Consumer demand ramps up again

Auto Trader has reported that despite disruption to supply, demand for both new and used cars remains exceptionally high.

Ian Plummer, commercial director, said: Supply issues continue to have an impact on new car registrations but the demand for cars – new and used – remains very strong. Advert views per car on the Auto Trader marketplace were up 13% versus last October and 35% versus October 2019. What’s more, cars are selling 11% faster in October 2021 than in the same month in 2019.

“While supply levels are down, average leads per new car on Auto Trader are up, the sixth consecutive month of growth. In fact, new cars on Auto Trader generated more than three times the leads they did last October; fuelling the manufacturer’s order books.

“The new car supply squeeze continues to have an inflationary impact on the used car market. In October the average price of a used car increased over 25% YoY. That’s 19 consecutive months of price growth. In fact, astonishingly nearly one in four ‘young’ used cars on Auto Trader are now priced higher than their brand new equivalents with nearly half within five per cent of that new car price The old adage about new cars plummeting in value as soon as you drive them off the forecourt seems to be consigned to history – or at least suspended.

“Demand for new electric vehicles continues to grow with almost 25% of new car considerers viewing an electric vehicle on Auto Trader in October, up from just 7.7% in October 2020.  However, the extent to which interest can be converted into purchase remains a concern given the huge price disparity. The average new EV is 38% more expensive than its petrol equivalent.

“The fuel crisis has been the most significant catalyst for increasing consumer interest in EVs. We always say that cost and convenience are the key drivers of car purchasing. EVs are at a disadvantage on both fronts, but the empty petrol pumps and massive queues have certainly challenged that.”