FRANCHISED and independent used car dealers outperformed in a declining used car market, reports BCA.
Used car sales in 2007 were down by 384,000, to 7.1 million cars. That’s an overall drop of 5.2 per cent.
Yet dealers saw falls of half that – and, with responsibility for £25.7bn of a £33.3bn market, still dominated, selling 3.97 million used cars. That’s a fall of 108,000 cars.
Compare that to the private sector, which plummeted by 6.1 per cent, to 2.71 million cars. Which suggests that credit-crunched buyers are now turning to dealers for better-condition, warranted and securely-guaranteed cars.
Dealer funding and finance may also be a factor, as high-street banks and internet lenders start to become more fussy as to who they give cash to.
Buyers are also willing to pay more. The average price of a dealer’s used car was £6464 – up by £198. Values rose by £111 in the private sector, too. But only to £2179. Illustrating the great disparity between the two markets.
It may not feel like it, but used car values and volumes were among the highest recorded in the 18-year history of the BCA Used Car Market Report.
BCA communications director Tony Gannon said: ‘The current trading performance on used vehicles should be seen in this broader context of a used car market that can fluctuate, but has an underlying strength.’
‘While our latest report highlights the origins of the current downturn, it also shows how the market has bounced back from similar economic pressures in previous years. There is a deep-seated resilience in the used car market, even when times are hard.’
31.5 per cent of all the cars in the UK were either bought new or changed hands last year. This is down from 32.5 per cent in 2006, but still represents new and used car sales of 9.4 million – from a total UK parc of 30.2 million.