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Older used cars drove 3.7% June sales increase amid June stock shortages

Indicata group sales director Jon Mitchell

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.

As revealed by Cap HPI, Cazana and Auto Trader in recent weeks, competition for used car stock among car retailers has meant that used car prices have continued to rise in the challenging trading climate.

Jon Mitchell, Autorola UK’s group sales director, said: “We have definitely seen a strong used car performance since dealers opened on the 1 June.

“Stock volumes on our online wholesale portal fell by 25% in the month so we know demand is outstripping supply.”

Indicata’s market data showed that SUVs, sports and luxury cars had continued to be in high demand while mini and small car sales fell by 4.7% and 3.6%, respectively, last month.

Since English car dealers reopened their showrooms on June 1, used car sales have reached a seven-day rolling average of 12,000 per day which compares with the 10,000 per day dealer restocking rates, it said.

This has led to dealers being short of roughly 125,000 used cars against April levels, which has been hampered by wholesale stock still stuck in compounds or parked on airfields.

The situation has weakened supply into the wholesale market which has meant demand has continually exceeded supply.

With prices rising by just 0.7% in June it suggests many dealers could be brave and increase prices of stock on their forecourts.

Autorola indicated in mid-June that a post-lockdown surge in used car sales activity had put retailers ahead of the same period in 2019.

The stock management and vehicle valuations data provider found that retailers generated 3.4% more sales during the first 10 days of June than during the same period last year and Mitchell believes the promising restart of used car sales could be set to continue.

He said: “We anticipate the summer months will be extremely busy with the market only starting to calm down in early Autumn.

“The new 70-plate in September and COVID-19 induced PCP and contract hire contract extensions will feed additional stock into the market in Autumn which should improve stock availability.”

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