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WLTP boosts used car volumes and values for Cox Automotive in October

Philip Nothard, Cox Automotive’s head of external relations

Cox Automotive has reported 6.3% increase in used car volumes coming through Manheim auction sites during October as retailers battled for stock amid new vehicle supply shortages.

The remarketing specialist noted the clamour for used car stock as the effects of the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Programme (WLTP) on September 1 took hold of the market.

As used car volumes rose, average mileage for vehicles sold was up 1.8% to 62,158, while the average selling price of vehicles dropped slightly by 2% on September to £6,242, reflecting a change in the mix of stock going through the lanes, it said. 

Cox Automotive’s trade-to-trade online auction platform, Dealer Auction, also reported increased volumes, up 16% year on year, with a 7.9% annual increase in average selling price (£4,829).

Meanwhile NextGear Capital, Cox Automotive's wholesale stock funding business, reported steady figures across the board, with the average cost per unit decreasing just 0.07% to £7,697 while average holding days remained steady month-on-month.

Philip Nothard, Cox Automotive’s customer insight and strategy director, said: “The SMMT figures released this week demonstrate the continued pressures on the new market.

“As predicted, WLTP continues to impact the supply of new cars to dealers, and while the demand for hybrid and plug-in vehicles looks strong, the figures are behind Government ambitions.

“In contrast, the used market continues to gain pace. Volume across our wholesale auctions rose steadily throughout October, and good quality, ready to retail product continued to sell well.”

Cox Automotive’s strong October results follow the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) report of another disastrous month for the new car market, which fell 2.9% in October as model changes and backlogs caused by WLTP emissions testing continued to cause shortages.

However, Nothard noted that attendance at Manheim’s auctions nationwide had been high, adding: “We’ve seen a greater willingness by dealers to travel further to obtain good stock.”

He added: “As expected, vehicles that require reconditioning work have proved more difficult to shift and as such, we have seen great results for vendors who offer vehicles that need little to no post-auction attention.”

Cox Automotive's car search platform, Motors.co.uk reported a 0.3% increase in the average sold prices of vehicles (£14,644) while the average mileage of vehicles sold remained at 60,000, during October.

Strong demand was also reported for high specification vehicles, with valued extras such as panoramic roofs, privacy, larger alloys and reversing cameras achieving in excess of Cap clean.

Nothard said: “The positivity of the used car market is also demonstrated in the retail space, with very heavy demand across the UK and strong average sales prices for dealers.”

“Retail part-exchanges have performed well, and the corporate and fleet market have also achieved strong prices in the direct supply market.

“The ever-continuing conversations around fuel type continue to weigh on consumers’ minds, impacting on decision making for end customers, and while hybrids remain interesting, there is little appetite to purchase plug-in electric vehicles while logistical infrastructure remains low.”

“As we head towards the end of the year, the market - especially in wholesale - will continue to ride on the coat-tails of a strong autumn, with prices holding steady until January.

“Losses incurred as a result of the stunted new market will continue to spur on the demand for used, with dealers investing even more greatly to replenish lost new car revenues.”

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