“It is not surprising to see that lockdown measures in the UK heavily impacted used car transactions in Q1 of the year”, said Louise Wallis, Head of The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) commenting on the SMMT’s used car figures released today.
The market was down -8.9% with 1,687,775 million transactions compared with 1,851,919 million sales in the same period last year. The overall decline was largely down to sales in January and February of -27.1% and -19.4%, however it is encouraging to see that performance in March showed signs of recovery with a 32.2% year-on-year rise.
Growth in the market came through sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars (BEVs), which had combined sales of 44,792 units. These vehicles are becoming more popular as more models become available in the used car market. However, they still only represent a small part of the overall used car market at just 1%.
In this month’s NAMA survey, over 65% of respondents are expecting sales of petrol and diesel cars to remain popular and anticipate values of these cars to increase over the coming month.
Wallis continued, “Auctioneers are reporting that strengthening conversion rates and a positive impact on vehicle values is having a strong effect in the used car market.
“With consumers now ready to buy as lockdown restrictions continue to be lifted, there is a need to fill dealer forecourts with stock. This will ensure strong performance at auctions, as long as there is sufficient supply to fulfill this.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.