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.”

Thanks to everyone that played #ATFestive today. In case you weren't sure of the answer, here it is... We'll announce the winner on Monday along with the next question. Have a great weekend 🎅 https://t.co/sLZI6mTlKr
Day five of the #ATFestive giveaway. If you work in the UK automotive industry and fancy winning a £50 Amazon voucher for you or your team, just answer this question....you shouldn't have too far to go to find the answer 😉Good luck! 🎄🎄 https://t.co/wKLWluYym9
According to data from the Auto Trader Fastest Selling Index the @renault_uk Zoe was the UK's fastest selling used car in December AND 2019 as a whole. It marks the first time a pure #electricvehicle has taken the annual top spot. Read more here: https://t.co/UnmbW8lHEz https://t.co/XBRj8E9EsW
Thank you to everyone who's been playing #ATFestive this week. Yesterday's winner, who answered correctly that the @PeugeotUK 3008 was the Auto Trader New Car of the Year 2019 is....@chevroncars 🥳 Well done guys. Stay tuned for today's question https://t.co/elccev0yz3
And that's it for day four of #ATFestive. Here's the answer - it is of course the brilliant @PeugeotUK 3008. Thank you to everyone who played today. We'll reveal the winner tomorrow along with question 5 🎄 https://t.co/TcZCTDL5Xh
Day four of #ATFestive and your chance to scoop a £50 Amazon voucher for you or your team. If you work in the UK automotive industry, all you need to do is answer today's question by 5pm this evening. Good luck! 🎁🎁 https://t.co/PJiYCT6MrL
Congratulations to the team at @RobinLuscombe ...you've won yesterday's #ATFestive giveaway and a £50 Amazon voucher 🥳 Stay tuned for today's question 🎅 https://t.co/OPcrvnLtng
And that's it for another day of #ATFestive - here is the answer. Did you get it right? Thanks so much to everyone that's playing along. We'll be revealing the winner tomorrow, along with question 4. Good luck! 🎄🎁 https://t.co/sOnAmMEF1x
Day three of #ATFestive. If you work in the UK automotive industry then here's your chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher. Just answer the question below by 5pm. Good luck 🎄 https://t.co/TyJ26ehSDe
Congratulations to the team at @RMI_NFDA for answering yesterday's #ATFestive question correctly. A £50 Amazon voucher is on its way! Stay tuned for today's question 🎅🎁 https://t.co/n8Qp2Tla2a

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