The bank holiday weekend was just the boost the used car industry needed after the initial pent-up demand some thought had ended a fortnight after showrooms reopened.
That’s according to Cazana, which said used car market activity bounced back with a 64.7 per cent increase during the week beginning May 3.
No actual figures were given but the used car valuations firm said the volume of leads improved noticeably during the week, and the number of customers buying online and in dealerships rocketed.
Because of social distancing, some retailers were even finding that they didn’t have enough appointment slots to meet customer demand
Cazana added that its Used Car Price Index rose by 1.1 per cent during the week to £18,650, which it said was important because it represented an overall 10.8 per cent year-on-year rise.
Director of insights Rupert Pontin said: ‘This is higher than certain data providers see using lower more restricted data volumes, highlighting the importance of using real-time whole market data.
‘Smaller pricing sets tend to give a less accurate view of the market, and with the used car sector performing as it is at the moment, understanding every nuance in the market performance is essential to stay ahead of competitors.’
The average price of a used car, however, was down by 9.5 per cent on the previous week at £12,302, although that was still a 6.4 per cent rise year on year.
And Pontin warned: ‘With used car sales volumes at their current level, there is a very real possibility that the used car stock position will get worse in the coming weeks. Tactical activity on pricing is a shot in the foot at times like this.’
Examining sales performance of part-ex vehicles by market sector showed healthy sales levels and strong family market demand for SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Captur.
That was followed by sales for C-sector cars such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. Meanwhile, luxury and executive cars were experiencing low sales volumes.
Pontin said: ‘It is clear that the last week has seen a revitalisation of the used car market that had experienced a quiet patch after a couple of weeks of frenetic sales activity.
‘Consumer demand was back to the previous high levels enjoyed as the car showrooms reopened, and it is likely that this demand will continue at this level for some weeks to come.’
But he added: ‘The two potential clouds on the horizon are whether retail consumers will divert spending to other retail markets such as DIY or holidays, and there is the underlying issue of used car stock availability.’