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Buyers are comfortable spending more on used cars online in lockdown 3

Time 5 months ago

The amount buyers are happy to spend on used cars online has increased every lockdown, according to new data.

Warranty Company Händler Protect said the average value of used cars bought in the third lockdown was up to £7,530.

This is compared to the average value in the first lockdown of £5,600 and £7,170 recorded during the second lockdown in November.


The biggest difference, as the warranty company notes, is that customers are spending more on newer models in this latest lockdown, likely due to dealers operating online and customers getting used to the process.

The data shows a snapshot of used car value transactions, as Händler Protect only works directly with independent dealers and now has more than 100,000 cars covered by its warranties.

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Händler Protect has seen the age and also the average mileage of used cars sold come down in the current lockdown, now at 8.51 years and 72,247 miles.

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In the first lockdown, buying habits changed drastically as consumers opted for higher mileage and older cars, at 9.47 years and 81,589 miles on average.

Händler Protect chief executive Lloyd O’Connor said: ‘Click-and-collect or home delivery has been a great way for many car dealers in Great Britain to keep trading despite having to close showrooms due to the lockdown.

‘Working only with independent car dealers across the UK has given us a really clear picture of their activity since the start of the pandemic, and we could see during this third lockdown that the value of cars dealers were selling had risen considerably.’

He added: ‘For dealers offering click-and-collect or home delivery services, having a robust warranty in place makes a huge difference when selling to a customer they may never see.

‘It gives our car dealers extra reassurance and they love the customer service we offer their clients, knowing if something goes wrong we’ll handle it for them.’

These views were echoed by Auto Trader CEO Nathan Coe and Marshall Motor Group CEO Daksh Gupta on Car Dealer Live last week, who both reported that they had seen car sales outperform expectations in this lockdown as buyers become more comfortable shopping online.

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Coe explained that Auto Trader has ‘seen a split of dealers’, saying that there’s those dealers who have embraced ‘that this is just the way it’s got to happen because we’re locked down and restricted’ and ‘those who have said they will wait it out’.

The classifieds website has seen that the dealers embracing selling online have been even further outperforming the market average of 66 per cent of last year’s volumes for the same month.

Speaking from a new car perspective, Gupta commented on the show that in January they had sold 6,000 vehicles without customers coming into the showroom with 170 buyers putting their details in online without any dealer assistance.

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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