The new registration plate change in September is extending to two months, not just one month according to online remarketing specialist Autorola UK.
From Autorola’s perspective working with the dealer and OEM sectors it was clear September was all about hitting new car targets with both used car buyers and sellers being totally distracted by the 63-plate change.
Come the 1st of October the focus switched almost overnight to used cars with dealers analysing in detail what part exchanges they had received on the back of 63-plate activity, and deciding what to buy and sell to maximise their used car performance in the last quarter of 2013.
This market dynamic caused by the new plate change helped contribute to Autorola reporting its best ever sales performance in the UK.
“September remains a cautious month on the used car side with dealers avoiding entering it with too many used cars and instead focussing on new car sales,” explained Neil Frost, Autorola UK’s operations director.
“It is noticeable that dealers have spent October refocusing on used cars, deciding what part exchanges they want to sell and which ones to retail, and then filling the stock gaps they have on their forecourts.
“This market dynamic has helped make October our best ever month in seven years of trading in the UK, but shows how the plate change causes a two month disruption for franchised dealers in particular,” he added.
From a buyers’ perspective the big dealer focus has been on sub £6,000 smaller used cars such as Fiesta Zetecs and Peugeot 208s which are in high demand among consumers, while any older car in reasonable condition on an 08 or 09 plate is popular and making excellent money.
Late plate stock volumes were switched on immediately the new 63-plate change went live, but this sector remains tough due to the excellent new car deals still on offer in the market.
Autorola is finding more dealer groups are now turning their attention to sourcing specific stock which will sell quickly and that will add some extra interest to their used forecourts. 4x4s are a good example and demand and prices have started to improve, although cabriolets have started their seasonal price downturn.
Autorola is selling more vans through its online platform, but the LCV market remains unimpressed with the plate change and the shortage of good stock in the right volumes is still keeping prices consistently high.
Demand for VW and Mercedes is particularly strong and Autorola believes the market will remain strong well into 2014.