According to the new Used Car Market Report, published by leading vehicle remarketing company, British Car Auctions (BCA), used car sales hit 7.1 million units in 2012, outpacing new car sales by climbing 6.4% and returning to pre-recession levels.
The unique and definitive report also reveals that the used car market reached a record high in terms of value in 2012, at £38.1 billion. In particular sales of younger cars increased for the first time in 3 years, rising by 18.6% to 762,000 and reversing the trend seen since the recession of volume buyers of vehicles holding onto them for longer.
The long-term impact of the fall in new car sales during and immediately following the recession can, however, still be seen with the average age of vehicles on UK roads reaching a 30 year high at 7.59 years. Also of concern is the fact that, according to the BCA Used Car Market Report, there has been a 5% rise in households without a car, with London recording a 12% increase in ‘no-car’ families.
“This year's BCA Used Car Market Report illustrates very clearly how nearly five years of financial anxiety have affected motorists' decisions on buying a used car, as well as the impact of prolonged low new car sales on the used car sector”, explained Tim Naylor, Editor of the Used Car Market Report.
“Overall our Used Car Market Report for 2013 suggests that the UK may be turning a corner in consumer confidence as lower inflation, a slow down in fuel price rises, improving employment prospects and a more stable economy seem to be helping to restore car buyers' confidence. In particular, low and 0% interest offers could be creating fresh demand for new cars, with 40% of motorists who responded to our research saying that they were considering buying new rather than used for their next car. This is good news for the market as a whole as new cars create used car stock in future.”