Motoring: Tips to follow when purchasing a used car
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The number of used cars sold on forecourts during the first quarter of 2021 was down 8.9 percent on the previous year with around 164,000 fewer vehicles sold during this period. The decline has been blamed mostly on the impact the pandemic has had on used car dealers.
SMMT chairman Mike Hawes said he expected to see “significant growth” in the next quarter and added it was “vital” the used market was rejuvenated.
Meanwhile, SMMT new car sales data has shown a surge in sales with a 16.2 percent rise so far in 2021.
A total of 141,583 cars were sold in April, in figures just 10-20,000 short of a normal year without the influence of the pandemic.
A new report from Close Brothers Motor Finance has revealed 2.7million more drivers are planning to buy a brand new car this year.
A total of 45 percent of drivers said a new model was their preference in figures up from 38 percent last year.
Sean Kemple, Managing Director of Close Brothers Motor Finance said: “The pandemic has undoubtedly shifted behaviours, and with a newfound reticence to use public transport, owning a private car has become a necessity for many.
“The pandemic has also polarised people’s financial affairs – with some feeling the impact of job losses and economic decline, while others have been able to save up during the lockdowns.
“This has undoubtedly impacted people’s decisions to opt for a more affordable option as their next car, or to splash out on a brand-new model.”
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The SMMT has said the new car recovery was down to the reopening of showrooms and “market confidence improving.
Some of this could also be down to manufacturers getting to grips with online sales and working around the pandemic.
However, analysis of the data suggests much of the rise in demand for new vehicles is the surge in the electric car market.
So far in 2021, 40,932 fully electric models have been sold compared to just over 19,500 last year.
Sales of Mild Hybrid petrol models have also tripled while plug-in models have surged by 23,000.
In comparison, the sale of petrol and diesel models are still lagging behind their 2020 rates.
Over 92,000 diesel models were sold at this stage last year with just 62,586 rolling off forecourts in 2021.
Petrol sales were also down by around 13,000 when compared to this stage in 2020.
Mr Kemple added: “The 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars has also forced drivers to reconsider their options.
“The average age of a vehicle on the road is 7.8 years, according to the SMMT, so the ban being just a decade away will influence people’s decisions now.
“‘Filler’ cars might be feasible for some, but for others, buying a new or used AFV or hybrid model now could be more cost-effective in the long term, rather than after the ban comes into force.
“For used cars, there’s a clear supply issue – partly due to Brexit.
“Until the trade deal was agreed there was a real worry that Britain’s automotive sector would not be able to trade with the EU.
“This was especially concerning for manufacturers, as four out of five cars made in the UK are exported.
“But beyond Brexit, a general contraction in new car sales over recent years has meant the used ‘car park’ of the UK has shrunk.
“This bottleneck has pushed prices up, both at a wholesale and retail level.”
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