Used car sales are currently outperforming new vehicle sales and this can be attributed to a few reasons. The current economic climate and uncertainty over Brexit has kept consumers from making big purchases like buying a new car or a house, whilst the uncertainty over the Government’s clean air plans has also made motorists hesitant to purchase a new petrol or diesel automobile. This is evident with new car sales, with figures falling for 11 consecutive months and 5.7% overall in 2017. Diesel faced the brunt of this slide.
A used car is a much smaller purchase and, therefore, deemed safer for the consumer and they can make huge savings in this market. This is especially true in the current market, where there are many terrific online used car dealerships like Peter Vardy. These dealerships are much safer than buying from a private seller with consumer protection and a huge range of vehicles available. On top of this, these dealerships can often offer finance deals or part-exchange deals which can make a big difference.
In 2017, it was, unsurprisingly, the Ford Fiesta supermini that led the way in used car sales with a total of 375,630. This was closely followed by the Ford Focus (347,691) and the ever-popular Vauxhall Corsa (333,999). This goes to show that motorists are opting for small, reliable, practical and efficient used cars which are cheap to buy and run.
Most new young drivers will shop in the used car market because it is much more affordable and they will be looking for something basic. However, even motorists with a lot more experience and money are now buying used as opposed to new due to the economic and political climate. It is easy to see this continuing in the near future and particularly when more electric vehicles become available in the second-hand market.
If the 2040 ban goes ahead, many more motorists will need to switch to an electric vehicle but a large percentage will not be able to afford to buy brand new. Automotive dealers may need to adjust their business model if this is the case and create incentives to encourage motorists to buy new -- they could also offer scrappage schemes so that they can get rid of their older vehicle at the same time.
The new car market is free falling due to various factors, but the used vehicle market has managed to remain stable and this is thanks to its affordability, safety and huge range of vehicles available.