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Used car sales surge as dealer shift emphasis, says Wizzle

Wizzle founder Sébastien Duval

A surge in second hand car sales has been indicated by a 300% pro rata rise in sales via the Wizzle online marketplace, the business’ creator has claimed.

Wizzle saw its online trades triple in just the first 12 working days of January compared with the whole of December and Sébastien Duval, who founded Wizzle as a way of connecting dealers with motorists who want to sell their car directly, said “dealers can’t seem to get enough used cars”.

Duval believes that retailers are working hard to fill their forecourts with used cars quicker than ever after experts predicted a reduction in new car sales this year.

The SMMT has suggested that new car sales could stall by “five or six per cent” during 2017 and Wizzle claims that higher inflation and changes in road tax are set to make new car deals look less attractive.

Other leading industry analysts have suggested that the changes to VED road tax could spark a surge in new car demand ahead of the April changes, however, as motorists bid to beat added costs on diesel and other low CO2-emitting cars.

But overall demand for cars is undiminished as consumer spending continues to grow and dealers are now gearing up for a surge in used car demand during 2017, Duval said.

“We saw a pro rata 300% increase in sales for the first two weeks of January, compared with December, and dealers now can’t seem to get enough used cars,” said Duval.

“There’s no obvious pattern to the type of cars they want, in terms of price band or even age of car – they are just stocking up on everything at the moment.

“We think dealers are seeing used car sales as a good hedge against an expected slowdown in the market for new cars this year.

“The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has already predicted that new car sales could be down by five to six per cent this year, so dealers are looking at every possible avenue to keep growing.”

Earlier this month Sytner Group invested in its used car offering with the announcement that it had signed a deal to buy the five-site CarShop car supermarket network.

Sytner believes that the deal will see a £275 million rise in its annual turnover this year.

Duval said that the added emphasis on used cars will benefit customers. He said: “There is now a better choice of second hand cars than ever before, thanks to the multitude of new models launched over the past few years.

“Availability at every age and price has also improved since ownership periods have shortened, which means many more high quality used cars available.

“It’s good news for private sellers too, like those who use a service like Wizzle, because dealers are enthusiastic about buying direct from the public to fill spaces on the forecourt.”

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