Continued strengthening in the UK’s used car market is revealed by the latest CAP Used Car Performance Index, a survey of the used car trade.
CAP surveys a regionally weighted and representative sample of franchise and independent used car dealers across the whole of the UK each month.
As well as a stronger market than in June, the latest survey reveals a year-on-year increase bringing improved retail sales compared with July 2003.
Feeding the research process behind CAP Black Book – the independent benchmark guide to current used car values – the CAP Used Car Performance Index provides a unique insight into the fortunes of Britain’s £32bn used car market.
While July’s index demonstrates an overall strong performance it also reveals ongoing regional variations in fortune, with clear winners and losers around the country.
The five best performing regions in July were Eastern England, the North East, North West, West Midlands, London and the South East. Having reported difficult trading conditions for much of the year, dealers in the North West are doing especially well with sales increases for the majority over the last two months. July saw 70% of dealers here beating their June totals and only 20% failing to maintain performance.
They were closely followed by dealers in London and the South East, where even fewer saw negative results in July. Here 60% moved ahead, while 25% maintained level sales. Daren Wiseman, managing editor of CAP Black Book, says: “One feature of the current used car market is that dealers have been driving prices down in the trade in order to price cars more attractively on the forecourt.
“Our research shows that this is paying off, with our measure of ‘showroom footfall’ - the number of potential customers visiting dealers - showing a marked increase in July. Further evidence of their success in converting many of these visitors into buyers is revealed by the fact that the vast majority of dealers are still actively buying cars for stock.”
Used car performance – regional highlights July 2004