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Used car sales dip despite unchanged enquiry levels

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Despite new car registrations falling by 13% in July, dealers are maintaining activity in used car sales.

July is only marginally down on the rolling three-month average from April to June.

“Looking at five of the main vehicle segments, enquiry levels are largely unchanged, with a third coming from customers who ha ve registered interest in specific vehicles prior to visiting the showroom,” says John Simpson, managing director, Manheim Retail Services.

Interest levels and sales are highest in the small to medium hatchback segments, with the executive and 4x4 segments the lowest.

The wholesale market is coming under pressure. Prices for younger cars have fallen again quite markedly and conversion rates in the auction halls have also dropped.

This applies to all younger car segments, except small hatch-backs which remain more resilient. There is much more stability in the lower-value part-exchanges with prices and conversion rates holding up well across most of the segments.

“That’s clearly good news for dealers who, providing they value vehicles sensibility, are able to continue taking trade-ins and cash out of them pretty quickly,” says Mike Pilkington, managing director, Manheim Auctions and Remarketing.

“Be careful of the older luxury/executive cars though.”

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