Nearly 60% of dealers expressed optimism for the used car market’s performance in the latter half of 2024, according to the Startline Used Car Tracker for July.

A significant portion, nearly 35%, are witnessing signs of growing consumer confidence while 31% anticipate a reduction in interest rates.

Another 31% have observed improvements in vehicle stock supply, and 11% expect post-election demand to boost the market, the new findings indicate.

Despite the optimism, 30% of dealers foresee the market maintaining its current state, and 10% predict a downturn.

Among the concerns, 8% believe that high interest rates will persist, and 5% sense a decline in consumer confidence.

Startline Motor Finance CEO Paul Burgess said: “The first six months of the year have been pretty good ones for the used car sector, so general predictions of an even better second half indicate quite a buoyant mood among dealers.

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“There are widespread beliefs that consumer confidence is on the rise, that we’ll see some kind of action on interest rates, and that stock is available to meet demand.

“While not everyone believes we’ll see an improving market, fewer than one in 10 think it will worsen. Overall, it adds up to a positive sentiment across the used car sector.”

The July tracker also revealed that 50% of consumers feel optimistic about purchasing a used car this month. Of these, 56% are motivated by the need to replace their current vehicle—a notable increase from 46% at the year’s start.

Burgess stated: “We’ve been seeing strong consumer sentiment in terms of the idea of buying a used car for most of this year, and the fact that older vehicles are wearing out seems to be a driving force. Many people have been hanging onto their cars for a long time, since before the pandemic, and it looks as though increasing numbers are ready to re-enter the market.”

Additionally, the survey found a positive shift in demand for electric vehicles, with 23% of consumers planning to choose electric for their next car, a significant rise from 11% at the beginning of the year.

Burgess added: “There has been much negativity around electric cars over the last year or more so it’s interesting to note that we have recorded a strong improvement in consumer perception throughout 2024.

“It could simply be that as motorists see more and more EVs being used on the road, and by family and friends, that their advantages become more apparent.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is a monthly report produced by APD Global Research. The latest research included responses from 307 consumers and 62 dealers.