Rob Whalley, managing director of Experian’s Automotive division, said: “While the increase in used car sales is a positive start to the year, much of this is down to retailers having to compete with discounts and offers on new cars to make used cars more attractive to buyers. So, while sales volumes have increased, it appears that prices overall have come down.
“In addition to this, there has been a significant increase in the number of used car supermarkets that work on getting as many cars out of the door as possible. More and more are appearing and they are doing extremely well.”
Whalley says the online presence of used car businesses was a major factor for the success.
The biggest increases came from sports utility vehicles (SUVs) with 18.4% growth, multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) with 11.8% and sports cars with 6.9%, compared to the same period last year.
“SUVs have enjoyed the most success over the years, with steady year-on-year sales growth at an average of 12.6% each year. Most manufacturers have been quick to seize the opportunities presented by significant growth in this segment by launching their own models over the past few years. However, with growing competition, supply is now catching up with demand for this segment and residual values have been coming down as a result.
“It remains to be seen whether the recent increase in tax for cars with the highest emissions and the push towards more economical vehicles will have an impact on sales of all three segments in both the new and used markets.”