The car market is showing positive signs of pent-up demand despite the current lockdown driving down car sales, Auto Trader has said.
Data released by the firm through its Monthly Market Intelligence report shows that while new car registrations were down 35.5 per cent in February 2021 compared with the same month last year, there are strong signs of pent-up demand among consumers ahead of showrooms reopening on April 12.
Auto Trader saw its new and used car audience totalled 58.8m visits on its platform last month, up 3.6 per cent on February 2020.
Engagement remained strong too, said the company, with daily views on new cars 60 per cent higher than last year. Used car ad views were up two per cent.
Used car leads were up six per cent year-on-year, but the big winner was new car leads.
Despite showrooms being shut, Auto Trader said February was a record month for new car leads – up 100 per cent on February 2020 and up 27 per cent on January.
Almost every age and type of car saw a rise, with the average price of a five to a 10-year old car now over £1,200 higher than a year ago
This suggests pent-up demand ahead of showrooms reopening on April 12, said Auto Trader.
Used car supply was also up in February versus the same month last year, resulting in a softening in the year-on-year price increase compared to recent months, Auto Trader’s Intelligence report showed.
February’s price increases were 6.6 per cent year-on-year.
Almost every age and type of car saw a rise, with the average price of a five to a 10-year old car now over £1,200 higher than a year ago, while one-year-old used cars were up by nearly £3,000 on average.
Auto Trader said older cars continued to see the greatest increases, and year-on-year prices for SUVs, coupe models and MPVs even rose versus January.
Premium and super premium cars were slightly more resilient, driven by better supply-to-demand balance. Meanwhile, demand for premium EVs were still up but supply has tripled year-on-year, affecting pricing.
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