Online sales reveal north-south divide

Analysis of internet car sales have revealed revealed a widening north-south divide among online car buyers.

According to buyacar, online sales are concentrated around London and South East more than ever before in the company’s 19-year history.

Analysts examined sales per 100,000 people for every postcode area in Britain and found for the first time that none of the top 20 online car buying hotspots are further north than Milton Keynes. Meanwhile, dealers in the north and selling more vehicles to owners in the south.

The trend toward online sales concentrating in the south marks a change from recent years when some of Britain’s internet car buying hotspots included parts of Scotland and the rural north of England.

Christofer Lloyd, editor of, said: “We have always had a significant concentration of business in and around London as well as places like Manchester and Birmingham. This is because the profile of the typical BuyaCar customer who is confident to buy a car online matches the typically younger demographic in the capital and other major cities.

“But what is perhaps surprising is the apparent consolidation of this tendency for business to be concentrated in those areas. Speculating on the reasons for this, it’s possible that the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus crisis on more densely populated areas has encouraged more people in those places to buy cars from the comfort and safety of their home, rather than undergo the perceived risks and inconvenience of mask-wearing and socially distanced visits to multiple physical dealerships.

“The other interesting aspect of this analysis is that there has been no change in the geographical spread of dealers that we work with, which suggests that dealers across the north are playing a crucial role in feeding the appetite for online used car buying much further south.”