Used car sales fell 22 per cent in ‘Lockdown 2’ but high demand expected through Christmas and into 2021

Time 10:27 am, December 10, 2020

Demand for used cars fell 22.1 per cent year-on-year as the UK went back into lockdown during November, new data shows.

Indicata’s latest UK insights report also showed that the fall in demand coincided with a 2.6 per cent month-on-month increase in stock levels during November, with dealers responding by reducing prices.

The firm saw prices fall by 2.1 per cent between the end of October and November as dealers stimulated demand online while their showrooms were shut.

This was the first price fall seen since the spring at the start of the first national lockdown.

Indicata says the cautious dealers reduced prices during November for fear of ending the year with high levels of stock.

Meanwhile others reduced prices on the ageing and unwanted stock, but continued buying cars at reduced lockdown prices in preparation for a strong end to December and start to January.

‘We saw our online wholesale portal stock levels rise during November but not dramatically as many dealers have been investing in new stock at the lower lockdown prices,’ said Jon Mitchell, group sales director.

‘While prices did fell during November our Indicata insights have already seen a rise of 0.3 per cent again in the first few days of December as dealers come out of lockdown.

‘Our message is the same as last month – clear out your ageing and unwanted stock quickly by reducing prices and invest in the fast-selling stock as everybody is expecting a strong trading period over Xmas and into Q1,’ he added.

Indicata also revealed demand for EVs and hybrids slowed for the second successive month as consumers looked towards petrol and especially diesel for better value.

Dealer stock turn of diesels was 6.2 during November compared with 2.8 on EVs.

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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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