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Car dealers ‘pushing hard’ to drive used car sales growth

Martin Hill, chief executive, Dealerweb

Car dealers pushed hard to realise the benefits of car buyers’ increased interest in used cars during May – with the number of prospecting calls up by 21% during the month.

As new car sales volumes continue to show decline during 2019, lead management specialists Dealerweb have seen an increased effort by dealers to grow through their used car operations and a corresponding increase in interest from motorists.

Dealerweb chief executive, Martin Hill, said: “Our data shows that dealers are pushing hard by chasing every enquiry to support sales. The volume of prospecting calls increased by 20.1% and demos for used vehicles increased by 2.6% in May.

Dealerweb said that retailers had seen enquiries for used vehicles jump by 5.6% in May, and overall sales from used operations increase by 4.2%.

However, while finance sales increased by 1.4% against the same month in 2018, Gap insurance sales fell by 8.9% and paint protection by 0.2%. Finance penetration for used vehicles also declined from 46% to 45%.

Hill said: “Used car operations continue to provide a valuable profit centre. An attractive, used car finance rate that can deliver a low monthly payment will generate more clicks and enquiries, and ultimately, more sales.

“There is potential to grow used car finance penetration, which sits at 45% in May compared to 75% for new vehicles.”

Dealerweb said it had become clear that online used car marketing channels were growing in importance, adding that it was vital that dealers capture these enquiries accurately and respond quickly.

“Once the customer has enquired, they expect a quick response and data shows that a prompt response is crucial for sales conversions,” said Hill.

“Research suggests that 25% of customers expect a reply to a web lead in under a half an hour and almost half within one hour.”

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