Cash-strapped car owners hanging on to younger models, finds Dealer Auction

By Staff
3 Min Read

The scarcity of younger vehicles filtering into the used market is making its impact felt, according to first-quarter Dealer Auction figures.

Commenting on the latest data, Kieran TeeBoon, Dealer Auction’s marketplace director, thinks uncertainty around stock availability, cost-of-living pressures and pricing may support the idea that fleets and consumers are hanging onto cars for longer, pushing averages up.

“The statistics tell an interesting story about the continued scarcity of younger vehicles filtering into the used market. More than three million fewer vehicles than expected were registered in the UK between March 2020 and the end of 2023 and we’re now feeling the impact of that volume loss in the used market.”

An upswing in the age and mileage of vehicles sold on Dealer Auction in the first quarter highlights market conditions and the continuing scarcity of younger cars. In the same period last year, the average mileage for a vehicle listed was 67,744 miles with an age of 8.7 years. This year’s Q1 figures are 72,832 miles and 9.2 years – an increase of 7.5% and 5.7% respectively.

Even so, more than a quarter of a million bids were logged on Dealer Auction in the first quarter of 2024 – a 19% increase on figures for the tail end of 2023 and positive proof of an eager and active used car market.

TeeBoon said: “It’s been a largely positive start to 2024 with a considerable rise in the number of auctions ending and more than 253,000 bids placed. We saw a marked increase in vehicles listed and active buyers versus Q4 too.”

Both sales performance and days to sell held strong with the total number of auctions during the three months rocketing to 34,000, 1,000 more than at the end of 2023. Average days to sell were comparable between the quarters (4.0 to 4.1), while CAP clean performance nosed in front of the previous quarter by more than 1%.

Other notable statistics on Dealer Auction for the first 91 days of 2024 include a 3% drop in the number of diesels sold. Meanwhile, there’s been a shift in alternatively fuelled vehicle sales numbers – hybrids have jumped by almost 3% while EVs have decreased by more than 2% compared to the first quarter of 2023.

TeeBoon added: “A jump in sales for hybrids shows that eco-friendly vehicles are increasingly, albeit slowly, making their mark on the used market.”

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