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Regional differences in used car sales performance fail to dent dealers' confidence

Retail used car sales brought mixed results for dealers in February, with those in Scotland, the East Midlands, Northern Ireland and Eastern England all enjoying better performance in February than January, according to the February CAP Used Car Performance Index.

But sales fell back in the North West, Wales, South West, Yorkshire & Humberside and West Midlands.

CAP Motor Research surveys a regionally weighted and representative sample of franchise and independent used car dealers across the whole of the UK each month. The Index for February reveals a used car market still growing but showing marked regional variations in terms of retail demand. For example the best retail sales performances were reported by dealers in the East of England and Northern Ireland. The worst area for used car sales was the West Midlands - but even there, dealer confidence for the immediate future remains unchanged on the start of the year.

The highest levels of confidence are reported by Scottish dealers, who also saw their retail sales increase significantly in February. Their confidence 'score' of 90 represents an almost unanimous view among the sample that business will continue to grow - with no dealer researched expecting a downturn.

Elsewhere the picture is more variable. For example, among the dealer sample for the second best performing region - East of England - some businesses are reporting expectations of a downturn. But they are outnumbered by the majority, who generally expect continuing improvements or at least the maintenance of current levels of business.

Mark Norman, Managing Editor of CAP Monitor - the industry benchmark guide to forecast used car prices, said: "It seems the latest interest rate rise has had little effect upon consumer confidence as far as the used car market goes.”

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