The spike in trading caused by March and September plate changes now impacts dealers and their stock levels over a 10-week period, according to Autorola UK.
The growing number of new cars being registered, the subsequent number of part exchanges that are being generated and the pre registrations phenomena mean a new plate change has grown into a 70-day process.
Neil Frost, Autorola UK’s operations director claimed that used sales and stock volumes on the business' online remarketing portal have continued to grow year on year and “visibly during 20 weeks of the year around plate changes”.
Frost added: "The hiatus around a new plate change has grown on average from six to 10 weeks simply because of the ever growing volumes of new and used cars coming into the market place.”
Autorola said that dealers rend to use the last two weeks of February and August to tidy up their used car and dealer demos to identify and sell over age stock to free up available space on site, working hard to meet quarterly sales targets in the month that follows.
The months following plate change – May and October – are then dedicated to deciding what part exchange stock to keep and what to sell and then sourcing used cars to retain a healthy stock mix.
Despite this lengthening period, Autorola believes that the process is an improvement on the strain placed on the motor industry by the previous August plate change before it was scrapped in 1999.
Frost said: “An increase in new car lead times and the delay when fleets have to extend their contracts as they wait for a driver’s new car has are also added extra spice to a dealer’s life.
“Dealers constantly have to react to change as the market changes and following the Brexit result there could be more change to come.”