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Used car market benefits as new car registrations fall

The used car market is seeing retail prices improve across key market profiles as the new car market continues to suffer from WLTP disruption, according to Cazana.

With a further decline in the new market, the used car market has continued to perform well

The global automotive data specialist points to October new car registration figures from the SMMT, which show there were signs of a return towards normality after heavy distortion for the market in August and September.

Overall, the new car market fell 2.9% last month to 153,599 units with declines seen in both fleet and private and fleet sectors, down 5.2% and 1.0% respectively. Meanwhile sub-25 ‘Business’ registrations were up 10.0%. This follows a 20.5% fall in the September total new car market. Diesel registrations were down 21.3% while registrations of petrol cars rose 7.1% and AFVs were up 30.7%.

With confusion – including over future fleet taxation – and a lack of WLTP-tested product disrupting the new car market, the benefit has been evident in the used car market – as shown by the table.


The chart shows overall market performance of key vehicle age profiles year on year (click to enlarge)

Retail price performance across all key sectors shows an increase in value as a percentage of original cost new with the best performing profile being the twelve-month-old vehicle with a four-percentage point increase when compared with the same month last year. This is the result of the new car stock shortage with dealers able to achieve higher prices when selling to what were inevitably intended to be new car buyers.

Looking ahead, Cazana predicts that the used market will continue to perform well but warns that a no-deal Brexit could bring significant changes all round.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.