Topic: CarGurus data
It was a strong start to “opening week” for dealers in Scotland, as dealers there opened their doors for the first time since the Covid-19 shutdown on June 29. Leads to dealers in Scotland were trending up on CarGurus leading up to reopening, and were up 14% (indexed) week-on-week on opening day—their highest point since the shutdown began. Many dealers in Scotland and around the UK have adopted contactless services to continue to serve customers safely this summer.
The spread of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the UK economy. It’s driven people indoors and pushed businesses to furlough large amounts of their workforce, resulting in a recession. Additionally, the pandemic forced the closure of car dealerships for much of March and all of April, which brought the automotive sector to a near halt.
New vehicle registrations in April alone fell 97%. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), only 4,321 new cars were registered in April 2020. That’s the lowest monthly registration number since February 1946 when the UK was undergoing rationing and trying to rebuild after wartime destruction. But despite the steep decline in sales in recent months, it’s not all doom and gloom for dealers.
To say COVID-19 has disrupted the auto industry is an understatement. The global pandemic is continuing to sweep the world, forcing car buyers to re-evaluate their purchase plans and change their shopping behaviours. Despite the constantly evolving situation, dealers who are able to adapt still have the opportunity to bring in business and stay connected to their customers.
Here are four key takeaways from the recently released CarGurus COVID-19 UK Sentiment Study that you can use to adapt your business strategy to today’s new normal.
The Government has been vague about its future plans for diesel, petrol and electric car taxation and changed direction a number of times. For example, the plug-in car grant is evidence enough that authorities want us to drive cleaner vehicles, but it was downgraded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles in November 2018, so the allowance is now lower and applies to a smaller number of cars.
Equally, the Government has yet to make any announcements about its plans for company car tax beyond April 2021, leaving companies and business drivers in the dark, while continued bad publicity around diesel has caused speculation as to whether or not it will be subject to further tax. Put simply, we just don’t know, and the ambiguity is also affecting the used car market.
It’s absolutely no secret that retailers have turned their attention to the used car market over and above the new car market. After five years of growth and a record-breaking 2016, new car registrations turned on their heels and fell by 5.7% and 6.8% in the successive two years, which steered retailers toward what continues to be an exceptionally strong second-hand vehicle market.
The trouble is that used cars have been hot property for a long time; prices are extremely strong, the trade can’t get enough of them, and even in the wake of previously strong new car sales, competition is so fierce for quality second-hand stock that it’s proving ever trickier to procure. That’s great news for auction companies, less so for trade buyers and, in short, it’s the perfect storm of supply and demand.
Ever wonder which cars sit at the top of shoppers’ wish lists? We decided to dig into our own data to find out. We looked at which makes and models were the most searched on CarGurus in each UK region, and, after analysing the data, we found that when it comes to sought-after vehicles, BMW leads the way. Its 3 Series cracked the top three in every region.
CarGurus’ inaugural One Voice Report, released today, brings together the opinions of more than 400 influential UK dealers on hot topics affecting the used car market. It touches on rising overheads, increased competition, government issues, and more, and provides valuable insights into how digital is helping dealers adapt to today’s changing market. Key findings include: