The latest BCA 2013 report shows that used car sales in 2012 hit 7.1 million units, outpacing new car sales and showing a climb of 400,000 cars since 2011.
The report also revealed that the used car market reached a record high in 2012 of £31.1 billion, outperforming the new car market by as much as £5.8 billion. In particular the sales of newer used cars with an age of 0-2 years improved significantly to 762,000 cars sold and reversed a three year fall in volumes in this age sector.
The Report went on to highlight areas such as lower inflation, lower fuel costs, rising employment and a more stable economy as some of the elements which have helped to restore car buyer’s confidence and increase sales in 2012. However, there is still plenty of evidence to show that the fall in new car sales during the recession and immediately after it has had a significant effect on the cars people now drive. In fact, the average age of vehicles on the UK roads reached a record 30 year high at 7.59 years, and the number of households that do not own a car also rose by 5%, with London recording a 12% increase.
Car dealers continue to account for the majority of the increase in used car sales having sold a total of 4.07 million used cars last year with a greater focus on older used cars being sold to ease the uncertainty of the supply of newer vehicles.
Tim Naylor, Editor of the annual BCA Used Car Market Report commented “Our research shows that the used car market has undergone some very subtle yet significant changes over the last 12 months. Customer expectations in the used car buying process continue to climb and there are changes in how information is gathered when it comes to making used car buying decisions.”
Naylor added “Customer satisfaction levels with their used cars this year are among the highest recorded by the BCA Used Car Market Report. Dealers have been working hard to improve the perception of the used car sector and the product itself is of a much higher standard than even a decade ago.”
“It is testimony to the build quality over the last decade that three-quarters (76.3%) of cars now make their twelfth birthday and more than half (51.6%) are reaching the 14 year mark. In fact, these vehicles provide on-going income opportunities for the retail motor sector.”
A full analysis of the 2013 BCA Report is available in Auto Retail Bulletin.