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.”

Get set for forecourts opening on Monday with our latest #GetRetailReady #infographic revealing car buyer's thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/iEsnRun6j8 https://t.co/OPHraHWwX1
Auto Trader Highly Rated is back for 2020! Our Highly Rated Award recognises those car retailers delivering the very best in customer service. Find out when we will be announcing the 2020 Award recipients and what criteria you need to meet to qualify. https://t.co/3KF1MkqhfV https://t.co/LpmE65LbMw
Ian Plummer was invited onto @BBCNews this morning to discuss the latest manufacturing figures from the @SMMT. He took the opportunity to highlight the pent up demand in the market & all the measures #retailers have been taking to get #retailready ahead of #showrooms reopening https://t.co/uNmpEYMatT
Thanks James, kind of you to say and great to hear you've found the insight beneficial https://t.co/63vAiNfMfG
To help retailers get back to selling vehicles as quickly as possible, we're launching a new marketing campaign as well as introducing some of the biggest changes to our site in recent years designed to drive more buyers to your ads. Find out more here: https://t.co/JvfE40zohI https://t.co/dqnoP6x3G0
With showrooms set to open on Monday, we’ve put together a handy #infographic to take you through car buyers' thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/nqvKSP6X5t https://t.co/fUhwQ9j9Fq
Thanks to everyone for joining today's #webinar and of course thank you to our guest presenters @adamjt11 and @MikeHawesSMMT. Be sure to join next week and best of luck to those opening their doors next week #retailready https://t.co/qkAmfJw5kC
Catherine reveals the latest changes coming to the Auto Trader platform to improve the #userexperience and increase ad views and dwell time. https://t.co/EiIphIdQfH
Our latest consumer #marketing campaign is designed to give consumers confidence that they can join the car buying journey again and to push the message that #automotive is back in business!
Back to Catherine to talk about how we are helping consumers to get #retailready

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