Used car buyers will continue to seek out vehicles which cost less to run despite recent upturns in the economy, according to Jay Nagley, managing director of Redspy.
Speaking at this year’s AM Used Car Market Conference, which takes place on October 10 at the Ricoh Arena, Nagley will look at the growing attraction of low CO2 and high mpg vehicles as motorists keep costs as low as possible and weigh up fuel economy and Vehicle Excise Duty against specification and mileage when deciding on their purchase.
“Whether CO2 emissions reflect a desire to impact less on the environment over running costs or a reluctance to handover ever bigger sums to the taxman in the form of VED is another matter,” said Nagley.
“The fact is the economy car is a significant player in the fortunes of the used car market. With the arrival of EVs as well as the explosion in hybrid vehicles, even though Toyota’s Prius has been available on the used car market for more than 10 years, dealers need to understand the car buyer’s behaviour and perceptions of these vehicles to ensure they have the right mix on their forecourts and websites.”
Latest data from Experian shows the supermini segment, including the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Fiesta, to be leading the recent resurgence in used car sales.
Used car sales from April to June 2013 were 4.5% up on 2012, the highest since 2009 and the first year-on-year increase for the second quarter of the year since records began in 2005, but superminis were up by 7.5% in 2013 compared to last year and now make up a third of all used cars sold.
He added: “While the genuine green car driver may be a niche audience, there is a significant increase in consumers who want to reduce their carbon footprint and motoring is an obvious place where they can make real changes quite easily.
“However, the lowest CO2 emitting vehicle is not necessarily the car which impacts the environment the least. Being able to deliver such a message to potential buyers, particularly by those brands whose vehicles fall into this bracket, can be a difficult concept to express.”
Interestingly, Experian’s figures show hybrid and electric models continue to attract buyers with rises of 35.5 and 14.3% respectively in the used market for Q2 2013 compared to the same time last year, which indicates a market with potential to develop.
The session will also throw the odd curved ball, as Nagley points out, one of the fastest growing sectors for new cars is 4x4s.
While way behind market favourites superminis and lower medium cars in terms of volume, the SUV sector still comes in at third place, eventually these vehicles will be re-housed via the used car market. As manufacturers fuse the desire for a smaller, more economical vehicle with the attractive style of the SUV, compact versions are appearing on our roads and will eventually find themselves on the used market.
Joining Nagley on podium at this year’s Used Car Conference are speakers such as Hugh Dickerson, senior industry head at Google, who will reveal the increasingly complex online journey undertaken by used car buyers; Professor Peter Cooke author of the BCA Used Car Market Report 2013; and CAP operations director Adrian Rushmore.