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September used car sales boost for showrooms

For the first time since the peak in March this year, Manheim’s latest Dealer Dashboard figures indicate that used car sales have actually risen from an average of 10.8 sales per dealer per month in August to 11.1 sales per dealer per month in September.

Showroom and online enquiries were static at 33.2 while sales conversion of test drives crept up to 33.3%.

John Simpson, managing director, Manheim Retail Services, said: “These encouraging used car sales results have not come at the expense of new car sales, with the latest SMMT figures also proving strong. Other buying dynamics are changing too.

“Consumers are increasingly adopting the internet to initiate their search for vehicles and, as dealers look to drive showroom footfall, those that have a strong web presence, a fully ‘optimised’ website as well as stock available on third party sites are those that are capturing more than their fair share of this growing online audience.”

Mike Pilkington, managing director, Manheim Auctions & Remarketing, said there was a sense that the wholesale market could not continue to support these levels of increase, after the latest stock for retail figures for September showed sales’ values up more than £300 on August figures.

“Looking ahead to Q4, while we do not expect a collapse in prices, values look set to level off – hardly surprising after this extraordinary year for wholesale used car values,” he added.

Conversion rates in September averaged 90%, a slight fall from August.

Average part-exchange values increased again, by £41 to £2,284 and average first time auction conversion rates for unwanted part-exchanges actually went up again to 89% in September.

“Dealers are being urged to act now to dispose of unwanted part exchange stock, rather than bringing it to auction when the market has ‘come off the boil’ nearer the end of the year.”

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