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Used car market in November’s second lockdown was more resilient than Lockdown 1’s

Time 10 months ago

The used car market performed better than expected in November, new data reveals.

Both eBay Motors Group and Glass’s report that despite England being gripped in a second lockdown in November, the market was more resilient in ‘Lockdown 2’ compared to ‘Lockdown 1’.

Consumer enquiries were up 80 per cent in the week commencing November 23 compared to the week commencing March 23, eBay Motors Group said.

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eMG’s latest Market View shows average stock volumes improved month-on-month rising from 50.3 units in October to 53.2 units in November, and a six per cent month-on-month increase in average listings across its platforms.

Supermarkets led the way with average inventories of 349 units, marking a month-on-month improvement of eight from 324 units and a year-on-year improvement from 332. While franchised sites averaged 65.3 units, ahead of October’s 59.4 and on a par with 66.2 a year ago.

‘November’s performance is in stark contrast to the first lockdown, indicating many dealers had digital processes and staff in place to continue trading despite the obvious limitations of showrooms and forecourts being closed to customers,’ said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.

‘Our data also shows how buyers remained active with email and phone call enquiries 80 per cent higher during the last week of November than they were at the beginning of the first lockdown, indicating increased consumer awareness that lockdown didn’t mean shutdown for the car retailers.’


The impact of consumers being unable to visit showrooms or test drive vehicles had less of an impact on speed of sale during the month

In terms of average days to sell, November 2020 saw retailers average 36.3 days, in line with October 2020 and six days less than the 42.4 recorded in November 2019.

Kelleher added: ‘Whilst we did see a 35 per cent decrease in stock turn across our platforms in November versus October, the impact of consumers being unable to visit showrooms or test drive vehicles had less of an impact on speed of sale during the month, with average days to sell remaining broadly level month-on-month and well ahead of last year.’

Glass’s Live Retail pricing tool reported stronger figures, however.

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The average time a car spent on the retail forecourt in November 2020 was 38 days – only 2.5 days longer than in October but 4.4 days less than the 42.4 recorded for November 2019.

The average discount required for the sale continued to be less than for the same month last year, down to 2.5 per cent from 3.4 per cent.

Robert Redman, forecast editor – Glass’s, said: ‘This did represent an increase over the 1.8 per cent recorded for October, but given the circumstances, it is still impressive.’

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.

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