more key will be to have a sophisticated digital offering, allowing potential buyers to conduct a virtual walk round / test drive of a car, put down a deposit online and arrange safe home delivery of a vehicle. We’ve developed the tools to allow retailers to surface these offering on their adverts, and they’ll go live as showroom are allowed to reopen.”

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK and Ireland's largest digital automotive marketplace. Auto Trader sits at the heart of the UK's vehicle buying process and its primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 100 Index.

The marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Auto Trader has over 90% prompted brand awareness and attracts circa 50 million monthly cross platform visits each month, with over 70% of visits coming through mobile devices.

The marketplace also has the largest pool of vehicle sellers (listing around 450,000 cars each day). Around 80% of UK automotive retailers advertise on autotrader.co.uk.

For more information, please visit https://plc.autotrader.co.uk  

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Laura Harvey or Andrew Nankervis | laura.harvey@autotrader.co.uk or Andrew.Nankervis@autotrader.co.uk

Missed this week's webinar with special guest @vertumotors? Well fear not - the whole webinar is now available on demand at https://t.co/A8vB2i49FU https://t.co/fpMbEkaRgB
Driving long distances? Well the best car for the job is the @UKVolkswagen Golf which scooped the Best Car for Long Distances award at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2020. Find out what owners said at https://t.co/TAtdeRojpZ https://t.co/4Sj9ANaFK6
For those looking for a 7 seater you can do no better than the @VolvoCarUK #XC90. That's according to the 181,000 car owners who voted it the best 7 seater in this year's Auto Trader New Car Awards! https://t.co/M7t1X3Ic9S https://t.co/csJOtcU63N
Exactly one week ago @MrRoryReid & @ErinBakerMotors announced the winners of the Auto Trader New Car Awards – revealing the best #newcars in the UK according to over 181,000 car owners! You can check out the #award winners at https://t.co/FMgf5HByCM #ThrowbackThursday https://t.co/CLdSORmOV0
Exactly one week ago when @MrRoryReid & @ErinBakerMotors announced the winners of the Auto Trader New Car Awards – revealing the best #newcars in the UK according to over 181,000 car owners! You can check out the #award winners at https://t.co/FMgf5HByCM #ThrowbackThursday https://t.co/SAFHIczDhl
#Dacia have done it once again! The @daciauk Duster once again won the Best Value New Car at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2020 - an award they also took home in 2019! https://t.co/vf00Z0g60W https://t.co/rn5qZX59Gh
We've seen a record number of #newcar and van #leads with new car retailers enjoying a massive 91% monthly increase in leads! Discover the latest new car data and how to drive even more leads as we see demand continue to spike now > https://t.co/8l2Mkx0ldn
Big thanks to everyone who joined today's webinar and of course to our guest speaker @vertumotors!
Reminder that next week we'll be launching #ATHighlyRated! Retailers who met the criteria will be receiving a pack next week to promote their achievements to consumers. https://t.co/UJgS71ytoP
Over to @stuart_trader who reveals the result of our earlier poll - a majority discounting prices much less or maintaining pre-#covid19 approach https://t.co/t8PfkUzrtU

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

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience