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Used car transactions to hold steady in Q1, predicts Cox Automotive

The used car market will reach 2.02 million transactions by the end of March – down slightly on 2018 but still marking an encouraging outlook.

Cox’s predictions for Q1 show a slight fall year on year

The prediction comes from Cox Automotive and follows recent used car figures from the SMMT that show the used car market fell 2.1% in 2018 but demand for ultra-low emission vehicles was up while diesels remained popular.

The final SMMT figure was within 1% of Cox Automotive’s first long-range forecast, published in August, and the business is now forecasting 2.02 million transactions in the first quarter of 2019, based again on its own data, SMMT change of ownership figures, and the latest projections on the UK economy.

Philip Nothard, Cox Automotive UK’s customer insight and strategy director, said: “Our forecast of 2.02 million used car transactions in the first quarter of 2019 represents a modest decline of 0.6% on 2018, but still gives an encouraging outlook for used car retailers and finance providers. This would represent the fourth year in a row that used car transactions have passed the two million mark – a fantastic achievement that shows the strength of the market.”

Nothard also commented on the SMMT figures showing 2018 sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars were up 27% year-on-year.

He said: “2018 was the first year that alternative fuel vehicles were available in the wholesale market in any quantity, and the growth in used car sales is certainly encouraging.

“While diesel transactions held steady in 2018, the used car market is starting to see the impact of reduced diesel registrations over the last three years. Availability of nearly-new diesel cars will certainly fall during 2019, although prices are likely to remain in line with the market in general.”

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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.