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Used car market strong amid ‘stalling’ registrations, says Cox Automotive

Used cars ready for auction at Manheim

Cox Automotive has indicated that the used car market remains “strong” against the backdrop of falling new car registrations.

Average sold prices at the remarketing specialist’s Manheim auctions business were stable for both ex-fleet and part-exchange vehicles during March, shifting marginally against the prior month, up 1% to £6,623 (18.6% higher than this time last year), it said.

In terms of fuel type, volumes of petrol vehicles continued to sell well and diesel volumes in the used market continue to prove strong, increasing 7% on 2017 figures. Interest in electric vehicles also continued to rise, up 18% year-on-year. 

Cox Automotive's head of external relations, Philip Nothard, said: "In the main, we are seeing a very strong used market. It's performing very well in comparison to last year's figures, and especially in comparison to the new market, which is stalling."

Dealer Auction, Cox’s trade-to-trade online auction platform, recorded a 20% year-on-year increase in volume coming through the lanes and a 12% uplift in average sales price during March.

Completing the wholesale picture, figures from NextGear Capital, Cox Automotive's wholesale stock funding business, reported a 1% increase in average cost per unit from £7,119 from £7,042 in March. Average holding days also increased to 55.5 from 54.9 in March. 

Cox Automotive's car search platform, Motors.co.uk, meanwhile, confirmed that the average sold price was up 2.97% on 2017 figures, standing at £12,903, despite vehicles selling at a slower pace.

Motors.co.uk's data also showed that consumer demand for electric vehicles had surged, with alternative fuel vehicles spending seven fewer days on forecourts than the same period last year (48 days in 2017 vs. 41 days in 2018). 

The data also revealed smaller, more affordable vehicles continued to perform well for dealers, outselling larger, prestige models, which is a trend carried over from the previous quarter,

Nothard said: "With the news about Vauxhall, last month saw uncertainty in the new car market, however the results across wholesale and retail clearly show this has yet to impact on market performance.

"Moving through Q2, although there are unknowns such as WLTP's potential to impact manufacturers' production schedules, we still expect buyer appetite to remain steady for used vehicle stock.

"This positivity is reflected across the market and our recent data shows that 57% of dealers expect to continue to source stock at the same level over the coming months - a confidence that is underpinned by the strength of balance sheets across the sector."

 

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