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.”

This week saw the highest level of new electric car advert views on Auto Trader since the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol & diesel vehicles was announced, with almost 14% of all new car advert views being for an electric car last Thursday. Will we see this trend continue? https://t.co/sczaVjTeoV
It’s all hands on deck for this week’s tip of the week where @AndrewKorpela shares some best practises to help you keep your forecourt full and ensure the stock on your forecourt is presented in the best possible way. https://t.co/6Lsf00QIRM
In our next webinar, our CEO Nathan Coe joins us to answer the question “Are Auto Trader Buying Cars?” Register now and join us live to find out what he has to say along with all our latest market updates and insights 👉https://t.co/METGnTcqB8 https://t.co/UT1hMfHtqo
The number of people viewing electric vehicles on our platform continues to grow and right now it is the @Tesla Model S that is attracting more advert views than any other electric vehicle on our platform. https://t.co/Q0c8imqzCP
The number of people viewing electric vehicles on our platform continues to grow and right now it is the @Tesla Model S that is attracting more advert views than any other electric vehicle on our platform. https://t.co/Q0c8imqzCP
When it comes to city driving, the @renault_uk Captur came out top at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021, winning the Best Car for City Drivers award. https://t.co/FrHpVBTLvb
Buyers looking at petrol and diesel vehicles are increasingly considering an electric vehicle. But considerations are comparatively low when we look at those considering a plug-in hybrid, with 40.6% of such buyers considering an electric vehicle. https://t.co/cyfmYVw5xk
Wondering what's next for car dealers now that restrictions have been eased? Check out last week's webinar to find out what you can expect over the coming months and how to prepare👉 https://t.co/bGqkGxArP3 https://t.co/79L9B623fs
How are our vehicle valuations calculated? @nchking has the answer, and shares exactly how our award winning valuations are calculated entirely by data. https://t.co/u0HIGWAXot
Fantastic to see our winners getting the recognition they deserve! https://t.co/1vrF4Tjo2e

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