Car Dealer Live

2024 will be an unpredictable year for used car dealers as buyers struggle with cost-of-living crisis

  • ‘The only thing you can predict [about 2024] is it will be unpredictable,’ says Black Horse boss
  • The best used car dealers will overcome challenges, though, he says
  • Car Dealer Used Car Awards, sponsored by Black Horse, returns to London next week

Time 8:30 am, November 23, 2023

Dealers can expect 2024 to be an unpredictable year with consumers still battling the cost-of-living crisis.

That’s the view of the head of Black Horse Motor Finance, Tim Smith, who believes used car dealers will have a number of challenges to deal with over the next 12 months, but that the best dealers have the experience to ride out bumps in the road.

‘The only thing you can predict [about 2024] is it will be unpredictable,’ he said in the video posted at the top of this story.

‘However, I do hope that interest rates will remain more stable – we’ve already seen the Bank of England holding on rates, and hopefully we’ll get some downward trajectory. But who can tell with what’s going on elsewhere in the global economy.’

He continued: ‘I think we will see the cost-of-living crisis continuing to be a challenge for customers and that impacting on sales.

‘Many people are now dropping off their fixed rate mortgage deals and that’s quite an adjustment for them to make – and prices are still going up, albeit a little bit slower. And there’s petrol prices – there’s still upward pressure on those.

‘If interest rates are more stable that’ll be a good thing, and hopefully things will be a little more settled.

‘There’s plenty to keep us all amused!’

Smith remarked these new challenges are on the back of what has been a tough year for used car dealers.

‘The cost-of-living crisis is still here and has dragged on sales, he said. ‘That has made life tough for customers, for dealers and for us.’

He added: ‘It has been interesting seeing the supply and demand dynamic this year. We are still seeing the problems of Covid still manifesting, older cars still on the book and price fluctuations driven by electric vehicles.

‘But there are many dealers who have dealt really well with these challenges and turned them into opportunities for their businesses.’

Smith was speaking ahead of next week’s Car Dealer Used Car Awards 2023 sponsored by Black Horse.

The awards celebrate the best of the best in the used car industry, and have been spotlighting the top dealers, businesses and manufacturers since 2012.

You can find out who’s made the shortlist by clicking here.

Win two tickets to Car Dealer Live

Car Dealer is conducting a short five-question survey on your thoughts on finance provider Black Horse.

To win two tickets to next week’s Car Dealer Live event simply answer the questions and provide your name and email address. The draw will take place on March 5.

Fill in the survey here.

For each category a winner and two highly commended placed firms will be announced at the glittering awards ceremony, sponsored by Black Horse, at The Brewery in London on November 27.

The Used Car Awards 2023 has sold out, but if you’re interested in attending the event contact the sales team via email ([email protected]). A reserve list for tickets is being drawn up and you will be contacted if space becomes available.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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