The used car market has weathered the continuing economic turmoil to increase in both volume and value in 2011, according to the 2012 Used Car Market Report from British Car Auctions (BCA).
However, it seems growth was slower last year and average values remained relatively flat.
According to the report, 6.7 million used cars were sold last year for a combined value of £35.7 billion – the highest value ever recorded. However, average car values remained flat at £5,336.
The record value was achieved against the background of a struggling economy, falling family incomes, high unemployment and stubbornly high inflation. The data reveals that more used car buyers were forced to turn to older used cars as supply issues continued to affect the wider used car market.
Sales of cars aged five years and under slipped back by 183,000 units last year. Dealers dominate in sales of these younger cars, but as supplies are under pressure they are increasingly focusing on cars aged 6 to 8 years. Sales of cars aged over nine years continued to rise, by 177,000 to over 2.5 million units representing 37.8% of the totals with private-to-private sales dominating in this sector.
Tony Gannon, BCA Communications Director said: “The used car sector is now experiencing the full effect of the lower new car sales since the onset of the recession in 2008 and this is changing the dynamics of the marketplace.
“The diminishing supply of quality cars under five years old means used car retailers are having to extend their focus to include vehicles in the 6-8 year age group, where there is a stronger supply as a result of the higher new car volumes in the early 2000s. In fact, dealer sales of cars aged 6-8 years rose by 63,000 units to 1.1 million last year.”
He added “There are also many more older cars on Britain’s roads than at any time in recent history and these cars are being kept longer before being scrapped. The number of used cars aged nine years and over sold last year rose by 7.5% while sales of cars aged under five years declined by 7.2%. Older cars are increasingly becoming a fact of life for car dealers and used car buyers and will be going forward as supplies of younger used cars may well remain low for up to a decade.”
To find out more visit the Retail Motor Industry Federation website.
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