Used car sales rebound in June but demand will lead to price increases

Overall the used car market is down 17.7% year on year with used car imports down 57%
Used car sales rebound in June but demand will lead to price increases

There were 72,401 used car transactions in June compared to 57,615 in June 2019, an increase of 25.66%. It follows significant falls in transactions over three months, where used car transactions decreased by 14% in March, 65% in April and 42% in May.

Michael Rochford of MotorCheck who compiled the figures said there was pent up demand from those wishing to buy and sell vehicles due to the lockdown and Covid-related restrictions.

"There was a shortfall of approximately 82,000 used car transactions during this period, so it is likely that we will see an increased level of activity in the used car market in the coming months," he said.

"We are also hearing anecdotal evidence from dealers that many customers are new entrants to the market, preferring to opt for a small used car rather than returning to public transport."

The figures show that 60% of the used car transactions are private sellers, 20% are from dealers whilst the remaining 20% is a made up of trade transactions (16% trade-ins to dealers and 4% inter-trade transactions).

Overall the used car market is down 17.73% year on year with used car imports down 56.94%.

Motorcheck say the price of two to five year old cars are set to increase in the UK and Irish market.
Motorcheck say the price of two to five year old cars are set to increase in the UK and Irish market.

Difficulties in accessing UK stock could lead to price hike 

However, MotorCheck said the increased demand combined with difficulties in accessing used stock from the UK is likely to lead to price increases in the used car market along with a shortage of good quality used stock.

Prior to the spread of Covid-19, used cars imported from the UK were already trending downwards year-on-year with January imports down 25% and February down almost 30%. The fall-off accelerated with imports in April and May down 97% and 91% respectively, whilst imports in June are down 47.5%.

"We are already seeing a hardening of used car prices across both the UK and Irish market with two to five-year-old cars coming onto the market at higher prices than they would have achieved before the lockdown," Mr Rochford said. 

"This is bound to continue as dealers in Ireland burn through current stocks, and with the flow of imports from the UK not as accessible as it was previously there may be a shortage of used stock in future months which could exacerbate the situation," he said.

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