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Dealers could see used sales surge in 2019, says Startline

Startline Motor Finance chief executive Paul Burgess

Startline Motor Finance has predicted that dealers may shift their emphasis towards used cars in 2019 as a result of increased economic uncertainty.

Startline chief executive, Paul Burgess, said that feedback received by the business from its customer base shows that they do not expect substantial recovery in the new car sector and are backing used sales.

Burgess said: “We are entering a phase where there is no hiding from the economic headwinds that will slow the economy.

“If people are tired of hearing about Brexit at the moment, then they should perhaps consider locking themselves in a dark room for the next few months and longer. It will be economically omnipresent.

“Obviously, some of the forecasts and predictions being made are quite extreme but, even at the lower end of its impact, Brexit is likely to lead to contraction in the economy, wage stagnation and possibly increased unemployment.

“All of these will have an impact on a new car market that is unlikely to quickly bounce back from the effects of WLTP that have impacted its performance in recent months."

Burgess said that the team at Startline were expecting larger numbers of car buyers to move into the used sector, especially at the newer end of the market, with one to three-year-old vehicles seen to be offering a value for money, lower risk alternative to a new car.

Burgess said that Startline was already seeing an increased investment and attention being given to the used car sector among those who sold its motor finance.

“Especially, we are seeing a lot of interest and activity around the used car sales process, add-on products and finance, which is where we are getting involved in looking anew at how our flexible finance options can fit into lending panels and reach new customers," he said.

“Our view is that the car retailers who are making these moves now are the ones who will thrive in 2019.

"It is a year that, we believe, will unavoidably provide a rocky ride but those who take a proactive approach to the used vehicle sector will continue to thrive.”

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