Used car sales fell for the second consecutive quarter, with 12.2% fewer used vehicles from July to September, new figures released this morning confirm.
Some 1,785,447 cars found new owners during the three-month period, providing the latest sign that the tight household finances are limiting large purchases.
It is the first time in seven years that the number of used car transactions has fallen below two million in the third quarter.
Low inventories and tight cost of living put pressure on used car sales
While used car values remain incredibly high, year-over-year sales have fallen nearly 10 percent, with 5.3 million used models switching hands so far in 2022.
Commenting on the latest report on declining used car sales, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the numbers “come as a minor surprise” due to the short supply of new cars largely related likes ‘sustainable chip tuning’. deficiencies’.
Ian Plummer, commercial director at auto marketplace AutoTrader, endorsed Mr Hawes’ view.
“Given the current economic backdrop, you’d be forgiven for equating the drop in used car sales with an equally dramatic drop in demand from cash-conscious car buyers,” he said.
But while demand is declining from last year’s highs, in reality the market is simply feeling the brunt of the massive lack of available inventory fueled by the approximately 2.5 million new cars sold in the course of the pandemic. ‘lost’. ‘
Some 1,785,447 cars have found new owners in the three-month period, the latest sign that the tight household finances are limiting large purchases
Sales in 2022 are down nearly 10%, with just over 5.3 million used models changing hands so far this year
Still, AutoTrader admits that the tight household finances will impact the used car market.
“There is no doubt that the cost of living crisis and rising interest rates are a potential headwind for the auto market, and we expect consumer demand to decline, especially during the traditionally quieter holiday season.”
Richard Peberdy, head of automotive at KPMG, says it was “inevitable” that the booming demand for second-hand engines – and “very hot” values - would start to cool down, which is now “helped by tougher economic conditions”.
The Fiesta is by far the most popular used car to change hands, with over 16,000 new owners during the months of July, August and September
Ford announced last month that the Fiesta – Britain’s best-selling car – will no longer be built from June next year
Unsurprisingly, the Ford Fiesta was the top-selling used car of the past three months, with a total of 74,892 transactions, more than 16,000 more than the second-place Vauxhall Corsa.
It follows last month’s news that Ford will stop making this country’s most popular car of all time in June 2023.
It will end 47 years of production, of which nearly 5 million have been bought by Britons, making the Fiesta the most bought car in British history and the most widely used model on our roads today with around 1.54 million in use.
This week, experts in stolen vehicle recovery services, Tracker, warned owners that their Fiestas could become a hotter target for thieves who will want to take advantage of the end of production and the inevitable rise in the cost of spare parts for the hugely popular car.
While overall industry figures point to a slowing second-hand market, used electric vehicle sales have bucked the trend.
While sales of used electric cars are bucking the trend, plug-in vehicles (including pure electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars) still represent only 4% of all used transactions
The number of used battery cars that changed hands rose 44.1 percent in the third quarter to 16,775 transactions, to 48,032 in the year to date.
The SMMT report confirmed that the used hybrid vehicle market also grew, growing 2.5 percent in the quarter, although plug-in hybrid transactions declined 5.8 percent.
However, with the combination of pure electric and hybrid cars, these vehicles still account for only 4 percent of all used transactions and therefore represent a fraction of the market until more units hit the road and become available at a later date. for second-hand buyers. date.
“It’s great to see a growing number of used car buyers getting into an electric car,” added Mike Hawes, but said the government needs to do more to make both new and used electric vehicles more attractive to drivers. .
“The demand is clearly there and to feed it we need a vibrant new car market, which means giving buyers confidence to invest.
“Next week’s fall statement is an opportunity for the government to make a long-term fiscal commitment for zero-emission driving, including adequate public charging infrastructure, which, especially given the economic headwinds, would go a long way to boosting the market and boosting the economy.” delivering both economic and net zero progress.’
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