Aston Barclay has reported that its used car sales volumes in a COVID-19 hit Q1 were a match for those of the same period in 2020.
Coming in the wake of reports of ramped-up auctions volume performance and values as the end of COVID-19 ‘Lockdown 3’ prompted an acceleration in stocking from car retailers, Aston Barclay’s performance update indicated that the used car sector was “heading for a very strong year”.
However, the remarketing group said that a blend of demand and lack of supply will continue to force prices higher in Q2 which follows on from a strong demand for sub-£12,000 dealer part exchanges in Q1.
Aston Barclay said that its sub-24 month used car performance followed the 12% mark down by Cap HPI during the quarter falling to £14,627 on the back of a rise in average age and mileage to 17.5 months and 16,500 miles.
Average damage also rose 44% during the quarter thus contributing to the price fall.
Fleet volumes were slightly down in Q1 as many new car delivery schedules were extended, while prices also fell back to £10,411, £438 higher than they ended Q1 2020, it said.
Martin Potter, Aston Barclay’s managing director – customer, said: “Bearing in mind dealer showrooms were shut during the most recent lockdown used car sales in 2021 have been extremely healthy. It shows the sector’s remarkable resilience.
“Despite 12 months of a global pandemic which has seen three lockdowns and severe business interruptions, the used market is heading for a very strong year fuelled by strong consumer demand and high prices.”
Aston Barclay revealed at the start of this month that it was preparing to welcome car and van retailers back to its auction halls after 84% of buyers voted for a return to physical trading.
It said that it would be implementing strict COVID-19 safety measures ahead of the April 12 return to physical auctions and indicated that a survey of 673 customers suggested there was a desire to return.