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Post-election boost to used car sales expected to continue, says JudgeService

Used cars line up

The used car market is predicted to achieve growth in 2020, following a boost in consumer confidence achieved after the general election.

While used car volumes were down by 4% overall in 2019, sales grew by 21% in December after Boris Johnson achieved a majority Government.

Neil Addley, managing director JudgeService, said: "Whatever your political affiliations, 2019 was pretty memorable.

"We saw two Brexit deadlines missed, the fall of a Prime Minister and the coronation of Boris Johnson as First Among Equals. The General Election that followed the failed Halloween Brexit date led to a fracturing of the so-called 'red wall' and the end of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

"The result of all this for our clients was a significant up-turn at the end of the year."

While 2019 was overall a mixed bag for used car dealers according to JudgeService's data, there were periods of stronger sales. In July, for example, following six months of low volume influenced by negative industry news including Jaguar Land Rover halting production, a change in Prime Minister and a wave of optimism saw an increase of 25% compared to 2018.

Pent-up demand from the first half of the year saw sales remain higher in the second half but, following the announcement of the General Election, figures fell again in November. However, the run-up to Christmas was much stronger again.

"So far, that confidence looks to have continued in the new year for both new and used cars," said Mr Addley. "It will be interesting to see how the numbers stack up for the rest of 2020."

New car registrations ended 2019 at a seven-year low after falling 2.4% in a third consecutive year of decline.

Despite a 3.4% year-on-year increase in registrations in December – the result of a 14.1% slump in the last month of 2018 prompted by WLTP supply issues – the market ended the year down, with a total of 2,311,140 vehicles having entered UK roads.

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