Demand for used cars ‘encouraging’ despite the credit crunch

An expert has said that the demand for used cars in the UK is at an encouragingly high level despite the economic downturn.

Research involving 100 UK franchised dealers conducted by Manheim Retail Services found that across the five main vehicle segments (small hatchback, medium family, large family, executive, 4×4) enquiry levels and test drives are only fractionally down compared with the previous quarter.

A third of enquiries originated from customers who had registered interest in specific vehicles prior to visiting the showroom with the balance being showroom walk-ins.

Not surprisingly, sales-to-enquiry conversion rates were down by 8.3 per cent for executive models and 7.6 per cent for 4x4s.

But the rate actually increased for medium family vehicles by 0.9 per cent – a sign of the industry’s resilience.

John Simpson, managing director for Manheim Retail Services, said: "With negative consumer confidence forcing new car registrations down in July by 13 per cent, it is encouraging to see that dealers are maintaining activity in used car sales.

"In the five vehicle segments analysed, used car sales were only down by an average of less than one unit per dealer per month."


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  1. In US, we’ve found the same trend. But somehow certain types of new cars (especially a few Japanese economy makes) are still going well.

    On the second hand cars market, it shows that people tend to by cars from private sellers rather than from dealers. I don’t know if this is the case in UK but a lower price always attracts.