Franchised car dealers saw a 32% rise in online enquiries for used cars in Q3 as web-based new car enquiries fell by 8% over the same period, according to DMS provider Dealerweb.
The new data gathered by Dealerweb saw its overall enquiries for used cars rise by 4% during the quarter, resulting in a 15% rise for the year to date.
However, Dealerweb found that new car enquiries were tumbling as cosumers "gravitated" towards the used sector, with enquiries falling by 8% in Q3 and 3% for the year to the end of September, reflecting the 3.9% YTD registrations decline reported by the SMMT.
The most notable decline in Q3 was for new-car ‘walk-in’ enquiries, Dealerweb said, which fell by 11%.
Martin Hill, managing director at Dealerweb, said: “While the latest registrations data from the SMMT points to the continued decline in new car demand, our analysis brings important additional context, highlighting how a significant volume of enquiries are gravitating towards the used market
“One inevitable conclusion is that consumers are looking to reduce their expenditure, and expect that to be possible by going for used rather than new.”
Hill added: “The factors behind these changes are well-rehearsed in national media – in particular uncertainty over the country’s financial prospects in a post-Brexit world.
“Dealers can’t control the macro-economic picture, but they can take steps to maximise every sales opportunity through accurate lead qualification and effective response processes.”
Below is a sample of Dealerweb’s enquiry data for new and used cars from Q3 and year-to-date: