“The used car sector performed well at the beginning of the year and the decline experienced in March is hardly surprising as it coincides with the introduction of lockdown measures and business closure”, 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 declined by -8.3% in the first quarter of 2020 to 1,851,919 transactions. Used car transactions performed well in January and February but saw a significant decline in March (-30.7%) when showrooms started to close due to the Coronavirus.
Transactions of plug-in electric vehicles grew by 13.5% during the first three months of the year. Petrol and diesel were down by -9.3% and -7.8% respectively, although they still accounted for 97.9% of all used car transactions.
Sue Robinson, added, “It is positive to see that used plug-in electric vehicles experienced a double-digit growth in the first quarter. Over the next months, demand will likely be driven by the type of cars available in dealerships’ stocks.
“Used car sales have been key for franchised dealers for quite some time and, going forward, businesses are likely to continue to concentrate on this area.
“In the short and medium term, cars will represent the best alternative for many planning to limit their use of public transport and the used car sector may benefit from this”.
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.