Used car buyers are favouring more affordable models than they did last year, according to data from Imperial Cars.
The car supermarket brand says sales of cars costing less than £5,000 have risen by 36% on average so far in 2020, compared to the same time last year.
In June, sales of cars in the sub-£5,000 bracket rose by 95% compared to June 2019.
While in April, sales of cars at this price point accounted for 31% of Imperial Cars’ total sales for the month – the first time the sub-£5,000 price bracket has led the company’s sales chart.
Neil Smith, Operations Director at Imperial Cars, said: “This growth in the sub-£5,000 category would usually be very surprising, but with many people concerned about using public transport or who are wishing to downsize into a more affordable car because of coronavirus or features of an economic downturn, it’s an understandable switch in the market.
“The increase in sales of this price bracket reflects the traffic numbers we have been experiencing on our website. Customers are very keen to buy affordable cars in the present climate, but, as shown by an increase in our sales, customers are still savvy – they want quality cars on reasonable payment terms.”
Between March and the end of June, Imperial Cars sold more than 80 cars despite being in lockdown for the majority of that time and saw traffic to its website rocket by 80%.
During the pandemic, Imperial Cars launched a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ finance offer that delayed monthly payments by up to three months. It also delivered cars for test drive, as well as purchased cars to customers right across the country, while safely implementing contactless delivery.
Smith added: “The big question now is, how long will this trend for affordable cars continue? Whatever the answer, it’s important not to get distracted on market trends and ensure we have the right products for the right customers at the right time.”
Vehicles aged over six years helped UK car retailers drive a 3.7% increase in post lockdown used car sales during June, according to analysis by Indicata.
The stock management and market insight tool revealed that sales of cars aged six to nine years old and nine to 12 years old rose by 12.6% and 8.6% respectively last month while the 0 to three-year-old sector fell by 7.1%.
The trend was reflective of a shortage of stock in the sub 12-month sector, it said, due to the limited new car sales activity during the COVID-19 lockdown.