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Pent-up demand for used cars sees days in stock fall in August, as average list prices drop 1.5%

  • Average days in stock drop 8 days month-on-month
  • Buyer enquiries up 155% compared to lockdown low point
  • Average stock levels remain on a par with July at 46.5 days

7 September 2020:  Used cars sold faster in August than at any time since forecourts across the UK reopened after the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, according to eBay Motors Group's latest Market View.

7 September 2020 Used cars sold faster in August than at any time since forecourts across the UK reopened after the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, according to eBay Motors Group's latest Market View.
 
Continued pent-up demand for used cars saw average days in stock drop month-on-month by 7.8 days to 57.8 days.
 
Average month-on-month stock levels across the sector dropped marginally from 46.7 in July to 46.5 units in August.
 
Franchised dealers performed strongly in August shaving 10 days off average month-on-month days in stock from 65.5 to 55.5 days. Average stock levels dropped just one unit from 53.7 to 52.7 vehicles.
 
Independents also experienced a strong August with days in stock falling month-on-month from 68.2 days to 63.1 days. While month-on-month stocking levels remained virtually unchanged at 44.7 units, compared to 44.2 units in July.
 
Supermarkets also saw month-on-month improvements in their average days to sell, falling from 57 to 45.4 days on stock levels which grew from 247 to 259 units.
 
"With the post lockdown recovery starting in earnest from July, when dealerships across the UK were permitted to reopen, it is immensely encouraging to see month-on-month improvements in days to sell in August with dealers benefitting from pent-up consumer demand," said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.
 
"Although our key Market View benchmarks of cars in stock and selling days are still a long way adrift of where they were 12 months ago, they are moving in the right direction and are showing month-on-month improvements.
 
"The ongoing challenge facing dealers is sourcing the stock they know will sell, pricing it accordingly and making it easy for buyers to find online. Our research shows buyer demand, as measured by incoming online and email leads, was up 155% at the end of August compared to the lowest point of the lockdown, tangible proof there is an appetite among buyers to make an imminent used car purchase," said Kelleher.
 
Petrol remained the fuel of choice for used car buyers in August accounting for the bulk of dealer stocks (52.4%) and most online views (53.3%). However average days on dealer forecourts of 53.4 days was closely matched by diesel cars at 54 days.
 
The fastest selling used car in August was the Mercedes-Benz SLC taking just 33.7 days to sell, followed by the Vauxhall Astra GTC (34.1 days) and Audi S3 (35 days).

Continued pent-up demand for used cars saw average days in stock drop month-on-month by 7.8 days to 57.8 days.

Average month-on-month stock levels across the sector dropped marginally from 46.7 in July to 46.5 units in August.

Franchised dealers performed strongly in August shaving 10 days off average month-on-month days in stock from 65.5 to 55.5 days. Average stock levels dropped just one unit from 53.7 to 52.7 vehicles.

Independents also experienced a strong August with days in stock falling month-on-month from 68.2 days to 63.1 days. While month-on-month stocking levels remained virtually unchanged at 44.7 units, compared to 44.2 units in July.

Supermarkets also saw month-on-month improvements in their average days to sell, falling from 57 to 45.4 days on stock levels which grew from 247 to 259 units.

"With the post lockdown recovery starting in earnest from July, when dealerships across the UK were permitted to reopen, it is immensely encouraging to see month-on-month improvements in days to sell in August with dealers benefitting from pent-up consumer demand," said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.

"Although our key Market View benchmarks of cars in stock and selling days are still a long way adrift of where they were 12 months ago, they are moving in the right direction and are showing month-on-month improvements.

"The ongoing challenge facing dealers is sourcing the stock they know will sell, pricing it accordingly and making it easy for buyers to find online. Our research shows buyer demand, as measured by incoming online and email leads, was up 155% at the end of August compared to the lowest point of the lockdown, tangible proof there is an appetite among buyers to make an imminent used car purchase," said Kelleher.

Petrol remained the fuel of choice for used car buyers in August accounting for the bulk of dealer stocks (52.4%) and most online views (53.3%). However average days on dealer forecourts of 53.4 days was closely matched by diesel cars at 54 days.

The fastest selling used car in August was the Mercedes-Benz SLC taking just 33.7 days to sell, followed by the Vauxhall Astra GTC (34.1 days) and Audi S3 (35 days).