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Nearly-new diesel vehicle volumes on the decline, reports Cox Automotive

Philip Nothard, Cox Automotive’s customer insight and strategy director

Cox Automotive has reported that volumes of nearly-new diesel vehicles declined in January as the used car sector showed stability by “following its normal seasonal pattern”.

January’s SMMT results showed a further decline in new diesel sales (down by 20.3%), and the trend is starting to have a knock-on effect on used cars, with half a million fewer diesel vehicles in the market over the past two years.

Nothard said: “The dawn of ‘dieselgate’ three years ago had a relatively low impact on the used market when compared to new. However, we are starting to see lower numbers of diesel vehicles in the ‘nearly new’ age bracket.”

January saw the average value for part-exchange vehicles sold through Manheim’s auction lanes increase by 5% year-on-year to £4,369, as average mileage (75,716) remained on a par with mileage figures observed throughout 2018.

NextGear Capital, Cox Automotive's wholesale stock funding business, saw its dealer customers fund a record number of vehicles in January, despite a 2.8% month-on-month decrease in the average cost per unit to £7,656 and a three-day increase in average holding days to 67., Cox Automotive’s trade-to-trade online auction platform, recorded vehicle sales up 10% year-on-year, and a 7% average price increase to £5,097, meanwhile.

Philip Nothard, Cox Automotive UK’s customer insight and strategy director, said: “It’s positive to see the used car market following its normal seasonal pattern despite challenges in the new car market, some lingering issues around WLTP, and consumer uncertainty ahead of Brexit.”

“The market for ready-to-retail vehicles, in particular, remains intensely competitive as dealers focus on the used market to bolster new car sales.”

He added: “Consumer interest in used cars was broadly in line with expectations. New car sales were more challenging, which could be partly due to increased rates and reduced incentives making upgrades less attractive to existing PCP customers.

“As we move through February, uncertainty around Brexit in March, and new WLTP tax implications will encourage fleet owners and consumers to hold on to existing vehicles for a little longer, and I expect to see a continued focus on aftersales activity.”

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