Press release

SMMT used car transactions | Q3 2019

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader's commercial director, provides his view on the latest used car transactions, and what lies ahead for the market. 

At a time when the new car market is struggling, it’s reassuring to see such a solid performance in used cars. At nearly four time times the size of the new car market and with the potential for greater margins, the used market remains the biggest opportunity for retailers in the closing months of 2019.

“Whilst the current economic climate isn’t driving consumers to delay their next car purchase, it is affecting their decision between new or used. Indeed, rather than the average transaction cycle of 3.4 years extending to four, as Brexit and election anxieties persist we're seeing people less willing to risk stretching their budget to a new car and instead reverting to what may be perceived as a better value and lower cost alternative. 

“These same considerations are also affecting their choice in terms of fuel type. As a consequence of the demonisation of diesel, we’ve seen used petrol values grow at a faster rate. As a result, on a like for like basis, buyers are now often viewing diesels as better value for money.

 “Despite the lack of a compelling narrative or any meaningful financial incentives for consumers to make the switch from fossil to electric, used alternatively fuelled sales recorded another strong performance over the last quarter. We’re seeing a similar picture on our marketplace where searches for pure electric vehicles have increased 59% since October 2018. What’s more, this month the Renault ZOE is both the fastest and second fastest selling used car in the UK, the first time a pure EV has achieved the 'one-two'. 

“In case there were any doubts, there is clearly a growing market for second-hand low emission vehicles. However, whilst AFVs undoubtedly represent an exciting opportunity for retailers, the biggest challenge to consumer adoption may no longer be the traditional perceived barriers to entry, such as cost and infrastructure, but rather a matter of long-term supply and demand for affordable nearly new or used models.”

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

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