Dealers need to take steps to continue to reap rewards in a seemingly buoyant used car market and focus on key areas to ensure they are best placed to continue to attract business, according to BCA managing director Spencer Lock.
Following the publication of its 2013 BCA Used Car Market Report, which revealed pre-recession used car sales figures of 7.1 million units in 2012, Lock urged dealers to pay attention to the detail and refine both their new and used retail strategy accordingly to secure as strong a foothold as possible in a recovering market.
Lock, who will be speaking at this year’s AM Used Car Market Conference on October 10 at the Ricoh Arena alongside Professor Peter Cooke, the report’s author, said: “While the report is extremely good news for all retailers, proactive dealers will be able to increase their recovering fortunes even further by taking note of specific trends identified in the report and exploiting their potential.”
The report, the results of 4,000 face-to-face interviews with car-owners, shows 17% would consider buying new with the right low or 0% finance offers in place providing retailers with the opportunity to identify potential new car buyers on their database who are driving the very vehicles they would like to see on their used forecourt.
Dealers should also look closely at former fleet vehicles after the report showed sales of cars in the 3-5 year age group grew by 6.1% and sales of 6-8 year old cars rose for a fifth consecutive year. Meanwhile, the average age of vehicles on UK roads hit an all-time high at 7.59 years with predictions that this will rise further.
He added: “Respondents also indicated a lack of loyalty with only 10% saying they would ‘buy the same car again’ so dealers will have to work harder than ever to retain their customers.
“There are also regional differences and London retailers, in particular, will find the used car market to be a harder nut to crack as the report showed an increase of 12% of households without a car in the capital compared to a 5% rise nationwide.”
While the market conditions are upbeat, the report also showed price to be the biggest factor when choosing the next used car - nearly two thirds (64%) of motorists cited it as the key influence.
Using the latest analysis as context, Lock will also explore how remarketing services need to evolve to better help dealers to boost used car retailing.