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Used car supply chain is ‘barely coping’ with demand leaving dealer forecourts looking ‘a little empty’

Time 1 year ago

Dealers are struggling to find replacement stock and supply chains are ‘barely coping’, new data suggests.

Cazana’s latest retail price watch made the stark warning this week, saying that while dealers are having no difficulties buying stock, actually getting hold of it to replenish their empty forecourts is now a major issue.

‘The wholesale supply chain is currently barely coping with the demands of the trade with the most difficult problems being around the collection of ends of contract and part-exchange vehicles heading for sale,’ Cazana’s director of insights, Rupert Pontin, said. ‘Equally the delivery of those vehicles to the dealers once sold is also proving challenging.

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‘Forecourts at many retail premises are looking a little empty and this is not necessarily because the buying teams have not bought replacement cars to sell, but because getting their hands on those new cars is very difficult.

‘Social distancing required under current regulations means that moving cars on site at auction and storage facilities once sold and handing them over or delivering them is very time consuming.’

Pontin added: ‘There is a high level of frustration for dealers large and small right now as they struggle to get cars back to be made ready for sale.’

The new data follows a Car Dealer Magazine investigation last week that reported the strain dealers are under.


From auction houses to logistics companies, dealers are struggling to fill in gaps in their forecourts because the stock they’ve bought isn’t arriving quickly enough.

At the time, Big Motoring World boss Peter Waddell told Car Dealer that he’d bought hundreds of cars recently but hadn’t been able to get them delivered from auction houses with many held up for days.

But the situation could improve later this year, believes Cap HPI.

Valuations expert Derren Martin told Car Dealer Magazine that the ‘supply/demand balance is likely to be tipped at the end of the summer or into the autumn in our opinion’.

Used car supply hampered by auction houses and logistics companies not fully back up to speed

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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