The UK used car market woke up during May with motorists treating themselves to sports and luxury cars as they came out of the 10-week pandemic lockdown period according to the latest Market Watch insights report from INDICATA UK.
Consumers seem intent on having some motoring fun with money saved from cancelled holidays and reduced family running costs being invested in a used luxury or sports cars of their dreams. This data is slightly at odds with most MSM news on the UK car market, which has seen Aston Martin and Bentley lay off workers as demand has fallen.
However the Tesla 3 was the top selling car in the UK during May and that isn’t a cheap electric commuter by any means, in fact it’s pretty sporty compared to a Renault Zoe. Meanwhile Yorkshire based dealership JCT600 reported record sales figures during the first week of June, as UK buyers got back into their car shopping groove. Perhaps the demand is for particular models and cash deals – not leasing?
This post lockdown trend has also been evident in countries such as Germany and Austria, but it could just be a short-term trend according to INDICATA’s UK national business development manager Neil Gilligan.
“Our insights clearly show that sales in the luxury and sports car sectors were most prominent across the used cars sold in May. We are sure many drivers have adopted the life’s too short approach and invested their money in the used car of their dreams.
“However, as the market settles down in June and July we expect to see consumers buying more smaller petrol family hatchbacks and SUVs. The sub-£10,000 sector is also expected to be where a majority of the used car sales will be for the rest of 2020,” he added.
Older cars between six and 12 years were also popular in the UK during May, while demand in the sub-three-year old sector was slow due to dealers not opening for business until early June.
The UK is however bucking European used car market trends when it comes to diesels. In the UK demand has been stable while consumers in the rest of Europe have started to buy petrol and hybrid cars. Diesel sales in countries like Germany are already 17% down year-on-year.
“Whether this is a short-term blip or a long term move away from diesel we will have to wait and see, but currently UK consumers feel diesels offer value for money motoring,” said Gilligan.
A full copy of the report on the UK and 12 other European countries is available at www.indicata.com/corona