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Used car market declines as consumers delay purchases

NFDA 14/08/2019

“The decline of -2.8% in used car transactions in the second quarter of 2019 was anticipated due to a number of factors that affected the sector over the past months, but the market remains at high levels”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the latest SMMT used car figures.

The used car market saw a decline of -2.8% in the second quarter of 2019, with a total of 2,034,236 used car transactions. Demand for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars grew substantially by 24.8%, with 33,49 models, in particular, pure electrics rose by 32.8%. Petrol declined by -3.7% and diesel -2.5%.

Robinson continued, “Franchised retailers continue to see strong interest in used cars, however, a large proportion of motorists are keeping their current vehicles partly due to the uncertainty caused by new emission policies and the transition to low emission vehicles.

“The recent declines in new car sales, combined with fewer companies defleeting, have had a detrimental effect on the availability of part exchange vehicles.  Going forward, dealers’ stock availability is expected to improve as more two and three year old second-hand cars return to dealerships.

“It is important to note that we are comparing this year’s results with an extremely robust market in 2018. Used and nearly new cars continue to be an important business area for franchised retailers”

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.