Solid consumer demand over course of lockdown 2.0 supports resilient used car market performance in November 2020
- Consumer enquiries up 80% w/c 23 November 2020 vs. w/c 23 March 2020
- Average days to sell level month-on-month at 36 days though 35% less stock turn
- Advertised prices increase 1% to £12,728
9 December 2020 Solid consumer demand over the course of November 2020 helped deliver some optimistic indicators for the used car sector, including month-on-month growth in both average inventory levels and average advertised prices, with days to sell remaining level month-on-month, according to the latest Market View analysis from eBay Motors Group.
Despite England being in a month-long lockdown, much of central Scotland being under strict restrictions and Wales coming out of its circuit breaker, the used car market showed resilience in November with consumer enquiries significantly outperforming the levels seen at the start of the March lockdown, up +80% in the week commencing 23 November compared to the week commencing 23 March 2020.
Average stock volumes improved month-on-month rising from 50.3 units in October to 53.2 units in November, with eBay Motors Group seeing a 6% month-on-month increase in average listings across its platforms.
Supermarkets led the way with average inventories of 349 units, marking a month-on-month improvement of 8% from 324 units and a year-on-year improvement from 332. While franchised sites averaged 65.3 units, ahead of October's 59.4 and on a par with 66.2 a year ago.
"November's performance is in stark contrast to the first lockdown, indicating many dealers had digital processes and staff in place to continue trading despite the obvious limitations of showrooms and forecourts being closed to customers," said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.
"Our data also shows how buyers remained active with email and phone call enquiries 80% higher during the last week of November than they were at the beginning of the first lockdown, indicating increased consumer awareness that lockdown didn't mean shutdown for the car retailers," he said.
In terms of average days to sell, November 2020 saw retailers average 36.3 days, in-line with October 2020 and six days less than the 42.4 recorded in November 2019.
"Whilst we did see a 35% decrease in stock turn across our platforms in November 2020 versus October 2020, the impact of consumers being unable to visit showrooms or test drive vehicles had less of an impact on speed of sale in November, with average days to sell vehicles remaining broadly level month-on-month and well ahead of last year," he said.
Prices remained strong in November, rising an average of 1% month-on-month to £12,728, with average advertised prices at franchised up 2.3% to £14,930, followed by independents up 1.4% to £9,624. Conversely, average advertised prices at supermarkets dipped -1.5% to £12,420.
Petrol-engined cars accounted for the majority of searches, marginally up from 52.3% last year to 53.3%, with diesel declining from 45.6% to 43.9%.
Views for alternative fuelled cars only saw marginal improvements with electric vehicles (EVs) up from 0.6% to 0.9% and hybrid rising from 1.6% to 1.9%. EVs averaged 46.1 days in stock and hybrids averaged 43.9 days.
The fastest selling volume car in November was the Ford Puma, averaging 24.9 days, just ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLA at 25 days, followed by the Mercedes-Benz A Class (27.2 days), Ford Galaxy (27.3 days) and Mercedes-Benz CLA at (27.4 days).
Data source: eBay Motors Group Data Warehouse, November 2020 vs. October 2020 and November 2019.