The demand for used cars will increase in early 2024, predicts Shoreham Vehicle Auctions’ MD Alex Wright.
He believes that once consumers realise the UK economy is strong, supported by reduced inflation and retail prices they will be ready to invest in replacing their car.
“Once the penny drops with consumers that the economy is stable then the demand for used cars will return back to its seasonal winter level again for the first time for a few years. A seasonal winter used market sees prices and demand slowdown pre-Xmas and prices and demand rising again post-Xmas,” said Wright.
“We anticipate demand increasing in January and February which will give the remarketing sector a strong start to the year,” he added.
Wright predicts the increased demand for used cars in early 2024 will break the cycle of gently falling prices the market has seen for the past 18 months.
“New car supply will carry on improving and it is only a matter of time before it gets back to pre-Covid levels. We predict used demand in Q4 will also remain consistent, particularly in the three to five-year sub-80,000-mile category,” he said.
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Dealers meanwhile will fall into two camps during November and December. One group will invest in forecourt stock before prices rise in January while those with a December year end, will run down their stock levels knowing they risk buying cars in January at higher prices.
“Most years dealers fall into one camp or the other. There is no right or wrong answer although those that take more stock into the Xmas period and January are often the winners as they have sufficient supply to meet demand and typically make better margins on cars they sell,” explained Wright.