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Analysis confirms PCPs impact on shortening car ownership cycle

Wizzle founder Sébastien Duval

More evidence of the shortening car ownership cycle has emerged from analysis of almost a quarter of a million vehicle appraisals by dealers.

It suggests the dealer appetite for ‘price range’ cars around the four-years-or-older bracket is no longer fully satisfied by today’s motor retail environment.

The data, analysed by the trade appraisal specialist AUTOi, confirms growing anecdotal reports of the ownership cycle typically shortening to 24 months, under the influence of the PCP low monthly payment culture.

AUTOi’s records of dealer vehicle appraisal activity shows that three years ago the biggest spike in appraisals occurred at three years old and the second most common appraisal time was at four years.

Today the most common moment for appraisal still comes at three years but the second spike in appraisals is now at two years.

Mileage at the point of appraisal also shows a substantial reduction, with the most common point at which a car is appraised having reduced from around 30,000 miles to 20,000 miles.

AUTOi conducted the analysis to understand a bigger-than-expected appetite for cars older than three years among dealers using its Wizzle platform, which enables consumers to offer their cars for sale to the trade.

While cars offered on Wizzle up to three years old were predicted to be most popular among its 3,500 dealer users, evidence from the first two months of trading shows most demand for cars between three and five years old.

AUTOi and Wizzle founder Sébastien Duval (pictured) said: “Because the new car ownership cycle is increasingly similar to the mobile phone market this is changing the nature of dealer used car operations so that they are seeing fewer examples of ‘bread and butter’ stock returning in part-exchange.

“But our experience since launching the Wizzle platform suggests that the appetite for that older stock among many dealers is undiminished.

“We are seeing particularly strong demand for cars older than three years.

“Given the growth in cash-for-car services and an increasing focus on getting consumers into new cars at the 24 month point there is less general supply of the traditional core used car stock for dealers to choose from.

“That accounts for the particular attention our dealer subscribers to Wizzle pay to cars they can retail around the classic £3,000 to £5,000 price point.”

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