The UK used market showed its first signs of cooling off in August as consumer sales volumes fell by 3.3% year-on-year, according to the latest INDICATA data.
During August, the UK was the only one out of 13 European countries to experience a year-on-year fall with the sub-three-year sector down by 15.75%.
Volumes were also down by 50% in the sub 12-month sector, caused by OEMs reducing their push on self-registrations and demonstrators as new car shortages continue following the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The 6-9 year age group was the only one to rise during August by 8.8%.
Hybrids and EV sales were up by nearly 50% year-on-year, reflecting the consumers’ move to low emission used cars post lockdown. Meanwhile, the luxury and SUV segments were the only ones to experience annual growth in August.
Retail prices rose by 1.9% during August, which reflects the very high wholesale prices in the market, but INDICATA’s market data shows there are still strong profit opportunities to be had on dealer’s fast-moving stock.
Market stock levels actually grew by 3% in August as used cars stuck in the wholesale supply chain have finally seen the light of day. Many dealers have become more cautious in their buying habits as wholesale prices have remained very high.
“The UK used car market saw an interesting blend of high prices, improving stock levels and a fall in demand year-on-year. Based on these trends, September could be more of a challenging used car month for dealers,” explained Jon Mitchell, INDICATA’s group sales director.
“Dealers must invest in identifying the fast-moving stock and trade out of the slow-moving stock quickly,” he added.
In July, the UK reported the strongest used car pricing growth across Europe in July. Prices rose on average by 1.7%, helped by a 22% shortfall in used stock in the market compared with the 1 April. Sales fell by 1.8% in July as a result of this stock shortage compared with a 3.7% rise in June.