Auto Trader reports more interest in new cars as car dealers gear up for seasonal boom

  • Visits to Auto Trader’s new car platform up 22% so far in May
  • BMW is May’s most in-demand marque, but interest in Cupra rockets
  • Land Rover Defender 110 is named Auto Trader’s most in-demand new car for third month running

Time 10:26 am, May 24, 2024

Interest in new cars has risen in May, as dealers look set to enjoy a seasonal boom.

That is according to fresh data from Auto Trader, which has reported a 22% year-on-year uplift in new car visits so far this month.

The figure marks a slight increase on the impressive 21% increase recorded in April, and the highest rate of YoY growth recorded in over a year.

Experts have put the performance down to a combination of factors, including the improved availability of new car stock as well as greater affordability.

Since last summer, Auto Trader says that he volume of advertised brand-new cars on the platform has increased 41% – surging by 17% in the last five months alone.

When it comes to price, analysis of the data showed that more than half (53%) of all new car models advertised on Auto Trader have seen a gradual reduction in price over the last 12 months, some models by up to 20%.

Around seven in 10 new electric models are now cheaper on the platform than they were last year.

Strong month for BMW but Land Rover Defender remains king

When it comes to brands, BMW is currently driving the largest number of consumer new car enquiries to retailers through the Auto Trader platform, with a share of 16.9%.

Elsewhere, Cupra has recorded the largest growth this month, with its share of enquiries rising circa 2% on April. It’s sister brand, Seat, is the second biggest mover with a month-on-month increase of 1.1%.

Based on electric enquiries alone, Renault has streaked ahead in May, with its share of new EV enquiries surging 2.6% from last month, placing it well clear of second placed Volvo which has seen a 1.5% rise.

So far, the brands seeing the largest drop in interest in May, are Ford, recording a 2.7% dip in new EV leads sent to retailers, followed by Audi (2.5%), and Vauxhall (1.5%).

At a model level, the Land Rover Defender 110 retains its title as the most in-demand new car on Auto Trader for the third consecutive month, generating the largest share of enquiries (4%).

However, in terms of growth in demand, it’s a more compact SUV that takes the title, with the volume of leads for Cupra’s sporty Formentor rising by 1%.

Commenting on the data, Auto Trader’s new car performance director, Bex Kennett, said: ‘Despite a subdued post-plate-change April, we’re seeing very robust levels of engagement on our platform; given its scale, which generates six times more searches than Google, it offers a promising view of what’s likely to flow through into the new car market over the coming weeks and months.

‘It also highlights how the best performing brands and retailers are responding to current challenges.

‘As well as taking more of their stock out of hiding, they’re also investing more in their digital showrooms, ensuring their brand-new cars stand out in an increasingly competitive and crowded market, which is turning more heads, and generating more enquiries as a result.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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